Taku is an alpha cat. He has first dibs when it comes to drinking from the faucet. If we aren’t looking, he helps himself to his brother’s food. He’s big and white, and has thin, pink skin. I love him, but I’m glad he can’t vote.
Sitka mostly gives in. He grumbles a little, as he’s displaced from the sink. But he’s so content to wait, that if I find a way to put him first, he doesn’t know what to do. He just sits, and watches his brother.
But then I left the guitar case open. The guitar case is nearly 50 years old. It smells of silver, and wood, and probably sweat. It has an orange, velour lining and an hourglass-shaped bottom. And it’s got a divot for the guitar neck, that is just the right width for cat jowls. Sitka loves the guitar case. He lies there, filling the top loop in the eight. He cradles his face in the divot, and sleeps.
So while Sitka was elsewhere, Taku got into the guitar case. Taku did a little tap-dance on the bottom’s loose sheet music. And Sitka came from nowhere. He landed on his brother. He flattened him into the bottom of the case, where the edges were so high that Taku could not escape. There was kicking. There was scrambling. Finally, Taku broke free, and dashed to the center of the roll-top desk. But Sitka was on him again, straddling his neck, until Taku cried. I pounded a book. Sitka jumped down. Taku trotted upstairs. Sitka jumped to the guitar case. He sat in the middle and yowled. He yowled for two minutes. And Taku? Taku was the alpha of the underbed.
Taku still gets dibs on the water from the sink. But he hasn’t sat in that guitar case since.
(Originally posted August 20, 2018)