Look at this fine fellow of a cat. Behold that smile! Look upon those whiskers! Doesn’t he have the very firmest of paws and the cleanest of limbs! If there is a modelling agency for cats, surely this handsome chap deserves a top rate contract for an indefinite period of time. He lounges at ease, king of all he sees, rightful monarch reclining as he should. There is just one problem. That is not my cat. That is Socks.
I wrote a little last year about the two Spry family pets: Sky the Dog and Odin the Cat. They are quite fine, but the family had an addition early this year. Sky was lonely and, more importantly, so was dad, so a pet was adopted from the local sanctuary. Dad had wanted a King Charles but what they returned with was a Puggle.
Freya gets in to everything, chews on everything, and, unlike Sky, had the most tremendous problem with Odin. Attempts have been made to acclimatise the two to one another which is now starting to bear some fruit. She also terrorizes Odin.2 It become such an issue with her chasing Odin that we had to section off a part of the house to Odin (and to a lesser extent, Sky3) could get some peace.
However, because Freya is in the part of the house with the kitchen and the cat flat, and Odin still longed for the great outdoors4 we had to work on a solution until Freya settled down around the cat. At first we’d open and close the doors for him but also started to leave a window for Odin to hop in and out of just fine.
Further complications arose, though, as Odin has a best friend. That is the cat initially pictured, a fine fellow by the name of Socks. He is more than happy to pop through the open window and hoover up Odin’s left overs. Socks is an affable cat, incredibly friendly and charming, who is no doubt loved by someone otherwise we’d just take him in. Unlike Odin who, though he’s our cat, or we are his, Socks is more than happy to have a hug and a tickle. He’s a difficult cat to dislike.
He also happens to be Odin’s best friend. Unlike what you may expect from a pair of male cats, Odin and Socks are thick as thieves. They go on hunting jaunts together, they do that cat rub faces thing, and Socks stick up for Odin in the face of the new menace Freya. In return, Odin doesn’t eat so much and Socks grows rather fat. Or at least that’s what we thought at first, that Odin was clearly the submissive cat and Socks in charge.
Then, I happened to catch them having a bit of roast pork. As a treat, after a roast dinner, Odin is sometimes given a bit of roast pork as it is his no joke favourite food. Socks had also introduced himself for tea and my Dad, being a softy, also got him some pork too. Odin was having none of it, and gobbled down the lion’s share. Later, in the garden, Odin bopped Socks on the nose to let him know who is boss.
Socks does take the piss a bit, and we can’t really have him coming and going. Odin is a bit of a nervous fellow, and while Socks is his friend, we can’t have Odin thinking he is second cat in his own home. So, sad to say, whenever Socks come in now, he gets carried over the garden fence.
- Alternatively, the Two Moggie Problem (with apologise to Dickens and Cixin).
- Mum insists that Odin winds Freya up. The criteria for this appear to be: a) being a cat; b) being in Freya’s vicinity. My mum is, of course, hideously biased.
- Sky was initially not sure about this new dog but now they are top chums.
- Those mice aren’t going to eat themselves.
- An ongoing process.