After Ms. Kili’s death a little over a month ago, several people wondered how the remaining four cats reacted to her absence.
Well, in the past week or so, there’s been one obvious seismic shift in the feline relationships: Romeo and Duke have come out as good buddies, palling around and even sharing the prized territory on our bed.
This is a pretty dramatic turnaround.
For years, Romeo has been top cat. Well, almost. He yielded to Ms. Kili, who in her younger days was undisputed matriarch. He often bullied Toby and Duke, just to make the point that he was in charge.
The pecking order showed in the typical scene when I would walk into our bedroom and lay down to read a book or take a nap. Duke, Annie, and Kili would always jump up onto the bed, and then Romeo would appear. He would claim the prime spot in the middle of the bed, and then systematically drive off Duke and Annie with a swat of the paw or an aggressive lunge. Duke would immediately abandon the bed, while Annie would often fight back in a flurry of fur before withdrawing. But Romeo wouldn’t challenge Kili. Instead, he might engage in a little grooming, or perhaps signaling that he would like to be groomed. And they could even nap together without getting upset.
But since Kili has been gone, this has gradually changed. It didn’t really hit me until one night earlier this week. Duke was already on the bed when I got there to read for a while before going to sleep. Duke came up next to me and settled into sort of a Sphinx pose, front paws extended. And then Romeo arrive. I expected that he would posture a little and Duke would flee. Instead, Romeo settled down, laid his head on Duke’s extended paws, and closed his eyes, heading towards sleep. It was a first!
Then, as if to prove that it wasn’t a fluke, they repeated their buddy act an evening or two later. This time I went for a camera. The photo above is part of a series taken that night.
Not much other cat news. Toby is losing a little weight on the new food, as promised. The result is that he’s getting around a bit better, and his limp seems less pronounced.
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