Testing the cats

Last evening Jenny and her fiance, Chris, came for dinner. Well, really, they came to drop off Zoe, their cat, as a trial run for when we take her during their honeymoon. Dinner was just taking advantage of them being here.

I was, to be honest, anticipating some fireworks. When I got Marlowe as a kitten, Maggie hated him so much that if I petted Marlowe and then tried to touch her without washing my hands, she would hiss at me. I’m not making that up. She tolerates him now, more so after the cross-country drive than before.

And Marlowe has never seen another cat, except ones outside the window. His only other experience with other animals have been with dogs that we’ve dogsat. (Boy, that word looks wrong.) Oh, and the mice. Anyway, I had no idea how he would react.

Zoe came right out of her carrier and went up to Marlowe to sniff his nose. He was totally freaked. He had no idea what to do. He only knows this one other cat who beat him up as a kitten–in fact, it’s only in the last year or two that he’s realized that he’s bigger than she is and that she’s old. So, despite the fact that he looks like a giant hulk next to Zoe (also a black cat) he was afraid of her.

Maggie stretched, walked up to Zoe. They sniffed. Then Maggie went to take a nap on the futon. She was so not interested. I think she was just pleased that I hadn’t brought home another dog.

We spent most of dinner watching the cats watch each other. The best moment came after dinner. I wanted to show Jenny and Chris the thing that Marlowe does with the basket. I didn’t think he’d do it, because there was so much strangeness. Man, he saw the basket and beelined across the room to sink his face into it. He immediately sank into his “I’m invisible” posture and seemed so much more at ease.

Zoe. Zoe clearly thought he was insane.

She crept out from under the bookcase where she had been hiding and stretched out to sniff the basket. Marlowe made one “meep” and she levitated backwards, kindof like, “My god! There really is a cat in that thing!”

After that everyone settled into a good routine of ignoring each other. I saw her this morning when I put her food down, but she’s hiding now. I think she’s in my closet, but I’m not going to fish her out. Jenny and Chris come back to pick her up tonight.

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5 Responses

  1. momk

    Cats! When we adopted a 2nd cat,”Pueo” FIRST CAT, “Poki” was furious and eventually left home when Rob went off to College. She came back to see us at Christmas time, when Rob returned home. After the Holidays, when he left again for his second sememster, she disappeared. Guess who she really loved. We never saw her again!

  2. Mary Robinette Kowal

    Momk: Was Poki or Pueo the one who liked popcorn?

    Fabulous Girl: Sebastian was a…particular cat. He was very good at expressing himself.

    Kristen: You will probably wind up hearing more. Someday I’ll get really good footage of him with the basket.

  3. momk

    The pop corn eating cat must have been Pueo, which means owl She looked like an owl. Rob always said she was a Buddhaa…an ascended master. Poki means ghost dog. We had to leave our pet dog in Denver when we moved to Hawaii, so Poki was a reincarnation of “Nipper” the pet we left behind (in very a very good home).