In Which the Pirate Offers a Feline Friday.
What, mama? We were just sleeping! Not plotting anything nefarious, for sure. Look at these innocent faces!
While Floyd and Kipling are still getting along like they were born to be best friends, Floyd has started to become more than a little jealous whenever Kipling gets attention. The other night I had Floyd sitting in my lap between me and the keyboard, and Kipling on the couch next to me; I scritched Floyd’s head and told him that he was a soft and handsome cat. Kipling, seeing an opportunity, wriggled onto his back and invited a bellyrub. I reached over to pet Kipling – and Floyd got up and walked away.
“Come on, Floyd,” said I, “you can stay in my lap. Just because I’m petting him doesn’t mean I don’t like you.”
“Myeh,” he said, and sat down facing away from me. It took a little more convincing to get him to come back to sitting in my lap, and when he finally deigned to return he sat down with his head on top of the keyboard. Spiteful, much?
The thing is, Kipling is incredibly affectionate, a lot more than I’d expected from what I’d read of Bengals. He will come over and slam his head into my hand until I pet him. He’ll purr, wriggle, purr and prance, and it’s obvious that he really enjoys the attention. Meanwhile, Floyd meows a lot but doesn’t seem to want any physical contact that isn’t entirely on his terms. I tell him that if he doesn’t actually let us pet him, he can’t complain that we’re petting someone else. He’s our little black emo cat. Hopefully he grows out of this angry teenager phase – I think he will, since he does like to sit on a lap for a while or curl up to sleep next to me at bedtime.
They sound just like children. You think you can treat them equally but really you just have to give them what each one needs.
Floyd, like any bratty child, will complain about whatever he gets – because whatever he gets is the opposite of what he wants. He complains that he’s not getting petted when he refuses to come within arm’s reach. He complains that he’s getting picked up and snoogled even while he’s purring. He complains that there’s a bug on the wall, then complains when someone gets up and dispatches the insect. …and so on.