I have been vindicated, in my humble and undeniably correct opinion. Two nights ago, an event occurred that proves my hypothesis to be correct.
I have long maintained the following hypothesis – my 2 cats, otherwise known as the feline luxury soaker uppers, fight amongst themselves solely to grab my attention, and not for any reason related to any potential disagreement between themselves.
I first postulated this particular hypothesis when I began to notice a certain consistency to several aspects of the hideous cacophony, generated by my two, sweet, innocent feline co-residents, that strongly suggests ulterior motives not related to the harming of each other.
The three aspects most relevant would be timing, injury, and territoriality.
So, let’s take a look at each of these aspects.
Aspect number one – timing:
This ear cringing nightmare consistently occurs within a 2-3hr window prior to meal times. It does not occur after meal times, and rarely occurs at any other time. Hmmm, this, in and of itself lends strong credence to my hypothesis. However, one could argue that hungry cats are merely more irritable than not hungry cats, and that this explains the timing factor. In fact, once upon a time I myself made that very same argument in defense of my serenity destroyers.
Were this the only variable with which there is such consistency, I might not ever have taken a closer look at the issue, and may simply have continued to provide additional eating opportunities for my feline companions and suffered the attendant consequences – you see, prior to the institution of meal times, our life revolved around the joys of cleaning up cat puke 🙂
Aspect number two – injury:
Or, to be more precise, the very suspicious lack thereof. There is a significant disparity between the audible intensity of fighting and any actual injury inducing contact. Please don’t misunderstand, I do not wish for my cats to harm each other, but that’s just the point, their fighting sound like a cat duel to the death. Surely were they fighting for reasons other than blatant manipulation of their pet humans, take, for example, a desire to fight each other, would they not then at some point cause injury?
And let me take this point one step further. Not only is there a noted lack of injury, but there has actually been a reduction in contact induced fur removal – i.e. whereas once upon a time, these ‘battles that could wake the dead’ resulted in large tufts of grey or orange fur being removed from one cat and left unceremoniously on the floor for the pet humans to pick up, similar battles now result in not so much as a strand of fur removal! I would argue that this further supports my hypothesis of feline manipulation by means of auditory insult.
The consistency of both aspects one and two alone, in my opinion, suggests that, bluntly, Casey is right 🙂 But in the unlikely event that there were any remaining doubt, the occurrence of two nights ago, which speaks to aspect number three, proves my hypothesis to be irrefutable.
Aspect number three – territoriality:
I must apologize to my grey cat, who was my first feline companion. Subsequent to her arrival into my family, I was under the misguided notion that a single cat would be lonely and would be happiest with the addition of another feline companion to the household, hence the eventual adoption of the orange cat. Since that time, I have learned that cats, in actuality, prefer to be only cats. Hmmm, that’s an awesome bit of knowledge to have discovered after one has committed themselves to approximately 20 years of feline care. (I say 20 years because my cats drive me up the wall, I have no doubt they will live a long and full life, despite their fighting!)
So, it has been postulated that, though the timing and lack of injury are suspicious, my cats are still fighting out of a sense of territoriality – for they both, quite obviously, would prefer to be the sole feline in the house!
However, IF their fighting was based on territoriality, one could logically assume they would display an equal, if not greater, animosity toward other cats who dared set paw on their territory, right?
I mean, if they are hissing, howling, scampering, batting, and otherwise generating a commotion that sounds so obnoxious I would almost (admittedly not quite) rather go to work than be in my own home, based on a sense of the ownership of space, surely they would raise a similar ruckus should another feline enter their domain?
Alas, it is not so.
For reasons I do not comprehend, our home has been selected as a cat magnet. No, seriously, at least once a month, a new, never before seen, cat appears on our back deck and acts, for all intents and purposes, as though they are our beloved house pets who just happen to be lounging on our deck.
There is one cat in particular, a black and grey tabby, who has been most persistent in his attempt to portray himself as one of our luxury soaker uppers. To an outsider, one would think we are cruelly refusing to let our cat into his rightful home. (Don’t worry, I have come to find out that he is receiving love and nourishment from a neighborhood sucker.)
I have named him Twofer – for reasons I will not, at this time, divulge.
So, two nights ago, any of you who reside in geographic proximity to me may remember the emergence of a round, yellow thing in the sky which emitted a blissful thing called warmth? I call this the Day of the Warm Sun. And, quite naturally, that evening I call the Night of the Warm Sun.
So, on the Night of the Warm Sun, I sat at my computer, writing happily and contentedly away, and savored the novelty of being able to allow deliciously not-cold and not-rainy air to enter my home through an assortment of open windows and sliding glass doors – thanks to the Day of the Warm Sun.
I should add that, in addition to the feline luxury soaker uppers, I have a big yellow dog. She is admittedly a yellow bellied coward, however, she is a dog nonetheless.
So engrossed in my writing was I that, at some point, unbeknownst to me, the Twofer entered my home, quite literally behind my back! As I did not see him enter, I have no idea how long he stayed. All I did see, that night of the Warm Sun, was the Twofer casually strolling his way back from my living room, through my office (and behind my back), to my sliding glass door, and out of my house. And he did this all within sight of my 2 luxury soaker uppers and my yellow bellied coward. None of whom seemed in the least bit upset, put out, or disturbed.
So, after Twofer left, I reacquainted myself with the sliding screen in order to deter his re-entry, and then I took a good, thorough look at my feline luxury soaker uppers. (I didn’t bother with the yellow bellied coward, she’s scared of her own cats, I could hardly expect her to be any less afraid of another cat)
But my fighting felines, they had watched Twofer with nary a hiss, growl, or even, as far as I could tell, the movement of a paw.
However, I’m supposed to believe that their twice daily battles that would put nails on a chalkboard to shame are not a manipulative ploy, but rather a facet of territoriality? A territoriality that has been shown to be non-existent when a true interloper traipses through our house?
Nope, not buying it. I hereby declare that Twofer has proved my hypothesis to be correct.
Unfortunately, having been proven right doesn’t change the fact that my cats daily sabotage any chance my home has of being my own sanctuary. I’m left with a choice between cat-fight cacophony or piles of puke. Well, I could do something cruel, like take lifelong indoor cats and turn them into outdoor cats, but lucky for my luxury soaker uppers, though they have eroded away at my nerves, my conscience, regrettably, remains intact.
And, below, photos of the two, sweet, innocent little hell-raisers:
Don’t be fooled by the pretty faces!!!!!!!!!!!