12.16.2010

Lion and wildebeest

We have two cats.

There's James: quiet, gentle, and more than a little nervous. And Nelson, the kind of ornery playground bully who has been giving wedgies to the Jameses of the world since the beginning of time.

In our house, the wedgie comes in the form of Nelson's favorite game: lion and wildebeest.

You can guess who is the wildebeest.

Since Nelson is declawed, he never actually hurts James. I'm not sure he even wants to. It's more a game of psychological warfare. James never knows when Nelson will strike and spends a good bit of his time peering around corners and tiptoeing through the house.

Kurt and I decided to combat this situation with a program of feline behavior modification. (I can almost hear the cat owners laughing right now ...)

Every time Nelson attacked James, he would be put in jail (his cage), with his sentence varying by the severity of the attack. A swat of the paw might yield a ten minute stay, but the full monty - a flying leap onto poor James's back - could land him in the slammer for an hour.

We've been diligently following the plan for a couple months now. And there's definitely been a change.

Now, after Nelson attacks James, he walks to his cage.

And sits down.

And looks defiant.

There's a reason he's the king of the jungle.

Photo by will.huen

3 comments:

mheidelberger said...

I have two cats myself with a similar behavioral dynamic. There's Inca, who is passive, gentle, and happens to be blind. Then there's Sonya, who can be aggressive, vocal, and strong willed. Conflicts between the two usually happen in short order. Inca rolls over, paws in the air just hoping Sonya goes away. Sometimes Inca will deliver a hiss if she's in a defiant mood.

casch said...

Oh my word~~I couldn't help but laugh! Poor James!

Craig Miyamoto said...

I'm telling you, that Nelson is one smart puddy tat!