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Duncan v Michelle

by Jim Lindsey, Toledo, Ohio, USA


This is another episode in the Adventures of Duncan Idaho and Grey Mouser.

Duncan of course ruled my house, my life, and his little brother Mouser (after all any cat who can face down a full grown Great Dane at the tender age of 6 weeks takes no guff from mere humans). He shared my meals (more accurately he let me eat some of what was on my plate), shared my bed (ok so my share was this itty bitty corner), and helped me keep perspective on my job (with a boss at home like him if Machiavelli himself were my supervisor at work it would be an improvement). He let me know when it was time to play, time to cuddle (so he had a soft side), and which of my former possessions were now kitty toys. He kept our home safe--he considered himself a watchcat and sat in the front window. I was informed of anyone walking up the driveway by a long healthy hiss (he has been known to scare away Jehovah's Witnesses with a glance).

Then after eight years of ruling my life (I really didn't mind: somebody had to do it) he faced the first real challenge to his authority-- I met a wonderful woman who I wished to become my wife. When she moved in there was a clash of wills so strong the world has not seen its like since the Cuban Missile Crisis. For some odd reason Michelle did not approve of cats on our dinner table-- especially during dinner. She wanted a far greater share of the blanket and the bed than Duncan was willing to give. She brought in stuff that looked like perfectly good kitty toys (the whole tale of the panty hose wars is a story in itself) and for some reason did not want to relinquish them to the cats.

Duncan Idaho went from assuming this was another human to rule into deciding she was another cat trying to take over his territory. In short he went to war. Any good general knows the best tactic is to divide and conquer. So when I was around he was so sweet butter (that he sole from the fridge) wouldn't melt in his mouth. When it was only Michelle around he would randomly hiss at her, maliciously destroy her possessions, and try to intimidate her in every way. When I would sit next to Michelle Duncan was always right there--usually trying to get between us.

Michelle is a remarkable woman. She had a will every bit as strong as Duncan's (a bit frightening when you think about it). She staked out certain areas that were for people and not for cats. This included the kitchen table (the cats were allowed to be fed during dinner, but (indignity of indignities) only on the floor. It also included the bathroom, particularly when she was using it. Both cats had learned early on that a person sitting on the toilet had nothing better to do with their hands than to pet kittys. So in short she went to war.

Her weapon of choice was first her hiss. Figuring, correctly, that if you want to communicate with a cat you should do so in its language, she would hiss back at Duncan. although Duncan had grown to a full 25 lbs (this included NO FAT) and had a hiss to match, it was no match for Michelle's which sounded like the Lion King in a very bad mood. Her next weapon (used only when absolutely necessary like training Duncan to keep off the table) was a squirt bottle. Duncan was nobody's fool and soon learned that if the bottle was somewhere he did not want to be there!! [A side note here--do not ever tell children to squirt a cat if it jumps up on the table. When Duncan was still apt to forget occasionally we had a Forth of July cookout at our house including Ribs (one of Duncan's favourites-- the spicier the better). The adults ate at one table in the dining room and the kids were put at the kitchen table where, incidentally, all the extra ribs were. They were given the squirt bottle and instructions to squirt Duncan if, and only if, he jumped up on the table. A little while later we heard these two normally sweet kids going "here Duncan": they were trying to tempt him to jump up on the table (with cake) so they could squirt him.]

Who won? That is hard to say. Duncan does not jump on the table anymore, and he does not hurt Michelle's things (aside from constantly making out with her shoes). So Michelle got her way. There are, however, some clues that Michelle is now kitty whipped.

So who won? I did. I now have a wonderful woman in my life who makes me as happier than any man on earth. And I have two wonderful cats who love her almost as much as I do.

The Adventures of Duncan Idaho and Grey Mouser will continue.


Editor's note:

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