Saturday, June 27, 2009

Who's in Charge Here?

The Hunter and the Hunted
Recently, the relationship between Quint and has humans has changed. A role reversal has occurred. I was sort of aware of it while it was happening, but didn't really take it very seriously until now. It appears that Carol and I are no longer in charge, instead, Quint has assumed the role of head of household. Yes, I've heard the old adage that cats have servants, but it's not quite like that. Quint doesn't expect us to wait on him. Okay, well maybe he does, but only at meal times, and after dinner at tooth brushing and fur brushing time. But now he's taken the lead at play time.

Mornings and evenings are most often the times when we are around to play with Quint. Carol plays with him after breakfast in the morning. When I get up, I grab a cup of coffee and go into my office to turn on my computer. While I'm waiting for the computer to boot up, Quint and I play Chase the Laser Pointer. After Carol leaves for work, Quint usually spends the morning napping while I catch up on e-mails or work on writing or photography projects in my office. In the afternoon, Quint alternates between napping and watching the birds and other animals out of various windows on different sides of the house. About 5:00 p.m., Quint is awake and ready to start his evening. The big evening event, of course, is Carol's arrival at home from work, when enthusiastic mutual greetings are exchanged. Then, we feed Quint and ourselves. After dinner, it's tooth and fur brushing, and right after that it's normally playtime. All of these events happen at about the same time everyday, a nice comfortable routine.

I've noticed that Quint is now enforcing the routine. After he has breakfast and plays with Carol, he will wait outside the bedroom door for me to wake up. When I do finally crawl out of bed, he leads me into the office where the laser pointer is and wants to play. Actually, he kind of herds me into the office like a sheepdog. When we first started playing with the laser pointer, I got to choose where to shine the little light and then Quint would chase it. Now, he waits for me to point it in the direction that he wants to run and ignores it when I don't. He's taken over control of the game. In the evening, when he sees that we've finished eating dinner, he walks over to where I'm sitting, looks up at me and meows to let me know that it's now time for brushing. After that, he'll sometimes make a quick check at all the windows to make sure there's nothing interesting going on outside, and then he'll walk through the dining room and into the kitchen where he will sit down right in the middle and look at us. This, of course, means it's playtime. If the routine is interrupted and either Carol or I are not near the kitchen when it's playtime, he will come and find us and let us know that he wants to play right now. He's very insistent about it. Again, he's taken charge of the game.

It's quite fascinating, his ability to take control of his life. He may well be better at it than I am. I am looking forward to seeing what other aspects of his life he learns to control.

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