A few months ago, in March 2013, The Mistress was quietly having a Moment Of Bliss in the Reading Couch with a nice cuppa tea and a very good book, as she heard the cat-flap in the kitchen door flapping. As she looked up, having an unimpeded view through the living room, the computer room and the kitchen, she noticed Rikishi coming in, followed by what did look like Freya but was… eh… smaller. Intrigued, The Mistress forgot all about her book and kept watching the scene.
Rikishi was proudly strolling through the kitchen, now and then looking backwards as if to ensure that his companion was still following him, and made a beeline for the feeding bowls. His body language could be deciphered as being: “and here is food, it is yummy.” He then strolled over to the water bowls, saying “and here we have water, you can drink it”. Then, after his companion had finished his careful inspection of the offered victuals, he proceeded to cross the computer room with a “here you can sleep real well” glance to the couch there, and then he entered the living room where the smaller of the 2 scratching posts is located. He pointed to the scratching post and said “here you can strop your nails” and did exactly that, as if to show how it’s done. His bewildered companion looked on with awe. Then Riki stepped into the living room proper and announced “and here have toys and lots and lots of room to play. Let’s play !!”
At which point his mysterious companion, who did look like a smaller and darker version of Freya, spotted the Simian in the room, said “YIKES !” and … kind of vanished. I could just discern the tip of his tail flipping through the cat-flap in the kitchen door. So that took care of his name too.
Bliksem (Lightning Bolt) is a fine feral tomcat who had already been noticed during the past weeks before that first real encounter. We had been spotting some fast movements from the corners of our eyes but never really saw who caused it. But now that Rikishi had formally introduced his playmate to the House of Chaos he was welcomed, albeit with a large reluctance from his part. All right, he was immediately enthusiast about the hammock on the central heating unit in the living room (which is his designated “safe place”, the only place where we Simians won’t try to approach him, ever, so that he has one place where he can feel totally and completely at ease) as it was still freezing and turned out to be the coldest spring in decades. And he did learn really quickly when the Stinky Goodness was being doled out (every morning when The Mistress rises from her Nest, and every afternoon when The Mistress comes home from her job). But the presence of Simians made the House of Chaos a house of peril as far as this newcomer was concerned. And it took us 3 months before we could even touch him.
Cue forward a few months and our Bliksem is still shy and nervous around Simians. But he has struck up a close bond with Loup-Garou, who adores anyone who would snuggle up with him for a nap on the sun-kissed windowsill. He plays ferocious games of tag with Rikishi. And he terrorizes Freya with relish. The other kitties don’t even look at him. The French have this apt expression for that: “quantité négligable”, literally “ignorable amount” but it really means simply not important enough to be noticed. That’s the attitude of Hrimnir, Bean Sidhe and Isegrim towards the newcomer. Unless he stalks and pounces them. Then he is being noticed all right. And thoroughly trounced.
But one day The Mistress came home from her job and noticed that someone had been lining up some toys on the floor in the living room. As she sat down to check her emails she saw from the corner of her eye some movement and turned out to be Bliksem ! He gently placed another toy, a grey mousey, next to the others, all in a perfect line. As The Mistress slowly and cautiously (so as not to spook the tyke) reached for her camera, Bliksem actually proceeded to sit behind this work and… pose.
It may take lots more of time. It may require immensely lots more of patience. But in time we expect him to become a full-fledged member of the Feline Denizens of the House of Chaos. And so, now there are 7. *sigh*