Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Fuzzy was the queen, no question. She was built low to the ground, with a barrel chest and well-muscled, bowed legs. A tank in camoflage tiger stripes. She knew how to fight, having kicked the butt of any cat or dog that wandered into the apartment commons. Izzy, a second cat of Oriental slimness and prissy demeanor, only tried to stay out of Fuzzy's way.

Then we got a third cat.

By then Fuzzy was old, and when the kitten made mock battle with her, she turned aside. You've seen in cartoons when a lightbulb goes off over someone's head? Izzy watched the kitten tease Fuzzy. The day the lightbulb went off over Izzy's head was Fuzzy's last day of peace. Oh, she didn't go down without a fight or copious amounts of passive-aggressive urination, but down she went, and a new queen rose victorious. She made sure Fuzz got hers for every slight, snub, and affront in their ten years of unwanted cohabitation.

Izzy got old in turn, and the kitten, Tyson, turned out to be a bruiser like Fuzz. Unlike Fuzz, he was okay with a power-sharing arrangement: Izzy lorded it over everyone inside the house, but he was king of the neighborhood. And he had the scars to prove it, too.

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