We currently have one cat, who graciously allows us to live in his house where we are given the pleasure of feeding him and cleaning his litter box. His name is MacDuff (from Shakespeare's Macbeth), or Duff for short.
It’s clear (if you ask him) that he runs the joint, and he keeps us around only for the occasional belly scratch and ear rub. He tolerates our additional pets with clear disdain, and ignores them most of the time as they are clearly beneath him.
He suffers the indignity of forced socialization by feigning sleep and transporting his mind to an island in the pacific where he is hand-fed shrimp nibblets by Persian kitties in string bikinis. Where catnip grows wild by his blanket on the beach.
He is clearly too good for us.
That is until recently when we brought him home his very own plaything. A hairbrush with legs, otherwise known as a hedgehog.
At first he wasn’t sure what to make of the little ball of spines. A trial sniff taught him to respect the power of those quills against his sensitive nose. This obviously wasn’t a tasty snack like most of the other animals we bring home, this one could hurt him back!
A few days of careful observation left him more confused than ever. What is this thing? What is it used for? Where does it fit in, in relation to me?
Finally, one day when he saw the pointy thing on his human’s lap he decided to intervene. That was his territory! Not even the snakes dared to intrude on the sacred lap space, and he would NOT allow this infidel to claim his throne. So up he jumped, braving the quills to push the intruder out of the way, ignoring the sniffs of the displaced hedgehog.
Wait… what was that? Is it licking me?
Ahhh, now I see, my own personal kitteh grooming device.
The master of the house domain has spoken, I will allow him to stay.
Duff has since decided that Zathras belongs to him. He runs over whenever the cage is opened to greet his friend. One day I actually had to stop him from climbing into the cage with Zathras, he was so excited that his buddy was getting up. He spends a lot of time just hanging out there, waiting for movement from the igloo. It’s cute in a weird sort of way.
The only thing he doesn’t understand is why Zathras won’t share his food with him. He’s stuck his paw through the bars a few times, trying to sneak a treat out of the bowl while Zathras eats, but the hedgie immediately balls up, effectively covering his entire dish with a barrier of quills. Duff respects the power of the pointy things, but you can’t blame a guy for trying.