Monday, April 11, 2011

Sibling Rivalry

Even though I'm not a "mother," per se, I do count myself as a devoted pet mom.  Anyone who has an adopted member of the family (either human, feline, canine, avian, rodent, you get the picture) realizes that in order to qualify as a mom, you need not have birthed your 'child.'  A true mom is one who provides love, nurturing, and comfort to their children, regardless of gender and/or species.

Every mother also knows that unless there is one child in the family, there inevitably will be rivalry.  Human children do not hold ownership on sibling rivalry, even though they may well have patented the idea.  What pet parent hasn't had two fur-children who just won't quit their squabbles, no matter what is done to calm the little savage beasties?  I'm guessing quite a few pet guardians deal with this very issue on a daily basis.  Our family is no exception.

Sassy is now the older of the two remaining "children" in the household.  She got her name by no accident.  She is an eleven year old Himalayan mix with a superiority complex and the tenure in the "pride" to back it up.  She is mild-mannered for the most part but head strong and very stubborn when she sees reason to be so.  She is a typical Alpha female cat.  She's beautiful, regal, and spoiled.  

Pixel, who was previously mentioned as my official shadow, is the young, daring antagonist in the family.  A spry five years old, he often has delusions of grandeur and a bravery that he only shows to Sassy.  Pixel can be extremely argumentative with her, which results in much hissing, spitting and growling from both of my little lovelies.  At other times, he's goofy, clumsy and extremely cuddly and the picture of manners.  Unfortunately he is also a typical Alpha male cat, dominant, strong-willed and HEAVY, outweighing Sassy by a good ten pounds.

Like human children, these two critters scuffle on occasion and are peaceful with each other most of the time.  But I have to admit it would be easier to break up two fighting children than these two knuckleheads when Pixel gets it in his head to make Sassy's existence a living nightmare.  If we don't hear them fighting (if we're not home) we can always tell by the fluffs of cream-colored fur on the carpet that things weren't exactly peaceful in our absence.  While Mom's away, the cats will play, or fight in our case.

We are trying a new gimmick (I call this a gimmick because I haven't gotten enough information to know if it will actually work) to calm the cats enough to keep the peace.  We invested in a diffuser that looks like a small plug-in air freshener but emits a cat's facial hormones.  We are hoping that this little device will be effective.  I will not post the name of the product, as I am not endorsing any specific brands on this blog unless I have found them to be of proven use and I believe in them strongly enough to post a testimonial.  But I will keep my readers updated from time to time as the month passes, and the cats' behavior changes (or not!)

Pixel is taking a time out to recharge.
Sassy, being... well,  Sassy.


1 comment:

  1. You find yourself constantly siblings rivalry put in situations where you need to be a referee when the kids are fighting, and discuss with them