My Husband and the Cat Rebellion
Dad Told Her, "No"
My husband, Richard, aka Dad, started arguing with the cats around 2008. To my knowledge, he has yet to win an argument. Sadly, although we can't rule out instances out of earshot, he hasn't even come close.
In the ensuing years, the cats, bargaining collectively as a species and in conjunction with our two dogs at the interspecies summit held weekly on our kitchen floor, have gained two additional daily feedings, one of canned food and one of fresh meat, three daily door-openings apiece, and four new sleeping areas.
Dad says he tries to keep up with the cat's new needs, but the cats say he misses something promised at least once a day. I tell him that perhaps he has made too many concessions. He says that is just the way it is.
Fitful Felines Feeding
During one particularly disturbing dinner when some of the cats were jumping on and off the table, some were crying for begs (bits of tasty meat from our plates, begs are called so because technically, we don't reward begging at the table and by refusing to call the behavior what it is, we are able to shroud the truth and deny it more easily--thus, "begs" as a noun rather than verb), and our Grimalkin, named Ooni Goo Goo to describe her general mental state, was sharpening her claws on my knee, I mentioned to Dad that perhaps we should get some control over our cats before it is too late.
Dad snorted and said, "You know they gang up on me!"
Young Cat Bullies
Last night, I overheard the chickens negotiating a peace treaty with the house cats, and if that treaty is ratified, I don't know what might happen.
As things stand now, we humans mediate all cat-chicken interactions and contacts. In the past, unreliable cat and chicken diplomats built only the shakiest of relations. The cat chicken embassy, located near the coop, had to be closed during this period and has remained so since.
Any change in cat-chicken detente is a direct threat to us all.
Chickens Are Good People
Research Into Cat Bullies
Do you know anyone who has been bullied by a cat or kitten, theirs or someone else's, in the past week?
I Did Mention
Dad maintained that that one weird-looking chicken would support human rights in the upcoming cat negotiations, but I am dubious. I don't even think that it's a chicken.
Chicken Faction v. Human Interest
Hope Springs Sprung
Peace was the outcome of last week's floor summit, with the dogs sleeping through most of the summit and the chickens and cats voting to form an alliance but not to use any of the newfound power until the rest of us weren't expecting it and then ambush us, cat-style.
We think the peace might have lasted had we not given away one of our roosters to a neighbor who wasn't getting fertilized eggs out of his own rooster (don't make me explain how this works, please).
We have a fine flock of Rhode Island Reds, and since Rojo, the rooster in question, was going to what amounts to rooster heaven (the alternative life trajectories for extra roosters are at the least bleak, bleak, bleak) Dad did not expect Rojo to flog him twice. We thought the chicken colony, being now healthier due to the elimination of Rojo, who was not the dominant rooster and caused mischief as his primary function, was a good thing that would be welcomed by all. We thought we had done something right.
Chicken People Are Everywhere
I've got cats watching me write this, so I have to quit paying attention to chickens for a while.
Video Evidence! Research Unquestionably Determines Cats Smartest and Bravest Animals on Earth
Cat Chores Are Never Done
What is your favorite thing to do for your cats?
There was a short period of quiet here, but right after the next summit, things heated up again. Siding against us for giving one of their number away, the entire chicken colony voted to block the inclusion of the planned bee colony.
Citing unfair attention division as one cause for their unwelcoming stance on refugee bees, the chickens joined the cats in the ongoing rebellion. According to anonymous chicken sources, the general consensus among the chickens was that if the chickens didn't take immediate action, the bees would get more than a fair share of the construction budget in the form of hives in the upcoming year.
I wondered why the cats had been spending so much time out by the chicken coop, but I was afraid to ask. Chicken coop insiders tipped me off to the cats' black ops tactics. Cats had been whispering to chickens that the refugee bees where going to breed so quickly that they would not only take up the chickens' attention but they also would absorb the proposed new chicken pen expansion budget.
Certain cat agents, namely Whitey and Arthur, had also spread a false rumor that the refugee bees were Killer bees rather than Honey bees, who have been displaced by development and pesticides.
Arthur wrote an incendiary propaganda pamphlet describing the many chicken jobs that would be taken over by bees. The pamphlet also described a fake human plan to get eggs from bees.
When we confronted the cats with this information, including videos of cats whispering to chickens, and a copy of Arthur's pamphlet complete with his signed paw print, the cats trailed off to the garden where they spent the afternoon hunting bugs and eating some of them. The dogs were so upset, they slept all afternoon.
What happens now? We just don't know. We are instituting a moratorium on new construction to appease the cats. We had been about to build them another cat tower in the living room, but to stem the rioting we are expecting in the chicken pen, we will immediately begin building the chicken pen expansion instead.
When the cats see this, and they will see it right away because they keep us under constant surveillance, noting and commenting on even small changes we make in our environment, there will be trouble. Cats, more so than other species, can't stand it when their plots work out against them! You see, what the cats actually hoped to gain from their Black Op was to get another cat tower in the living room, according to unnamed cat sources.