Opening Ceremony

Friends, we’re calling Round One a complete success.  This afternoon Teresa and I had the boys together for about an hour and a quarter.  Threats and name-calling were exchanged only occasionally.  No blood was spilled.  Nobody hid.  We actually caught Bugs having fun once or twice, before he remembered he was supposed to be laying down the law.

I must disclose in all honesty, though, that I sprayed Jackson’s Peacemaker floral remedy around so liberally, I need to order in another bottle.  To the boys the place probably smelled like Saks Fifth Avenue.

It was all tremendously interesting.  Fangie started out very deferential, respectful, submissive – but when Bugs pushed him further than he felt like going, he stood up for himself.  That was when Teresa ordered the boys back into their corners, and Base Camp door was shut once more.

Just on what we saw today, then, it appears that Fangie will not be making a federal case of mouthing off with Bugs, and this is a wonderful good thing.  But nor, on the other hand, does it appear he’ll turn into a downtrodden basket case.  He seems to have just the right amount of character and experience and get-up-and-go.    We got the feeling this bodes well for the future.  But, friendly readers, we really want to hear how all this seems to you.

The first thing I did this morning, in preparation, was to bring out the bed from Fangie’s crate into Bugs’s territory.  Bugs inspected it thoroughly –

– please note the elegant tail-gestures.

He took it in stride.

Relaxed.

Now after hostilities had commenced.  Please excuse the poor photo quality.  With the high drama of it all, it was a miracle I took anything at all.

Here is a semi-tense moment, the boys very close in, early in the proceedings.

Editor’s Note:  A kind reader has subsequently pointed out that it should be specified who was tense.  The being who was tense was not the cats.  The being who was tense would have been the Bean.  Just to clear that up.

In case you’re wondering, I don’t normally stow the blender by the door.  This blender, however, is on its way out the door because it finally gave up the ghost, after thirty years of loyal service.  In case you’re wondering what I use the blender for?  For the cats, you sillies, you need to ask?  For the sweet-potato-oatmeal base, you see.  I’m very proud of a new Oxo food-mill I bought instead.  Off the grid!  Hand-powered!  No more exploding blender!

OK.  SuperBowl commercial break over.

At one point the boys did an impromptu site-swap switcheroo.  Here’s Bugs sampling the Base Camp experience –

While Fangie was in Bugs-land, craning so far to see what Bugs was up to, he’s practically teetering.

And this seemed really auspicious – Bugs actually lying down, in the presence of the enemy.

And last, here’s Bugs back in Top Shelf, after it was all over.  Look tense? on edge?  NOT!!

After I went off to work and returned for the night feed, we played trade-the-treat by the cracked-open door.  This time, instead of Bugsy applying the Paw of Doom, he actually reached out and patted Fangie.  And Fangie returned the favor.

I almost burst with pride.

And then, will wonders never cease, Bugsy sat on my lap so long he fell asleep.  He has never done that, not once in the 2.5 years we’ve known each other.  This, from the cat who, back in the day – early in the life of this blog, before I even owned a functional camera – would show me only his tail and claws.

Thank you all so much for your support and care.  What a great day.

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About nadbugs

Anita loves cats. This must be because she, too, has had nine lives. She’s been dancing since she could walk, she was a commercial artist and advertising producer, she earned a third-degree black belt in Aikido, she is a drummer with the Afrique Aya Dance Company, she is an attorney, and she’s a meditator and a devoted student of Nonviolent Communication. She also spent one lifetime sidelined with a devastating back injury in 1992. Since then – FELDENKRAIS METHOD® to the rescue. The FELDENKRAIS METHOD is all about dreaming concretely – thinking intelligently and independently by way of a gracious and kind physicality. The work affords all who study it a process by which to reach, with movement, into the mind and the heart, to make nine lives into one whole being.
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34 Responses to Opening Ceremony

  1. From here, it looks like things went great. No blood, no (or at least, minimal) flying fur, no one hiding or running away. Did the boys play at all, either with each other or with you?

    We might have let Fangie push back a little further against Bugs, but we are kinda of the ‘open the door and let the kitties sort things out themselves’ philosophy, anyway. You might have to keep Base Camp for a while, in case Fang needs a refuge, but it looks like things are going fine.

