Friday, January 21, 2005

Feline detente

Betaille, our elderly Himalayan/Abyssinian cat, is not given to impetuous actions. Every night she examines her dinner as if it were some strange, potentially poisonous, alien footstuff, rather than the same brand and flavor of cat food she ate for lunch. Each time we open the door for her to come in the house, she stops at the threshold and peers around, just in case we acquired a pitbull while she was out in the yard.

This has been going on for 15 years.

For the past four years, Betaille has been putting on a great show of being afraid of the big deaf white cat, Sheba. They eat in the same room, sleep in the same room (one on the bed, the other under it), yet day after day, Betaille refuses to come in the house if she can see Sheba.

For the past few months, Betaille has been hopping up on my desk to let me know she wants food, or to be let out. Recently, she's actually sat down on the desk and allowed me to pet her. She eyes the fleece cat bed on the desk, but refuses all invitations to get in it. Tonight she finally walked over and stood in it. Then slowly, slowly sat down. And finally curled up, purring.

The irony is that the fearsome Sheba is asleep on her fuzzy mat behind the computer, just two feet away from Betaille. They're pretending they don't see each other.

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