I don’t think Minuet will ever fully integrate into the feline population of the Cosy Apartment. She may, quite literally, be too old to change. That is all right with me. If she is too old to change, then she is old enough to have earned respect for how she wants to live. A kitten should integrate with other cats for its own good. An older cat should integrate for the good of the household. A very-oldster, however, has the right to her own spot away from everyone else, like the veteran member of a gentleman’s club, who has his favourite armchair, his place venerated by time – and woe be to any upstart who tries to usurp it.
Nonetheless, it is interesting to watch, and listen to, Min’s reaction to the other cats. As described previously, she tolerates Neville best of all. But even Nev will evoke a sharp cry of anger at times. This comes if Neville ventures too close, too abruptly. For instance, if Minuet is lying on the library couch and the Nevsky climbs to the top of the lower bookcase using an arm of the couch, hurrying past his ancient roommate, Minuet will protest in no uncertain terms. If Hector approaches or is too near the path that Min has chosen to walk, again I will hear the raucous cry of annoyance.
But simple proximity is not always offensive to Madame. As may be seen in the photograph below, she will acquiesce to any cat, even Hector, being near, just so long as they abide by her rules, not all of which are apparent to me – or to the other cats.
Whenever she yells, I hasten to see what is the matter. I do that not because I think there is danger to one cat or another, but because I want Minuet to see that I will respond to her cries. It is not so important if I do so with the others, as they will adapt to changing circumstances; for the most part, they have the youth – even my two older cats – to deal with unsatisfactory situations. Minuet must surely feel her age; her exile in the Cosy Apartment must still feel somewhat lonely after sixteen years in another home, and her deafness must be a liability to her sense of strength. These factors probably make for a somewhat anxious time now and then. I can tell that she feels better when I make my presence known.
So if I coddle my very-oldster, if I treat her differently than the rest, I think it is justified. I am sure that every person with more than one cat treats each uniquely. I want Minuet to feel contented in her retirement home. She can handle herself pretty well on her own; if she requires a little assistance in relation to her roommates, she will have it. After all, if she is too old to change, maybe there is nothing wrong with the way she is right now.