Thursday, June 18, 2020

Knowing One's Place

When Neville first came to stay at the cosy apartment, Tucker’s reaction was that of low-grade hostility. This is how he has behaved toward all new cats. The roly poly one spent a long time being squished on the bottom of the totem pole by those senior to or stronger than he, and he has never fancied the idea of having a later arrival climb over him to the penultimate spot while he was still stuck at the end. So he would make sure that the newcomers realised the position: Tucker moved up a slot, while the stranger took his old place.

He would eventually relate to each addition with less antagonism. Parker was assisted by the advent of Raleigh, who became the object of Tucker’s mild animosity. This was lucky, as the sturdy-boy didn’t seem willing to take over Tucker’s low position. Then, it was Neville’s turn.

There comes a point at which each new cat ceases to be a threat to Tucker’s standing. If that new cat accepts the order of things, the roly poly will agree to live and let live. Such has it been with the Nevsky. Tucker doesn’t bother much hissing or grumbling at him, as he previously did. He will, now and then, whap at him, in the lazy way he does - it’s more a matter of charging  (the way a watermelon rumbles down a gentle incline) and placing his paw against another’s body - but he is liable to do that with any cat. Its offensive power was demonstrated when he tried it with Raleigh; Peachy was so easy-going that he didn’t react; the paw stayed in place for a second or two and then was withdrawn.

Neville has not yet understood that he need not fear Tucker’s anger any more. He still will wait out the sausage-cat, if the latter is blocking a route Nev wants to take. And when the former Thin Man does pass close to Tucker, it is in a hurry, and with a series of throaty “er…er…” sounds that constitute the variety of his vocabulary.

As I have described over the past few weeks, in connection with Cammie and Raleigh’s passing, the interaction of cats is fascinating. This is another example of their continuing evolution, though it, in fact, has little to do with the deaths in the family. The cats’ relationships can be complex, but that is to be expected from such complex creatures.


  1. when mackerull blocks tuna's path; tuna will either wait until mackerull moves, or walk past him sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
    slowly that a snail's pace would be considered speeding. I've attempted to get it on video but typically the phone's never around.

    catfather.....we rememburr that look, when we fighted de bass turd gobbler !!! ;) ♥♥

  2. Oh yea, the complexities of the kitty family are something to behold. We see that lots with our feral family too.

  3. That's one thing I love about cats, no predicting them. Just wait
    and see. Your 4 cats are now getting to spread out a bit and evidently
    getting to accept each other without much conflict. Enjoyable.

  4. Saku will reach out towards Sasha as the latter passes by and Sasha lets out the most ungodly howl. It's funny because Saku isn't scratching at him, just reaching out a paw.

    Hopefully Tucker and Neville will have found their places and Nev won't need to be on tenterhooks around Tucker.

  5. I think they will all fall into place and be able to get along well. Maybe even eventually sleep together. I really do think they will.

  6. I've observed a similar situation with Danni. Since Jessica passed away, Danni is now the oldest cat and she's been with me the longest. However, she does not care for the other cats, (or maybe they don't care for her), and she will either run or gingerly sneak past them whenever their paths cross.

  7. It probably pleases Tucker that Neville will still rush past him, and knows his place with just a look.

  8. Your descriptive words or nicknames are so entertaining!
    "sausage-cat", "The Former Thin Man", "Nevsky", "Peachie"...