    • nadbugs says:

      I really do think so, LCC. They are maybe playing a teeny bit with each other as I write, the following day. Somewhat ambiguous; not quite sure. We’ve got a ways to go — but I do believe we’ve come miles.

  2. Yay!!! Congratulations, Bean! You did it! I think that both cats look remarkably relaxed, even in the tense moment photo. I think Bugs is probably feeling a little confused and maybe a little stressed, so he turned to you for comfort. And I think that’s exactly what he should be feeling, and going to you for comfort is a great choice. (And it probably felt pretty comforting to you, too.)

    I think you should sleep well tonight, knowing that it’s all downhill from here. Your hard work and planning and fretting has paid off, and Bugs is on his way to having a cat buddy. Great job!

  3. Wow, that sounds absolutly wonderful! I might have been inclined to see what happened after that exchange rather than tuck Fangie away that fast, but it worked. All in all, it sounds like it went great! Even that picture of the ‘tense moment’ Look at the ears and tails, no agressive ears, and the sorta low tail on Bugsy still ends in a raised tail. I’m thinking you might have been more tense than them at that moment maybe, MOL.
    Every pictured looks relaxed and interested, not agressive! I’m so happy! Next time, try pulling out a teaser toy? See if they’ll play at the same time, take turns or even play together.
    I’m so happy for you! And Bugsy getting some lap time snoozing is awesome! You’re doing great, seriously you are!

    • nadbugs says:

      You nailed, it Andrea. Now you point out the cats’ body language, I realize you are absolutely right. I need to qualify that — tense for me. Yes, it was really wonderful to have Bugsy so close. Not tonight, the following night. He’s up on Top Shelf. Oh well. Whatever works for him, I’m for it.

  4. All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well! Congrats on your hard work paying off, and with interest, too!

  5. CATachresis says:

    *grins* You worked so hard and it’s paid off. Bugsy sleeping on you sounds like he’s asserting his ownership, so maybe the change in dynamic will bring other changes too! It’s an exhausting business! Well done on your staying power.

  6. Dianda says:

    Looks like hard work is paying off, and everything has been going great so far!

  7. Ivy says:

    Great news, great news!! I’m so happy for you, it all seems to be going well.
    You’re getting the results for your patience and care towards the boys. Plus I totally understand your (over)use of Jackson’s essence. I ended up doing this in more than one occasion… shame on me!

  8. Cat's Cats says:

    Sounds very promising!!! They’ve smelled and seen and interacted with each other, I’d make each subsequent encounter go a little longer 🙂

  9. That is great news. I agree with Andrea…I would be inclined to give them a little more time together and see how it goes. You might be surprised!

  10. Oldcat says:

    Sounds like a great meeting. Nobody enraged or driven into hiding.

    There could be another reason for the affection – Bugs may be using enough cat-energy with Fang that he can relax and let the affection come out with you.

    The ‘respectful up to a point’ sounds a lot like when Calpurnia was being introduced. There was a couple of times when one of the boys spat one time too many near her room – and she charged and chased them away and downstairs.

    • nadbugs says:

      Yes, Oldcat, I’m most grateful for no rage or hiding, indeed I am. And I do think you’re got a point, about Bugs using cat-energy. Tonight, though, a day after, it’s a different story. He’s been more intensely focused and that seems to have really taken it out of him. Now he’s nowhere near affectionate; he’s doing his Garbo impression.

  11. kimmo says:

    Too Happy for words!!! Yeah you all!

  12. That’s great progress. Happy purry V’day with lots of love from Merlin, Odin, Gris Gris, Domino and mom, Layla.

  13. I think that went well, INDEED! Both boy’s body language looks interested and not aggressive at all. I think Bugs is going to be VERY happy having another being in the house to monitor and play with, and Fangie is purrfect for him. We are the “open the door and see what happens” house, but of course we have a HERD, not a pair.

  14. MTVA says:

    Things seem to be going along very nicely! I hope the boys will get together for another playtime today, and I hope you are feeling more relaxed and at ease now. Happy Valentine’s Day to you, and your two little Valentines!

  15. IsobelandCat says:

    Wow. We breathe a collective sigh of relief…

  16. Wazeau says:

    I am so happy to read this post! The pictures show nothing but positivity it seems to me. You have done so well during this period, and the boys both look great. Double the fun!

  17. littlemiao says:

    Oooh, this is a wonderful development. Your kitty family is going to be such a happy kitty family.

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