Sunny, the stray kitten rescued by Wayside Waifs from the streets of Grandview, is trying hard to find common ground with the other creatures of our complicated household.
So far it has been at best a qualified success. There have been some noisy spats, but no blood drawn.
The disputes seem to be primarily territorial.
Buddy, the overweight beagle, customarily is served his rations in a pan on the kitchen floor. Sunny, noticing his enjoyment, decided she might join him. And it was pitiful to see a 40-pound dog intimidated by an 8-pound feline.
Now Buddy has to be fed in a hallway closed off from the kitchen.
Sunny is an athlete. She can bound effortlessly from the floor to a kitchen counter. The breakfast room table presents no problem for her at all.
No sooner do I sit with the morning paper to begin eating my daily ration of oatmeal, orange juice and coffee, than she makes a quick leap and settles beside my plate.
I have nothing against company at breakfast. But I prefer that it be my wife.
The little cat’s main social success has been with Tommy, a sweet gray shorthair who was selected out of a cage 15 years or so ago at a pet food store adopt-a-thon.
He’s had several close cat friends in the past. And in recent days we’ve more than once seen him touching noses with Sunny — the species’ equivalent of a handshake.
The chair beside mine in the bedroom, where I sit to watch TV, is the favorite perch of our portly middle-aged tabby, Laika. Just the other day I was surprised and pleased to see Sunny join her there — without incident of any sort.
The bed is a different and trickier matter.
For a good many years, my wife and I were joined by Laika and Mickey as we slept. But with Mickey gone, it has been only Laika. Ever alert to opportunity, Sunny this past week decided one night to claim that second space.
The racket that followed — an incredible din of yowling and hissing — jerked me from sleep and out of bed. Laika had fled to refuge behind the bathroom sink, with Sunny in hot pursuit.
I followed, snatched the little troublemaker up, carried her through the hallway and deposited her in the darkness of what once was a daughter’s room.
And it is there she’ll likely spend some nights, until she masters better nighttime manners. But this morning she was all sweetness — although uncommonly interested in my breakfast again.
For more of C.W. Gusewelle, go to gusewelle.kansascity.com.