Story: Mary Ann Desantis
One is black; the other is white and gray. One is conservative and quite picky about his food. He’s also quite selective about the people he lets get close. The other is liberal about everything, including treats (one is never enough) and people. Anyone who comes to the door can pick her up.
Meet my rescue cats: Ernie, the conservative, and Whitney, the liberal.
Both were abandoned kittens, refugees more or less. Even after they were cleaned up and displayed at a local pet store, no one wanted them. Ernie had too much long hair and was solid black, a symbol of bad luck for many superstitious souls. Whitney, on the other hand, would have been adopted sooner had she settled down. She liked to dart whenever she had the chance, chew cable wires, and was even known to hide jewelry. If ever a cat had an ADD personality, it was Whitney. She was returned once to the rescue organization by an elderly woman who wanted a calm “lap cat,” a trait that Whitney didn’t possess.
I fell in love with that bundle of energy immediately, though the rescue manager tried to steer me in another direction. When my husband, Tony, looked over and saw Whitney snuggled into my neck, he said to himself, “That cat is going home with us.”
Tony, on the other hand, couldn’t resist the huge gold eyes staring at us down from the next cage, which was labeled “Hemingway Cat.”
We brought them home together thinking there would be a period of adjustment. For unknown reasons, these two cats loved each other from the moment we opened the carrier door. When Ernie hid under the bed upon his arrival at our house, it was Whitney who went to fetch him. It’s almost as if she told him, “Hey, Buddy, we have a good thing going here.”
That’s not to say they don’t have disagreements. Despite being friends, neither cat likes to share or compromise. No matter how many toys are strewn around, there’s only one they both want and it’s at the same time. Turf battles are common, especially when it comes to sitting with Dad in his recliner.
Their friendly wrestling matches can turn into war with lots of hissing and posturing. Just as we think one is going for the other’s jugular, they stop. The one that walks away usually has a smirk that says, “OK, you can be in control now…for a while.”
At the end of the day, however, Whitney and Ernie forget their differences and settle down together in peaceful harmony, knowing that life is still good no matter which one has the position of power.