We have a swing on our patio and Pat and I try to be out there every day for at least an hour. We swing and hold hands, look at the blue sky, watch the hummingbirds, and talk or don’t talk. It’s terrific way to enjoy the day. We also take our cat, Isabella, out with us so she can watch the birds, look for lizards, take a nap in the sun, or do whatever makes her feel good. Since she is an “inside” cat, we put a harness on her and a 5 foot leash. We also have a “reel” with 15 or 20 feet of line on it that we attach to the leash so she can check out the whole area without us having to move.
Sometime back, we decided that Izzie might enjoy swinging so we put her between us on the swing. She didn’t care for that and immediately jumped down. A day or two later, Pat and Izzie went out while I was busy in the house and when Pat put Izzie in the swing with her she stayed. I joined them later and sat in a chair near them. We stuck to this routine for a few days. Izzie shared the swing with Pat and when she got tired of swinging she would jump down and I would move to the swing. This went on for some days or weeks and we all got along. One day, Izzie had jumped down and I had moved to the swing and was talking to Pat. Izzie was over on the other side of the patio.
What are you doing in my swing?
When she looked around and saw me sitting next to Pat she immediately came over and sat down right in front of me and looked me in the eye. I knew from her attitude and the way she was staring that she was trying to communicate with me. I said, “What do you want?” She kept staring so I said, “Do you want to swing?” I stood up and she immediately dashed around me and jumped in the swing. Pat and I both laughed about the way Izzie got what she wanted. Over the next few days this seemed to happen more often. I thought it was interesting that she was able to let us know what she wanted so I thought that as a reward I would surrender the swing whenever she asked for it.
This arrangement was working pretty well when, all of a sudden Izzie started getting possessive with her spot in the swing. As soon as she saw me sitting next to Pat she would come over and challenge me. Yes, she was no longer being nice about it, she came with an attitude! She really liked swinging but we didn’t know if she was trying to protect her spot in the swing or if she objected to me sitting next to Pat. They are pretty tightly bonded because Pat takes a comb and grooms her every day. She thinks Pat is her mother.
It may be that Izzie is just protecting her territory as yesterday morning she was upset with both of us. We were out on the patio and Pat and Izzie were in the swing and I was in a chair. Izzie saw a lizard on the other side of the patio. She jumped down from the swing and walked over to the other side and sat down to wait for it to show itself again. I moved over to the swing and when Izzie saw me sit down, she immediately came back and let me know that she wanted in the swing. Pat and I both laughed and I moved to the chair. I figured that if she is smart enough to tell me what she wants then she should be rewarded and enjoy the same benefits as the rest of the family.
We need to talk!
Izzie enjoyed the swing for a few minutes and jumped down again. This time she had noticed a spot of sun on the patio floor and she laid down in it and started taking a bath. I had moved over to the swing again and when Izzie looked up from her bath and saw me, she jumped up and trotted back. Pat and I laughed again and I relinquished the swing.
Again, we were enjoying our time outdoors and as Pat and I talked, she would reach over occasionally and stroke Izzie’s back. Izzie had her eyes closed and was happy to be swinging and getting petted. As always, she only lasted a few minutes and jumped down .This time, she went to the other side of the patio and found a nice, shady spot and stretched out full length for a nap. I moved from the chair to the swing. Izzie raised her 4 of 4 Who’s The Boss?
head and looked back over her shoulder and saw me and jumped to her feet and headed for me. Pat and I were laughing again as Izzie, for the third time, reclaimed her spot in the swing. This time, things were different. Izzie stood there in the swing and faced me and her ears went back and her eyebrows came down and she was looking daggers at me! After a few moments of glaring at me, she turned to Pat with her ears still back and her eyes hooded and started chewing her out for letting me sit in the swing! “Meow, meow, meow, meow!” What a performance! We have created a monster!
It’s okay, now.
April 15, 2015