Monday, November 28, 2011

In Which Cora And Shadow Join Forces

Coraline and Shadow are definitely both very high-energy cats. In Coraline's case this has been apparent since she was tiny. Shadow, however, has taken over a year to get to the point of enough confidence in his environment to really express the extent of his exuberant nature. He's still Brodie's favorite snuggle-buddy, of course, and can nap like a pro when he finally manages to wear himself out -- but that can take a while!

Accordingly (and much to my delight), he and Cora have actually become much more closely bonded over the past few months. As some may recall, Coraline and Brodie were actually adopted three weeks before Shadow simply due to the uncertainty inherent in trapping from a feral colony.

Brodie and Shadow got along famously from the moment the brothers were re-united, but Cora spent the first few weeks after her briefly-estranged sibling's arrival hissing and growling at him whenever he entered her sight. Eventually she came to accept him, but for ages she and Shadow were both closer friends with Brodie than with each other. Now, though, I'm seeing something different in shape but equal in (positive) magnitude developing between this particular sibling pair.

(Above image - Cora surveys the yard this past weekend, when I let her and Shadow out to run around a bit while I worked on my laptop on the patio.)

Brodie remains the go-to sibling for cuddles and free ear-washing (and the occasional but vigorous round of CHASEWRESTLEGRR, which even cats of the Garfield persuasion enjoy sometimes) but Cora has definitely gotten to the point where she knows that if she needs a partner in mischief or someone to tear randomly around the house with, Shadow is her guy.

It's also been neat seeing these two teach each other things. Cora has always been the most mechanically inclined and apt to experiment with objects of her own accord, while Shadow took months longer than either of his siblings to get to where he'd (for instance) bat treat-puzzle balls around just-so to dispense the crunchies within. It wasn't that he lacked the brainpower to operate the treat puzzles -- he's just always had the natural predisposition toward persuading others to do things for him (a trait he actually shares with Nikki).

Lately, though, he seems to have come around to the idea that there are some things he can better accomplish without running immediately to ask for help. E.g., he's become quite the expert at opening any door that isn't latched, and has managed to sneak into the bedroom behind me quite a few times recently!

(Above image - Shadow rests a while in the leaves after a vigorous game of Garden Tag with Cora. None of the kitties here have unrestricted outdoor access but on nice days these two really appreciate a chance to run off some of their energy in the back garden.)

Cora, in turn, seems to have experienced something of an epiphany in the opposite direction, as she seems to have become a lot more vocal all of a sudden, and has even adopted some of Shadow's "super secret weapons of human persuasion" (such as what I refer to as the "kittens of the damned stare" in addition to the "Lassie move" where the cat basically orders the human into a different part of the house and looks pointedly at the thing they're interested in, which in Cora's case is usually the back door!).

Of course both of these kitties have maintained their innate inclinations toward Explorer/Engineer (Cora) and Mr. Charisma (Shadow), but it's abundantly apparent that their growing friendship has led to a really neat expansion of both of their respective skill-sets. Which is just super cool to see.


  1. Awesome! Got any recent pictures of the two of them doing shitte together?

  2. CPP: Heh, it's kind of hard to take pictures of 2 cats doing (as you say) shitte together when all the shitte they do together tends to not involve any form of sitting still. I'll try to get a video soon, though, and post that!

  3. I love this. One of the reasons having two or more cats is brilliant is because of the way they interact with each other, and the behavior that comes of it. Lone cats don't have that, and I think they miss out on a lot because of it.

  4. Lisa Harney: Well (as I'm sure you know), some cats are "lone" simply because they have a need to be the Only Cat in their territory, but in a more general sense I agree that it's a shame when cats who WOULD get along end up separated by circumstance. I'm really glad I got to keep a sibling-trio together, and relieved that they actually seem to be getting along MORE comfortably with one another (and with Nikki) as they grow up. There's a bit less in the way of kittenish snuggle-piling these days, but a lot more in the way of complex communication and obvious mutual respect.

    Which reminds me...I really need to do a post on the various overlapping "feline social circles" in my household. Cora, Brodie, and Shadow definitely have a strong trio relationship, but there's also a circle consisting of just Nikki and Brodie, as well as one consisting of me, Matt, and Shadow, and another consisting of Nikki, me, and Matt, and probably others too. It's like these neat intertwined dynamic patterns of interaction.

  5. Yes, sorry - I did mean cats who would do better with other cats. I do know cats who just do not like being around other cats. Three at various times come immediately to mind. Most of the cats I've been around in the recent past tend to form up with partners for their various crimes. :)

    Those circles of interaction sound pretty interesting.

  6. This is odd - the comment I put on this post on December 8 didn't go into moderation, but the one I posted today did. One I posted on Dec. 8th on the Mousie Howl post also went into moderation.

    Hoping this one does not also.


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