August 16th 2006 12:05 pm
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[This is the human making surreptitious notes in Grendel's and Rhiannon's diaries. Please excuse any spelling errors. The cats normally edit my work--Rhiannon is especially good at pointing out grammatical errors--but I am not passing this by them before I post.]
Yesterday when I came home from work, Grendel wasn't meowing at the top of the first stairs (from the entrance to the main floor) to greet me, as he normally is. I went further up to the second floor and found Grendel and Rhiannon at the top of those stairs touching noses in kitty-kiss fashion. It didn't last long after I appeared. When Rhiannon saw me, she backed away and made a growling noise at Grendel. Grendel, for his part, gave me the same look I once gave my college roommate when he walked in on me and my girlfriend in a no-third-parties-welcome situation. This gives me the feeling that despite what they record in their diaries, there may be more to what's going on than we know.
Of course I have no idea what the furry munchkins are up to while I'm away or asleep (unless they wake me). I usually just do a quick damage estimate when I come home or get up in the morning and assume from what I see that it's been a good or bad time for them. For all I know, their behavior when I'm looking is likely to be a ruse covering up the most torrid (and disturbing) love affair since Bill and Monica.
Grendel has always seemed eager to be friendly with Rhiannon. However, since day one, Rhiannon has been hostile to him. This situation made it necessary to isolate Rhiannon and introduce her slowly to life with a cow cat twice her size. She's a little pixie weighing about 7 pounds. Grendel is 17 pounds with very little fat--just a big, burly kitty. Now, with Rhiannon being out and about the house all the time, she seems to be alternately nervous around him or goes out of her way to be hostile.
Grendel is very even tempered--except for the "madness" that tends to overcome most younger indoor cats every other day or so. He doesn't startle easily. The vacuum is fascinating to him; he's right with me all through the house watching about a foot away. Rhiannon is more skittish. The vacuum terrifies her--as does the coffee grinder, closing the sliding glass door, any sudden movement, noises from outside, etc. Her reaction to most of these things is to run.
Grendel has no petting aggression. I haven't tried my theory out, but I suspect that I could hold him up by the tail and stroke his fur backwards with nary a murmer from him--he may even purr. Rhiannon likes being petted, but has limits. Pet her too long and I get a protest; persist and she makes like my hand is Grendel's head. Also, don't touch her wee, stubby tail!
Grendel is mostly oblivious to houseguests. He doesn't shy from them, but won't try to approach them either. He'll always be in the same room with them (because I'm there) and will sometimes play if someone tries to play with him, but mostly he just doesn't care. Rhiannon doesn't like me having guests in the house at all. She stays up under my bed until they're gone.
Grendel tends to follow me wherever I am in the house. If he's asleep in a room with me and I leave to go to another part of the house, he appears there after a while with an accusatory "meow" because I abandoned him. Rhiannon just finds the place where's she comfiest and stays there and pays no heed to me one way or the other. She is often affectionate with me, but otherwise standoffish--more typically "cat-like" than Grendel. She likes the safety of hiding under my bed, but will often come out to lay on top of a couch wherever Grendel and I happen to be.
Grendel is very vocal. He has nearly a bazillion variations on "mew" and "meow" and uses them all, often. He has a plaintive, almost silent "mew" at one end as well as a loud, rollicking, gutteral "meooowowoorr" at the other. These mean who knows what. There seems to be something he wants from me at all times--unless his plan is to just keep me on edge thinking that I'm a total pratt at being a cat owner because I am obviously deficient in understanding what he needs. Rhiannon rarely speaks--except when she is growling at Grendel.
Two very opposite cats may very well find lovey-dovey. Thank goodness they're both fixed. Since I doubted that either would mention the kissing incident, I thought I would supply this news, with a few other details about them, so we would all better understanding their rambling diaries.
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