The Odd Couple

We had another visit from Ginger today. I know this sounds/is anthropomorphic, but I believe MasterB shares my mixed feelings towards his serious friend. We are both always very pleased to see him, and then almost relieved when he goes.
Today he was hungry. I gave him the remains of MasterB’s meal. Ginger is a member of The Clean Plate Club.

Clean Plate


MasterB both wants to be with Ginger and to get away from him. I end up doing a fair amount of chaperoning. Ginger’s main drawback for MasterB is that he still doesn’t understand how to play. MasterB prances after leaves, Ginger’s ears swivel. MasterB does his little play-with-me dance, Ginger stares at him. MasterB chatters excitedly at a crow on top of a chimney that he couldn’t reach in a million years, Ginger sniffs at him. I don’t know if Ginger never had an imagination, or if the school of hard knocks has so dulled it that it may neverappear again. He almost looks like he disapproves of Masterb”s frivolity.
Today Ginger came inside. MasterB was the attraction. Ginger climbed the stairs with surprising confidence. MasterB was round-eyed. Ginger was less sure about coming into the flat, but he followed MasterB and then leapt on him in dominant style. I clapped my hands. Ginger retreated to the doormat. What MasterB made of Ginger being inside I don’t know. Do animals really feel jealousy? Anyway, the two boys spent some time on the stairs. I washed up. Ginger was very interested in the windowsill and sat there for a while.
I got a photo of him looking very sweet.

sweet Ginger


But this one tells more of the story.

I Look Down on Him


MasterB often adopts the higher, dominant position with Ginger.
Ginger went out again. A few minutes later, MasterB asked to go out too. He rushed up to Ginger and headbutted him. All very friendly. But then they seemed really awkward together, as though they didn’t have anything to talk about. They stayed near each other, followed each other, but didn’t interact. It’s like a feline version of the Odd Couple.

Right Profiles


MasterB ended up playing on his own while Ginger watched him.

A few minutes after this I made a move to go in as I had to get on with some work. MasterB hurried after me. Then once inside he wanted to go out again, but Ginger had gone. MasterB checked the garden, miaowed, came back in and has slept on the chair ever since.
So, any animal psycologists out there, please tell me what is going on.

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29 thoughts on “The Odd Couple

  1. Ginger does look terribly sweet and I love the Odd Couple analogy. I’m sure MasterB wants to ensure that Ginger knows it’s his house but he certainly seems to like the idea of a game. Maybe Ginger will figure it out sometime and they’ll become great friends. Who knows, maybe Ginger speaks a different language 😀

  2. Animals certainly do get jealous, and possessive. But I reckon their relationship is budding fast – if MasterB allowed him inside at all, and also if Ginger was willing to come into an enclosed space. I think you’re right – if he didn’t have much of a ‘childhood’ then he won’t ever have learned to play – he’d save his energy for the serious business of catching food.

    • I sometimes call MasterB the beta male as he is not very territorial. He didn’t even hiss. That’s one of the contradictions in the relationship. Often Ginger seems to be the dominant one, but he follows MasterB more than MasterB follows him, and he is often on the lower physical plane.
      What chance of Ginger ever learning to play? I think otherwise MasterB is going to get increasingly frustrated with him.

      • Boy I really want to know the answer to this, too. Stray Bugsy probably never had a childhood, and Barney sure does want to play. In response Bugs just hisses to beat the band! I really hope Barnes doesn’t get frustrated, because a frustrated Barnes let loose is a force to be reckoned with.

  3. How wonderful to see. Goodness knows what’s going on. As long as they’re not scrapping and MasterB isn’t upset by him being there, then does it matter?

    Bertha and Mackenzie have a pretend dominant relationship with Drako the tolerant cat two doors away. They bound up to him and chase him, but I’m sure if he turned on them, they would be off like a shot!

  4. Ginger reminds me of Atticus. Att acts like an old fart all of the time. Doesn’t play much and always looks so blah about everything. He looks pretty healthy for a stray. I feel for him on these cold nights.

  5. Having them together under the same roof would take some time to make them learn to live together: at home we succeeded in making two female “dogs” live together, and, later, my son and his friend succeeded with their two cats (female and male, both, done): the process produced some scratches and minor wounds, though, at the beginnig

      • OhMyGosh! I just read up in comments that you are or have been giving some thought to giving Ginger a home. Isobel that would be the bestest gift. I know you will only do it if it works out for MasterB and Ginger but just the hope of that puts a smile in my heart tonight. No pressure.. 🙂 Your watching over him is such a kind and helpful move for him right now.

  6. Ginger does have sad eyes and Pix may be right about him being an old soul. He may never have learned to play or relax – life on the street is tough – if that truly was/is his life. He and MasterB make quite a gorgeous pair of gingers though – in time that relationship most certainly could find “level ground” I bet.

    Pam

    • I have asked all about the neighbourhood, no one knows who he belongs/ed to, but several people have told me he’s a stray. Cats and dogs are being abandoned in these tough economic times. They do look gorgeous together don’t they.

  7. I read somewhere about how animals determine hierarchy, rather than dominance, if that makes sense. So MasterB, seeking the higher ground, shows he’s Number One. Ginger allows that, which seems good news for a co-habitation.

    Also–how about putting a stretchy collar on Ginger and attach a note with questions for any other people looking after him. With our BuddyOop, sometimes I’m SURE he is a Time Share Cat–that is, he spends time in different homes. I’ve long thought of putting that kind of collar-with-note on him…. but now he seems at home with us, so bagged that idea.

    Ginger does have eyes that have seen too much. Pretty sure he needs his own home, with a cushion to call his own, and a bowl to lick clean. (It took about a year for BuddyOop to stop licking his plate clean…. poor starving mite…. )

    • As Ginger is intact he probably roams a fair sized territory and passes our way from time to time. If his visits coincide with Sonny’s, who also vanishes without trace, two weeks so far since I’ve seen him, he bows to Sonny.
      I wouldn’t put a stretchy collar in case it got caught but if he will let me put a quick release one on him I could put my number on the inside and ask people to call me.

        • Future archaeologists will marvel at the large population of domesticated animals that had lived in your area, but the collars will turn out to be identified as belonging to only one cat! Then, the anthropologists will get involved and make up stories…. <:-D

        • 🙂 Cat only wore collars at das Boot so if he had a dander and visited other boats people would know he wasn’t one of the ferals. I still yearn to get his collar, inherited by MasterB, back from the jungle over the wall.

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