Life and Death on the Serengeti (sort of)

Those of you who know me know that I’ve never been much of a cat or dog person. My pet of choice has traditionally been reptilian. Iguana or turtle specifically.

Of course that changed somewhat when I got married. For many moons now there have been cats and reptiles (and para reptiles if you want to be precise) living under the Bourassa roof.

1919Here is Maverick, he’s been with us since about 1997. We had two cats briefly as Maverick and Vern (who passed in 1998) ruled the roost together but Mav’s been on his own ever since.


Now on the scene is Phebe (yeah, I know but that’s how it’s spelled on her nametag). She was a rescue who was passed on to us by friends who felt she needed the companionship that Maverick could offer. She’s such an affectionate cat that they felt bad leaving her at home when they all had to be away during the day.


So the adventure begins. Mav is none too pleased with having to share his little empire. Phebe is just under a year old and full of energy and is one of the friendliest cats I’ve ever met. We started off keeping Phebe in a spare bedroom and letting Mav hear her “talk” and letting her get settled. We had hoped that he would become curious and eventually they could become aquainted through the door and then we could introduce them.


Unfortunately, Mav’s position on all this was to simply ignore the cat behind the door. So we soon enough decided to let the two of them meet and get to know each other in the living room.


When they first spotted each other, Mav simply froze, and Phebe did this amazing sloth/chameleon thing. I’ve never seen a cat move *that* slowly and precisely. Each paw slowly making it’s way forward, no sudden moves, eyes on the prize (Mav).

Every time she approaches Mav she takes the utmost care to not startle him. Or at least she did until recently. Mav insists on continually growling and, when she gets close enough, hissing at her. He’s clearly the submissive cat but he refuses to give in either. So now she approaches slowly.. carefully.. and then lunges at him. The yowling is pretty intense and no casualties among the cats so far. Mich claims that somebody hit her toe with a nail tonight so I suppose she’s the first victim of this conflict.

Anyway, progress is being made. Tolerances are becoming greater. I think, in a week or so, they will be at least civil to each other. I sure hope so anyway. I was on a conference call this morning when they decided to test boundaries again. I’m sure hoping that the contractors in India were being blamed for the background noise on that call…

I’ll post a more flattering picture of Phebe when all this is over. I took a couple of pictures while the camera was handy but that was during and just after a confrontation and she didn’t look very relaxed. For now, just enjoy the various conflict pictures.

Oh yes, I almost forgot to mention, I’m thinking of calling her “Jessica” instead. This is after the mother in “Dune”. A strong woman who, as a Bene Gesserit witch, had great control over her body and actions. It seemed fitting. Any opinions?


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