There is roughly an eight-month gap between our two cats. We introduced Mr. Bean slowly after a two-week transition. When we first let them loose together; they played like maniacs for four hours straight. We rejoiced in the thought of kitties cuddling each other blissfully on the couch of an evening when we returned home from work. Macy even extended her fastidious grooming session to include a tidy up of Bean’s face; this is nice, we thought.
But feline relationships are complicated.
They are not like dogs. They do not ‘think’ in packs, however they certainly have a sense of hierarchy and despite the hype, they are also social creatures. Gasp. Yes, cats do enjoy the company of other cats. But it is complicated, isn’t that why we love them?
One of the reasons people assume cats are antisocial is because they hunt alone. In the world of hunting mammals, cats are pretty small – their prey is smaller still. Therefore there is not advantage to hunting together, what are they going to do, share a lizard? Now let’s turn to our vagabond friends, the street cats. They will band together to form groups. Within that group there is a structure, some cats dominate, some seem content to never vie for the position of top cat. Although, ‘top cat’ may be the wrong title, as there are often several cats in a large colony who could be classed as top cat, their position in the hierarchy often shifts subtly.
So it will come as no surprise when I tell you that occasionally I see these seemingly fearless street cats creep out of my exclusively indoor, lap cats.
Yes. It is not all roses between my cats. Sometimes they will be cuddled up on the couch together, will play with toys together and will hide together when that dreaded, life sucking monster that is the vacuum cleaner, rears it’s ugly head.