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  • Writer's pictureAldona Birmantas

Frenemies (Feline Friday Series)

While it’s true that a lot of cats are social and like having a buddy or two around, sometimes, a cat is so used to being alone that any other new cat on the scene is automatically dubbed as “the enemy”. When you are the king or queen of your own domain, how dare another trespass onto your turf, right?

Such was the case with Betty and Marge. For roughly 10 years of her life, Betty was a solo cat. She’d had a cat roommate briefly in the past and she was nothing short of a giant jerk to him at all times. When I started mulling over the idea of adopting another cat, I suspected it wouldn’t go over well with The Queen, but I thought that if I aimed for a small, non-threatening kitten, that’d help ease the sting of the intruder’s arrival a bit.

Well, let’s just say that I was wrong! I brought Marge home and for the first two days or so, I did keep her enclosed in a separate room. I tried using that “let them sniff each other through the door” method, but it wasn’t really working and eventually, I felt bad about keeping her locked up and I felt that was just delaying the inevitable hiss-and-growl fest, so I turned her loose.

Let the drama commence! Betty was very unhappy, to say the least. Of course, this kitten is going to ruin her life! She is very co-dependent on me and spent the first night guarding the couch where I sit, growling like a demon whenever Marge’s presence came into view. The swatting took a few days to begin because Marge initially wouldn’t even get slightly close enough to Betty to be slapped. As derpy of a kitten as she was, she was still impressively aware of the angry monster and was generally pretty good about keeping a safe distance, and Betty didn’t go out of her way to chase her down, either, thankfully. Still, though, paths would eventually cross and Marge would get popped once or twice in the head for merely existing. Surprisingly, Marge wasn’t submissive to it, though, and wasn’t letting Betty walk all over her, which I think helped keep a decent balance.

After some time, though Betty’s rage was still strong, I noticed that they also started chasing each other around, playing. Betty would still hiss, but I could tell she was, for the most part, having a good time. They would chase each other up and down the length of the apartment like a herd of elephants. They each played equal roles in instigating, sometimes with Marge “tagging” Betty on the butt as she walked by, then Betty would turn back and the chase would begin. Months later, Betty started allowing Marge to also sit on me while I relaxed on the couch or also sleep in the bed with us, but, only if she slept on the other side, of course.

Fast-forward 2 years and I can confirm that Betty’s life has not been ruined. They still constantly chase each other around and will sit near each other on me, but they haven’t grown any closer. I like to imagine that they cuddle together when I am not home, though I highly doubt it. I do, however, still hold out hope that someday, they will. I really just want to see them squashed together in one of their beds or something. Although Betty would likely never admit it, I am pretty certain that she likes having Marge around. They aren’t quite friends, they aren’t quite enemies, they’re frenemies.

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