Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Reversal of fortune
Of my three permacats, Sodapop has always been the most resistant to fosters. While Tinks LOVES foster cats and kittens, and Pony just ignores them, Soda has always been the one to bring on a histrionic display when new fosters are introduced. He howls and yowls and has a snit fit for a few days, and then he's over it.
Except with Callie. Callie, one of the two feral fosters, has been here for over a year now. And Soda had been fine with her (except at first, of course), until a few weeks ago, when Soda decided that Callie was The Enemy.
He started hissing at her. And yowling. And swatting. And actively chasing after her, anytime she came into view. Anytime I saw him acting up, I'd yell at him, and swat at him if he was within range, but still he kept at it.
He never actually attacked her, but he was making her life miserable. So much so that she was spending most of her time under my bed, and I was considering asking the rescue for her to be moved to another foster home, just so she could get relief from Soda's constant badgering, although I was reluctant to do so, because that would just reward Soda for his bad behavior, and I felt like maybe she needed to learn to stand up for herself.
And then I got home from work one day last week. I don't know WHAT happened while I was gone, but everything had changed in the household cat balance.
Soda, who had been waiting on the front stoop with Pony for me to get home from work (yes, they do this)(no, I don't know why, except they know they'll get wet food when I get home)(they have a pet door, so it's not like they're waiting to go in), refused to go into the house. Callie was in the living room. Soda finally slipped in, slinking past Callie just as fast as he could. Callie strutted toward to Soda, who ducked around her into the bedroom.
Ah-ha! I thought. The bullied finally became the bullier. Callie finally got sick of Soda's crap and let him have it. Good for her!
Peace reigned in the house for a few days, until the other night, when I was in the kitchen and heard a mighty wailing and yowling from the living room. Callie shot past me out the pet door, and I ran into the living room to find Soda, right in the middle of the room, trying to lick tufts of CALLIE'S FUR off of his face.
Oh COME ON, Sodapop.
I turned around and ran out after Callie, which hahahaha she won't let me anywhere NEAR her, but I got close enough to see that she wasn't actually bleeding and didn't have, like, chunks missing or anything. Evidently it was a glancing chomp.
Since then I've been watching the two of them closely, and I swear to God, they goad each other into action. It's like watching a pendulum swing back and forth, back and forth, as the balance between the two of them shifts.
I'm not going to worry about rehoming Callie. Half the time lately, she's the aggressor. Even when she's being picked on, it doesn't seem to particularly bother her now; she doesn't even bother to go under the bed anymore. She just bides her time and stirs the pot when the mood hits her. I'm starting to wonder if they're enjoying their little back-and-forth. And most of the time they're able to live harmoniously; it's just every once in a while, they mix it up. Like little kids who get bored and start poking at each other, just to get a reaction.
Cat dynamics, man. Where's Jackson Galaxy when you need him?