Learning when it was “OK” to chase them provided a bit of a twisted pleasure. The first of many times when a one year old cat would ‘takeover her bed’ she’d sadly slink off. I carefully let her know that it was OK to send a thieving cat packing… with a bark or a quick chase.
Mothering instincts kicked in with Sarrah when the siblings fought, mostly protecting Isis from the bullying of Rah. Sarrah grew into a sort of parenting referee role, barking at them and chasing Rah off, then returning to where she’d been with a look of satisfaction. Isis, the significantly smarter of the two, picked up on all of this and bonded with Sarrah. She even occasionally set Rah up by starting a fight, for Sarrah to break up. It was probably also a bit of aged preference for quiet and frustration with frequent noisy youth that motivated her.
Sarrah delighted in sending the male cat, Rah for a run. The two of them seemed to have a bit of an understanding, a few rules with their game and played it often. Rah, around two years old, learned how fast he was and how much head start was required for a good chase without getting caught. He then decided to play with Sarrah’s tail, to start trouble. Most of these neener-neener games happened in the seclusion of the backyard. The game evolved from Sarrah looking at me to see if she would be in trouble and Rah figuring out how many swipes at her tail it took to get in a good run, becoming their regular contest.
One sunny spring day Rah pushed his luck too far, attacking her sleeping tail with full claws and the chase was on. This time he, being a little more cocky than usual, got off to a slower start and Sarrah’s quick snap got a bit of ‘butt fur’, much to the surprise of all! After the chase, she returned with a smug look of satisfaction, spit out the chunk of black fur and resumed her position on her bed in the sun with the trophy. Rah returned after a few moments and all was back to ‘normal’. Sarrah smiled, I laughed and Rah just brushed it off, playing it cool. It was good to witness Sarrah winning one of these challenges; after all only Rah’s pride was hurt, a little.
The addition of the kittens to our family was another gift. Sarrah inadvertently absorbed some of the youthful energy that showed up with them. Thankfully the feline chaos that spiced our daily life actually benefitted all of us, especially my tiring friend.