Finding Your Place

Being under the weather during a polar vortex isn’t the worst thing. I cancelled everything and climbed under a blanket with my pups and a kitten to sleep my way to better health and watched television to keep me company. Unfortunately the news was full of gun violence, including, local people who shot their family members, protests against police shootings of young black men, ISIS violence, the Sony hack, and terrorism in France. I try to bring something positive into the world with my writing, and I was not feeling good about anything.

I don’t know how to bring about world peace, but I thought I would share with you how peace has been restored to my home. In October A Black Cat Crossed My Path. Hubby named her Shadow, and she has grown from shy, frightened kitten into a confident and playful young cat.

The dogs, Penny and Brutus, just wanted to be friends and play, but Shadow didn’t speak dog, and was a frightened hissing ball of claws. Both dogs gave Shadow her space at great cost to themselves. with Shadow occupying my lap, the dogs were fearful of occupying their normal places at my side, or feet. I did not let that go on for long. The dogs were here first, and I did not want them to end up resentful of the kitten, so I installed the dogs in their proper places at my side, and feet and tossed a blanket over all, and Shadow came up to join us. Shadows discovery of the dogs, sent them running, but I brought them back to their places. Shadow quickly learned that is she wanted to sit with Mommy, she had to tolerate the dogs.

Peaceful coexistence grew as Shadow learned the meaning of gentle. Teeth and claws must be put away during petting and playtime, and are not to be used against family members. A flick of the finger was enough to get Shadow to back off, but I would have graduated to a squirt from a water bottle, if that had been necessary. I had several conversations with Shadow, holding her firmly, containing her claws securely, while introducing her to the friendly dogs, allowing the dogs to sniff and come close. Once Shadow learned the dogs would not hurt her, she settled down and the dogs happily made room for Shadow.

Blue was another matter. I figured my handsome gray male cat could handle a kitten, after I made clear to him that this creature was now part of the family. Cat fights are not tolerated between family members. A reminder to be gentle was all Blue needed. If not, the water bottle would have targeted the aggressor. It was enough. They share a food bowl. Blue has asserted his right to play with toys he hasn’t been interested in for a long time. They run through the house after each other, and Shadow is seen peaking around corners stalking Blue who sits provocatively in the middle of the room. Shadow pounces and the wrestling commences. Hubby and I enjoy the show.

Shadow is definitely my cat, but Blue is hubby’s cat. Everyone has found their place, and our new routine has fitted Shadow into the family happily. If only a reminder to be gentle could solve all of our conflicts.

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