December 28, 2021
It happened on December 14, 2021, and it was totally unexpected: Mitsy cuddled in my lap for almost a minute! Wim was sitting on the other couch and despite the fact that there was not a lot of light in the room, he caught it on video and you can see how awkward this is to Mitsy. She likes it as much as I do, but how to you get comfortable on a human lap? :).
Every one of the seconds she let herself be cuddled was worth gold to me. She has clearly never sat in anyone’s lap before, but that is fine. It is a huge step for her to even want to be that close with me. A week or so later it happened again and lasted longer, in the same sofa.
And then, just a few nights ago, we are chatting on the couch with Suzi in the middle of our other couch, Mitsy in her hammock in the living room. Nothing in particular was triggering her, but we saw her look beyond us, in the direction of the front door, and there she went, walked over Wim’s lap and came to a stop right next to Suzi. Suzi was in deep sleep at that moment, so she did not instantly react. Mitsy sniffed her butt and then installed herself and Suzi let it happen without hissing or growling. We have said before that we think her eyesight is not very good, in particular close to her nose. She is probably like us, elderly humans, she need reading glasses! Or rather: sniffing glasses, hehe. We both cuddled one of the cats and spoke to them in encouraging voices and this tête-à-tête must have last for a couple of minutes at least. In the end, Suzi left and then Mitsy returned to her hammock. It is so funny, she did what she always does: we see her ponder and muse and then make a decision and take an action. It was heartwarming.
Sleeping side by side
The two cats can exist in the same house without too much trouble, but of course, would it not be nice if they became friends? If Suzi was a bit more daring, this would already have happened, but I think she is often caught unawares. And then of course as a reflex hisses and growls or runs away. There are glimmers of hope there, though. Mitsy is very conscious of the fact that Suzi’s life runs in a different gear. A lower gear. Playing with Suzi happens at crawling speed, while Mitsy likes to pretend she is a Formula 1 driver. She is super quick. But when I am doing a high-speed play with her and she spots Suzi anywhere close to her, she changes gear and goes slow. Often, she even just lies down on her side and blinks slowly to Suzi, trying to put her at ease. It very often works. And these days we seem to see Suzi getting a bit more active and even calling out to come and play. Now all she needs to do is learn Mitsy’s cat language, that is her language too, a bit better. The other night I was up in the early hours and when I tiptoed into the living room I saw each cat in their own IKEA dining room chair, next to each other. When I checked our indoor security cams the next day, I saw t hey slept peacefully side by side with only the armrests separating them for a good 5 hours. See the infrared fragment of the night video below. You can see Mitsy arrive in the right bottom corner, sit on the back of the sofa, noticing but not bothering Suzi, and then climbing into the chair next to her. This gives us a lot of hope for the future!