My cats fought a duel last night on the foot of my bed.
I don’t know what else you’d call it. It certainly wasn’t a real catfight; nobody yowled, hissed, or growled; and as far as I could tell (which wasn’t very), nobody’s fur stood on end. Aliera didn’t even have her ears laid back, though Sethra did. Everything was very formal, almost ritualistic.
It started with Aliera lying down, and Sethra sitting in front of her. Sethra raised her paw, very slowly and tentatively, then slapped Aliera in the face. Aliera retaliated with a double-pawed cheek slap (I think there’s a name for this in pro wrestling). This was repeated about three times; then Sethra hurled herself on top of Aliera and things got a lot rougher—though, as I said before, nobody screamed, so I gather the hind claws didn’t come out, despite the biting. They rolled around for a bit, and then both flung themselves off the bed in opposite directions. Usually Aliera is the winner of these little encounters, but this time she ran off. Sethra returned to the bed, but by invitation; I coaxed her.
I really don’t understand these guys. Very occasionally they cuddle together (usually in cold weather). Most of the time they tend to ignore each other, except for the occasional perfunctory duel, and fairly frequent mutual or combat washing; earlier the same day, Sethra had been licking Aliera’s face while Aliera licked Sethra’s paws. Aliera also licks Sethra’s butt; I don’t know if this signifies anything like what it would signify for a human, or if it’s just little sister making nice with big sister.
I hope someday Bruce blogs about the relationships and interactions of the six cats over there—it’s much more interesting and complex, as none of them are contemporaries, there are three males and three females, two have been outdoor cats, and only one still has claws. I’m sure the situation is worthy of a sociological study and makes my mere sibling rivalry look simple by comparison.