The first order of business after I roll out of bed in the morning is to brew a pot of strong green tea. The very next thing: feed the cats.
“Not for kitties,” I say, meaning my sparkling black granite countertop, and set him back down on the floor.
I don’t have that issue with Saffron – he can barely walk, let alone leap. And, he’s shut up in the office like a crotchety old grandpa in the attic. This is for his own protection, and by his own choice I must add, lest you think I am keeping him prisoner.
Once Odie’s been fed in the kitchen, I carry the can of food into Saffron. He sits six inches from the door looking at me adoringly. It’s mainly the food, of course, but Saffie has an uncanny knack for purring loudly the moment I enter the room. It’s heartwarming.
“Good morning, handsome boy,” I say. “Here’s your breakfast.”
He limps over to his dish and hovers at my feet, gobbling the food like a homeless man at a soup kitchen – ravenous.
When I open the door to return to the kitchen, Odie dashes past me into the office. Oh, oh! In the weeks they’ve been together, these two have done little but snarl at each other. I hold my breath.
To my surprise, Odie approaches Saffron respectfully and the two touch noses. For several minutes they stand nose to nose sniffing each other. Saffron quickly loses interest and hobbles off. Undeterred by the snub, Odie follows.
Regal and disinterested, Saffie sits like a British gentleman looking down his nose over his newspaper at one of the younger, friskier club members.
“You boys be nice,” I say.
Low, threatening growls emanate from Saffron. Odie refuses to take the hint and playfully jumps at Saffie who unsheathes his claws and swipes at Odie.
A real cat fight! Scooping Odie up in my arms, with a cat food can in the other hand, I gingerly open the office door and shut it firmly behind us.
“He doesn’t want to play with you,” I say.
But that seems too cold, so I try to distract Odie by throwing a toy mouse into the center of the living room. He bats at the mouse, tossing it in the air.
I return to the office and try explaining to Saffron that Odie is just a kitten. “He only wants to play,” I say.
I kneel down and begin petting my old guy, telling him how handsome and smart he is. I just wish he would be more patient with Odie. He blinks his yellow eyes at me but makes no commitments about his future behavior.
It doesn’t look like these guys will be friends any time soon. For now, the office door is our Maginot line, at least until such time as peace breaks out.