Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Sun Spot

Mookie and Lily. An unlikely pair, not by looking at them because they are both white and black Tuxedo cats. Lily is my oldest cat and Mookie the youngest. Lily lost her litter mate Callie several years ago. She and Callie were close buddies. But Callie got out one day soon after we came to the farm and did not come back. Lily grieved for a long time, hid under my bed for most of a year. She really was not pleased when I moved Taffy and Cookie in from the barn when they were kittens. She intimidated them so much that now when Taffy and Cookie are bigger she still does.

After we got the 3 new barn kitties Lily would growl and glare out the window at them and also at any neighbor cat that wandered by. When Lily saw them she would stage a huge hissy fit. But one day our barn kitty, Moonbeam (Mookie), sneaked up to the house and sat under a window and meowed. I observed an unusual sight. Lily just stared out the window at her. No growling, no hissing. When Moonbeam disappeared around the corner of the house Lily jumped down from the window and tried to follow her to the next window to get another view of her.

I’d never know if she thought it was Callie but her behavior made me think it was possible. Then it ended up that I had to bring Moonbeam into the house because she was the last barn cat. I hoped Lily would remember the initial experience. It was not to happen. But eventually I noticed that Lily was not hissing or growling at Moonbeam while she still did occasionally toward Taffy and Cookie.

Then one day I was reading in the room where the sun came in onto the bed in a welcome warm spot on a cold day. Lily had not allowed another cat to be in that sun spot with her unless I intervened. Mookie came up and gingerly stretched out in a corner of the sun. Lily watched her lie down but there was no hissing or growling. Mookie was alert but didn’t move a muscle. Lily relaxed and in a minute, so did Mookie. As Lily relaxed she stretched out her back legs till one touchd Mookie on her leg. I held my breath. Lily was quiet. As they laid there together I realized it was the first time Lily had quietly touched another cat since we lost Callie. I was thankful.