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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Battle’s end…

IMG_0115 I don’t know how to write this yet, as my emotions are still pretty much all over the map.

Cougar has left home.

You see, it’s been two years, I guess, since there was peace in the house. It’s a constant thing, with some nights the fighting starting up every ten minutes or so. In the middle of the night, often, Couugar would begin howling, plaintively, loudly, as if he too wanted things back the way they were. My nerves, on a whole, are frazzled.

Cougar was often the instigator. Fenix was often the cuddler, who ran to me to snuggle while Cougar glared from his perch atop the scratching pole, which he’d staked out as his own.

I won’t go into the details, except to say that Cougar was first in my heart. I love them both, for and despite their differences, but Cougar was first. You have to understand this. Because three days ago, he decided to leave home and live outdoors.

He snuck out, through a window in the garage, which he’s done before, but this time is different. This time, I don’t expect him to ever come back in.

It’s gotten that bad, and in some ways, I think that he thinks I deserted him…that I chose Fenix over him because of the dynamics of their territorial dispute (Cougar chose the scratching pole, Fenix the couch with me). Cats, like humans, are very emotional creatures. When Cougar returns it won’t be the same. Can’t. Ever. I sense this as surely as the end of a close friendship.

And that makes me very, very sad.

That said, the last couple of days have been very peaceful in the house. Fenix is at ease again and purring so loud I need earplugs…in fact, he jumped in my lap a second ago and he’s nuzzling and purring as I write this in a pleasant, relaxed, almost meditative way that I’d almost forgotten.

Back in the day, they used to take turns doing this…one would jump down and the other would take his place.

What I wouldn’t do to have that again.

7 comments:

layer said...

:(

Sidney said...

I am so, so sorry to hear that. I know how much my cats fill up my home, and I know how much they feel. I hope he comes back.

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm really sorry to hear that. Really tough.

Aoibheall said...

You know, we had a cat do that. It lived for four years on the roof of our house, fat and imperious as a pasha. It was an odd feeling, and made me hyper aware of the bizarrely human-centric paradigm of "pet ownership."

Clifford said...

Thank you all for the kind thoughts...as an update, Cougar came "home" tonight. I brought him in, but he was pissy as I carried him up the stairs...I gave him some canned food, which he enjoyed, but when Fenix came to see him, the hissing began. He was grumpy with me, so I put him back outside as my writer's group was about to arrive. I'm putting a bed out for him tonight, so if he comes back after I've gone to bed, he'll have a comfy place to nest. If he returns before I go to bed, I'll likely bring him in for the night and see if he can deal with us. Day by day...

Sidney said...

When we go to work we set Daisy up in a separate room from the boys, though she is the dominant cat over Oliver and Ash. Monty and she vie for alpha, I think. He sometimes will bite Ash on the neck to show he's boss and Ash just takes it and waits for him to let go.

If he tries that with Daisy it's a battle royal. Oliver, interestingly, will mix it up with Monty but would stand aside and let Monty have his dinner if he wanted it.

spyscribbler said...

Oh, Clifford, that would BREAK MY HEART. Completely and totally.

I hope he comes back again. Poor baby!

About Me

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This is me and one of my two cats. His name is Cougar, and he’s an F1 Chausie. A chausie is a new breed of cat under development. Chausies are the result of a cross between a domestic cat (in Cougar’s case, a Bengal) and a jungle cat (Felis Chaus). Cougar’s mom is 8 pounds and his father is a 30-pound jungle cat. He’s about 16 pounds, super intelligent, spirited, and toilet trained. A writer without a cat (or two) is not to be trusted.