Each morning, it’s the same paw-thumping of the window, from both sides, that wakes me. Judy is on the outside, hitting at Miyako, who’s on the inside, hitting at Judy. I get up, scooping Miyako so she doesn’t run outside, and open the door. Judy runs away. I go back to sleep. Repeat process twice. Eventually Judy rushes in, Miyako charges her to play, they make a bunch of noise, and then, satisfied, go sleep somewhere.
This fight is the remnant of much bigger conflicts and some evolved consciousness too. When Miyako was a kitten, I was afraid Judy would kill her. I mean really kill her. This was because Judy surely has a kitty kind of PTSD after some insane abuse at the paws of the late and somewhat demented Pinky Velvet, past kitty of ours who met her karma with the coyotes.
Miykao, however, keeps showing me something new about how we might relate to one another, whether or not we survived our own Pinky Velvets. Despite Judy hating Miyako so fiercely that Judy would transform into something out of The Exorcist on a regular basis, Miyako kept approaching her with the attitude of, “Oh, aren’t you interesting? I’m just fascinated and delighted with you.” Over time, this unconditional friendliness wore down Judy’s hatred to the point where they actually sometimes fall asleep within a cat’s length of each other.
Now it’s just kitty-in-the-window paw thumping each morning, Miyako’s way of being a good friend to Judy, and Judy’s way of coming back from the brink of anti-social cathood. It makes me marvel at the power of what Pema Chodron calls Maitri, the unconditional friendliness and curiosity we can show to others and ourselves.
Note on pictures: Why does Miyako have a BB gun? Ken brought it out to shoot at cowbirds, who kill the native songbirds in this area. Cowbird lovers, fear not: he’s never actually hit any though. Also, that look of Judy’s face is almost always the look on Judy’s face.