The black one is the petite, prissy, reserved one. She walks slowly, placing one foot carefully in front of the other. The gray one is the not-so-petite, bold, adventurous one. She trots, flopping along carelessly.
The black one is affectionate, almost clingy. The gray one is not as demonstrative; she is sparing with her one-on-one time.
The black one is ten and the gray one is five. They are very different, and I love them both.
On this particular Sunday afternoon, cold and dreary, with snow in the forecast, I am keeping warm by the semi-real (gas logs) fire in my recliner, drowsy and lazy, when the black one jumps up into my lap. It’s nice; she is warm. And as usual, she wants to cuddle. She places her paw on my nose as if to say, “I love you.”
After a while the gray one approaches. She looks up as if to say, “I feel left out.” She too jumps up onto the arm of the chair. I brace myself for the hissing (from the black one) and the slapping (from the gray one) as each one defends her space. But, to my great surprise and delight, they decide to call a truce.
Gray, unusually polite, makes her way to my outstretched legs, allowing Black to remain in her spot in my lap. And Black, not budging but not hissing, stays where she is. I wait for the territorial fight to ensue, but it does not happen. They both turn toward the fire and lie there peacefully for quite some time. I savor this situation with a smile. It is a rare moment. Nice. Peaceful. I know this is an anomaly. It will not become the norm. The Two Cat Afternoon will soon be nothing more than a nice memory.
The next day the tensions are high again. The black one lies in wait to pounce on the gray one, and the gray one roots the black one out of her spot on the ottoman. The struggle for rights and territory and recognition begins all over again. That’s just the nature of cats.
One day “the lion shall lie down with the lamb.” Until then, peace will be tenuous. It may come for a season, and then the hissing and slapping will begin again. “There will be wars and rumors of wars” until The Master Himself returns. That’s just the nature of humans.
We are all very different, and He loves us all.