The remaining cats are Dustbunny, Merlin, Rosie, and Hobgoblin, Scribble's feisty little brother. Hobgoblin is a cute little orange kitten who thinks he's big and scary. He and Merlin have become fast friends, and constantly wrestle with each other. This is nice because Hobby's orange contrasts well against Merlin's black fur. Dusty is the oldest of our pride. She decided to just ignore the fact that we brought more cats into her house. If she doesn't notice them, they don't exist.
Then there's Rosie. Rosie is our "problem child." I'm not quite sure why we own her. I went to the pet store with the girls and hubby...and then we had Rosie. Rosie is extremely affectionate and a bit psychotic. She has always been loving to all the human members of the family, as long as we stop petting her when she growls and don't try to pick her up. Unfortunately, she was insulted when she first came home and realized we owned two other cats. And if that wasn't bad enough, two weeks later we had the nerve to bring home two kittens. This is what happens when you befriend the shelter lady and mention you like orange cats.
From the start, she growled at Dusty and Merlin. Dusty was amused. She knew she was the top dog...cat...and no little upstart was going to usurp her. Merlin, on the other hand, was scared to death of her. He didn't seem to realize he's our biggest cat, even though he and Rosie are around the same age. He's more the strong, silent type, like Fezzik in The Princess Bride. The sad part was he really wanted to make friends, and would cautiously approach her time and again, but Rosie would only hiss and swipe at him.
When the kittens came, Rosie terrorized them as well. Because they were the only ones that actually reacted by running in fear, she decided to focus on them. She was becoming quite a bully. We started calling her the Foo Foo Kitty, because she kept bopping them on the head. Merlin, on the other hand, thought that they were the most wonderful things he had ever seen. He would watch them tussle with each other and tried to join the fray. At first, the kittens were afraid. After all, Merlin outweighed them ten times. Their experience with Rosie taught them to fear the big cats. Eventually, they realized that Merlin meant no harm, and Merlin became the "Daddycat." He would clean them, wrestle with them, or just proudly watch as his boys roughhoused across the kitchen floor. And then came that day when Rosie tried to bully them and Merlin found a reason to face his fear. Suddenly, he needed to be brave. He had his babies to defend!
Things have quieted down somewhat since Scribble left. Merlin and Hobby have gotten to be best buddies and watching them play together keeps us laughing. Even Rosie has started to notice how much fun they have. Sometimes she even tries to join in. Hobgoblin reacts by flattening his ears and growling in his best lion impression. Merlin bops her on the head. Dusty just ignores it all.
And so another lesson from our series, You can Learn a Lot by Watching Animals:
First impressions are very important.