Our neighbours (Tuffy’s previous parents) have just adopted another cat from the local SPCA. It’s a young ginger cat, a neutered male with the cute name of Rum Tum Tugger, after the musical Cats.
As there are two other cats in their household, Tugger clearly thought that it was time to investigate our yard, in case we didn’t have a cat yet.
On Sunday, Tuffy-Cat spotted him. Near her wooden bridge.
She was distinctly perturbed by the presence of this interloper, but because she’s such a laid-back and sweet-tempered lady at heart, she clearly didn’t want to be too aggressive. You can see that the ridge of fur on her back is standing up though, so I know her ‘feathers’ were being ruffled. So to speak.
Tugger, meanwhile, was rolling around on the cement, acting all kitteny and cutesy-pie.
With an adorable face like that, how can you possibly resist his charms, hey? Tuffy too seemed to be experiencing an internal struggle. Perhaps he was awakening mother instincts in her?
“Tuffy, this is your home,” I reminded her gently. “If you want him out of your space, you need to claim your territory.”
She gave me a look. Hm… perhaps she was expecting me to deal with the problem?
I had a thought. I crossed the bridge and knelt down next to Tugger. He rolled over onto his back, inviting me to tickle his fluffy white tummy, so I did.
Then he rolled over against the wall, looking cheekily at Tuffy. “See,” he seemed to say, “your human likes me. I think I’m gonna stay.”
Well, that did the trick. Tuffy doubled in size, her fur bristling and her tail whipping furiously from side to side.
“Go away,” she signalled, “this is MY human, and MY yard.”
Tugger accepted the challenge, and stalked confidently towards her. She responded immediately by hissing loudly and then emitting that weird, creepy mewling sound that cats sometimes make just before they launch an attack.
He stopped in his tracks, and hissed back at her, defiantly, before retreating to the front garden. And we cheered loudly for our brave warrior-cat who had stood up for her rights. Well done, Tuffy-Cat!
I suspect that the two of them are going to have a few more stand-offs before they sort out who’s the boss. Although I think Tugger is totally cute, I hope that our fluff-ball will exhibit a bit more self-confidence to live up to her name. We won’t always be there to protect her territory for her, after all.
Sometimes, being a cat can be rather stressful.