Thursday, May 3, 2007

Lovey and Star: Progress!

Since their first meeting. Star and Lovey have been together several times, closely watched, at first in the screened pool area, and then indoors, and each time has been better than the one before. (Most of the pictures are video, but I'll post some still pictures soon.) It's really interesting to watch the different stages in which the big cat and the little cat interact with one another more and more closely over a couple of days.

Initially it was Lovey running away when Star approached him. Next they began staring at one another from a safe distance, and then from closer distances. Next, Lovey walked up to the kitten and sniffed her briefly and she tried doing the same.

Things became more relaxed. Lovey demonstrated that he was casually superior by lying down near Star and pretending to be indifferent. He became more and more likely to walk from a distance to be near Star, while she dared get closer and closer to him, even touching his fur.

The greatest moment came when they cautiously touched noses. Apparently nose touching is very important in cat relationships, because it then happened several times. The whole atmosphere began to improve. The sniffing became, one might say, more intimate, and the cats began accepting one another's presence as more interesting than worrying. They show they're aware of one another but don't make a fuss about it. In fact one of the things that surprises me -- who expected them to devote one hundred percent of their attention to one another -- is that they so often seem genuinely uninterested in one another in spite of the novelty, and go their separate ways.

The latest and most promising phase I would call play: Star began making kittenish advances right up to Lovey's whiskers, tapping him flirtatiously on his cheek before prancing away. She bounced toward and away from him sideways. She batted his tail. She rolled onto her back and waved her legs in the air. Lovey didn't know how to take all of that. He stared and tapped her with his paw gently a couple of times. I think he hasn't figured out how to play with such a small creature. Only once did he become annoyed and hiss and give her a swat that knocked her over . . . but she was right back at him again a minute later.

His supremacy established, Lovey became more accepting, until now he has begun seeking Star out and gingerly initiating interaction. Of course Star is always interested in interaction and play. We're waiting for Lovey to catch up. I think that in another day, maybe even today, they'll be playing together like old pals and Lovey's mourning period will come to an end.

In my last post I mentioned two controversies but neglected to describe the second.

The first was about the kitten's breed appearance; a new vote has been added in favor of Birman over Siamese.

The second was about the kitten's name. Even before we saw her I announced that her name would be "Star". . . as in the sky, not in Hollywood, although both meanings could apply. Julia wanted to expand that with "Sparkle" or "Twinkle", and settled on "Twinkle", and so we had "Twinkle Star". Then we read (right or wrong) that it's traditional for breeders of Birmans to name them starting with the certain letter that applies for a whole year. It seems that this is an "E" year, and so "Excellent", "Exquisite", and "Elegant" were explored, with "Elegant" the winner.

So now she is "Elegant Twinkle Star" . . . which I think is enough names for any cat.


  1. Whew! That is a long name. Almost like Detective Inspector Lovey. More pictures please!

  2. Could try for Extraordinary Star Twinkling. Oh dear, the acronym is EST and the days of EST are long gone we hope. Let's see:
    Effervescent Twinkle Star... she sounds bubbly.
    Effusive Twinkle Star... ah yes, a lot of free expression here.
    Emissary, is she on a mission?
    Endearing, well, no doubt she is.
    Enigma? Need I say more?
    Eureka! We have found her!

  3. Mind's Eye, I apologize for not responding sooner. That is a very clever list you sent. I was seated at my computer ready to thank you when I was viciously attacked by some enigmatic exotic animal, and while tending my wounds I forgot to reply!