Two of my cats have decided to hate each other, transforming my focus on them from affectionate to obsessive, passionate and fixated. Why, you ask? Well…our cats, like most family pets, are a goodly portion of my attention during sunny, and currently dull, dark and stormy days.
And why, you ask, are your pets behaving this way? No idea, I respond with a quick shrug. The answer for their newly-fostered hatred of each other lies in some misty corner of feline detente, or lack thereof, but nevertheless, challenges me to juggle cats: put China out, sneak Liefi in. Feed Liefi while China sleeps, pet and make a general fuss with China as Liefi plays. They are both adorable purring little darlings with me. They’re both nasty creatures, all tooth and claw, howls and growls with each other.
Here comes my obsession, passion and most decidedly my fixation. When I think about my cats’ mysterious behaviour, I can’t help but gravitate to the similarities between their confrontations and those that beset our world. Why do we hate each other? Why do we think dragging out the metaphorical teeth and claws will resolve the problems we’re dealing with? And why, even when we as nations try to communicate along official or unofficial channels, do we find the need for hissing, spitting and growling our threats instead of joining hands to find our commonality, singing great harmonies to celebrate our differences? Not something to easily shrug off, neither the tragedies we create for ourselves, nor the terrible consequences as we allow our confrontations, our hatreds, to roll out of hand.