Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Am I Playing Favorites?

Last night, my fiancee Liz accused me of favoring Arthur over Beowulf. This is probably a fair accusation because, but it bothered me a bit because I love both my cats. However, I do feel a bit closer to Arthur.

Perhaps the reason why I look at Arthur as my cat and Beowulf as Liz's cat is that, when we first got the boys, Arthur was the underdog. He was smaller than his brother and Beowulf used to pick on him a lot. People who would come over -- my mother for example -- would say that Beowulf was the handsomer one. As someone who has always been the geek or the unpopular kid, I identified with Arthur.

The other reason I bonded more closely with Arthur is that, at least at first, he was much more willing to sit still and be petted. Beowulf has a much shorter attention span. Arthur was also the first to flip over and offer me his belly to rub, a sign of respect and submission.

Now, it looks like things have changed. Arthur eats more and is much bigger than Beowulf and it's becoming clear that Arthur is the alpha cat. Beowulf has become much more friendly, but when I pick him up or play with him, Arthur gives us both a jealous look. The boys often compete for my attention, but since Arthur is the alpha, he'll often drive Beowulf away.

For example, a couple of weekends ago, I was home alone with the boys and they were sitting at opposite sides of the livingroom. I'd go pet Arthur and Beowulf would meow at me for attention. So I'd step over to pet Beowulf and Arthur would give me a look as if to say "what are you doing over there?" So I'd step back over to pet Arthur and Beowulf would meow again. I ended up give each one stroke and then moving back to the other.

Other times, Beowulf will be sitting on my lap or visiting me on my desk and Arthur will come and drive him away. I feel like I should probably intervene to stop this kind of behavior, but I also don't want to harm my relationship with Arthur. It's not like I never spend time with Beowulf. I put in an extra effort to give him attention too (and Liz gives Beowulf all the more attention), but I do feel a little guilty.


Timmy said...

Being a cat myself, I can safely say that we play favorites as well. My favorite bean is my Mommy. I love her dearly and miss her when she goes away. My Gramma is always around to keep me company but I'm a one person kitty.
A word about the fighting for attention thing... It happens. Mommy's friends have two cats (who by the way, have their favorites as well...Toonces is a Daddy's girl and Coco loves her Mommy more). They're constantly fighting for attention and are told to stop but they don't listen to their parents.

Don't feel any bit guilty Avram, we're cats, not humans...we'll get over it ;)

socidoc said...

Hey Avram,
Another ~precious~ picture~ Did you choose your boys because they look like they might be related to you? Notice the reddish coloring in the hair/fur which you all have in common! C'mon, fess up! Thanx for the pix.

Avram said...

I'll fess up. There's no doubt that I wanted orange cats all along and that I do appreciate the fact that we look related. In fact, I think I admitted it early on in this blog.

Peggy said...

Welcome to the world of cat family dynamics. If you get it figured out, let the rest of us know! Ha!