Saturday, September 19, 2009

LOLCat Wars!

In our new house in Urbana, there are three cats. There's our cat, Coraline, and the two cats of our new roommate/ landlord, B: Tun and Virgil. Tun and Virgil are French, as is B, so their names should be pronounced as such, like "Toon" and "Vergeel." Coraline is still working on finding her place in the cat hierarchy of the household, and the intermittent cat geopolitics have been endlessly entertaining.

Tun is the matriarch of the house, as she is the oldest and grouchiest. She spends most of her time atop the kitty condo in the living room, looking down on the rest of us peons. She's not the biggest or the fastest or the most spry of cats, but she is definitely the boss. She can also growl like a dog. It's crazy. Virgil, on the other hand, is a big softy. He likes to spend most of his time outside, where there are mice and shrews to eat and he can be left alone by the cats, who are always mean to him. Virgil is much more fond of R.A. and me than Tun, and he has even gotten into the habit of presenting R.A. with mice that he killed just for her and now she can eat them or play with them or just leave them the carpet to give it that nice dead rodent smell. (R.A.: "When I do none of these things, he cries.") Virgil is also a really big guy; once he came up behind me to snuggle me with his head and pretty much knocked me over. But Tun still bosses him around, because she's the boss.

So Coraline has to find a place somewhere in between these two. She's getting the hang of the bossing around Virgil part; he'll come around our bedroom door, mewing and asking to be let outside, and Coraline will waste no time in running out and thumping him right on the melon. Tun, however, is a different story. Coraline is smaller and younger, and has been an indoor cat for most of her life*, but she's also from the big city, and she survived Kitty Concentration Camp. I'm serious. She's like the Elie Wiesel of cats, except that she hasn't been duped by a massive Ponzi scheme. (That I'm aware of. But who knows what she does with her finances.) The point is that, though she be wee, she is also fierce. And she and Tun have come to blows more than once, as they both believe that they ought to be in charge.

Probably my favorite part of this situation is watching how Tun and Coraline tactically advance and withdraw as they both try to claim as much territory as possible. It's like a game of Risk. Coraline pretty much controls the area around our bedroom and office, while Tun's territory is outside of B's bedroom and the den that leads to the back porch. The kitchen seems to be No Man's Land, and they each control parts of the living room. In this analogy, the laundry room is Alaska and B's office space is Kamchatka. Got to control Kamchatka. They go back and forth throughout the day, making incursions into eachother's territory, setting up outposts, and then retreating back to their bases. At first, there was much hollering and flashing of knife-mittens, but now we've reached a state of civility where they pretty much just sit at opposite ends of a room and stare at each other.

Until Virgil wanders into the room to ask someone to please let him outside.

P.S. - Go Ducks. Go Beavers. Go...sigh...Twins.

*She has been outside in the backyard once or twice. Boy, the world is big!

No comments: