Our older cat, Steve, is a solitary and sensitive fellow. He’ll curl up with us on the sofa when he’s feeling especially affectionate, but he’s most content watching the rain fall and listening to old Morrissey albums by himself; it’s no accident that he looks like he’s wearing black eyeliner.
That proved awkward when we adopted little Matty — a Siamese, or “Meezer” — who hid from Steve for exactly one night and then began a Single White Feline campaign to take over his life. Matty’s not murderous — on the contrary, he’s sweetness incarnate — but he has been the death of Steve’s Pope of Mope phase, and he’s quite the copycat.
The mimicking was casual at first; Matty would strike his own version of Steve’s pose from a few feet away, like a kid stealing moves from his big brother — which makes sense, given how much kittens learn from older cats’ behavioral cues. (Matty spent the first two months of his life in the company of his foster’s adult Abyssinians, and he brought their ultra-social curiosity with him when he came to live with us.)
He’d edge in a bit with each new flop and each new position. The more Steve ignored him, as it were, the closer he got. (He was wasting his time.)
By the time Steve tried to give Matty the stink eye, it was far too late to maintain sovereignty of his nap turf.
Matty eventually abandoned the pretense of distance. Our poor, beleaguered Steve; Every day was like Sunday. Or was it?
As autumn came to the city and leaves turned and fell from the trees along the East River, Steve’s stately melancholy bit the dust once and for all. I caught him purring like a fool when Matty joined him in a late-afternoon sunbeam.
My husband and I are now the proud custodians of a 25-pound, two-headed cat.
He’s pretty great.
Are your cats besties? Arch enemies? Tell us about their relationship in the comments.
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About the author: Lauren Oster is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She and her husband share an apartment on the Lower East Side with Steve and Matty, two Siamese-ish cats. She doesn’t leave home without a book or two, a handful of plastic animals, Icelandic licorice mints, and her camera. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram.