Gordian Knots, Etc
LATERAL THINKING. If you're not familar with the term, here's Wiki's take:
The Gordian Knot is a legend of Phrygian Gordium associated with Alexander the Great. It is often used as a metaphor for an intractable problem solved by a bold stroke ("cutting the Gordian knot"):I'm not going to flesh out the details, but apparently there's a Gordian Knot at Instapunk that has to be severed.
Enough about that. So I'm going to post a post because I think you deserve more than one a week. This one's about Mickey, my cat. I wrote about him a while back, and I also wrote about the new guy Elliott. The shakedown period has been fascinating. We love them all, as I think it goes without saying, but the surprise has been not Elliott but Mickey. Who is eleven and so overweight that his hang (and you cat people know what I'm saying) is verging on legendary status.
I'll wait while you read the previous linked posts.
Thing is, there have been new developments since then. Because we also have a secen pound Bengal named Izzie, who's convinced she's Sugar Ray Robinson and has spent her first six years attacking Mickey in the mornings. They tussle, Izzie throws her best shots and goes for takedowns like the Brazilian Gracie boys. She loves to fight from underneath, and her moves are lovely. Only problem? Not once, ever, has she succeeded in a takedown of Mickey, who has always treated her as if he were doing an impression of Neo in the final scene of The Matrix-- you know, I see all your moves as digital streams and you just won't ever take me down.
So when Elliiott arrived, Izzie was pumped. Mickey weighs 19 pounds, Izzie 7, and Elliott 14. Which meant to Izzie that she could finally get her long denied takedown. She took to attacking Elliott in the morning because a Bengal is a wild animal and domestic cats are just prey. Besides which, Mickey is an old old fart who's just no fun to attack, even if he has a nice personality otherwise.
I have to say that Elliott is a prince of a cat. He's already the best friend of Raebert, unafraid to play with the hundred pound monster even the other sighthounds do their best to steer around. Elliott is unafraid of anybody. Why his foster mom thought he was an alpha cat who posed some danger to other cats. I think she was probably right. Elliott is an alpha cat.
Which is why he reacted as strongly as he did when Izzie attacked him in full Bengal wildcat mode a month or so ago. He immediately flipped her on her back and latched his jaws on her throat. Izzie screamed. It happened ten feet from where I was sitting. I rose -- er, no I didn't. I was impelled to rise to intervene -- when suddenly Mickey appeared from around a corner (he'd been sleeping in the bedroom, most likely) and charged. He blew Elliott off Izzie as if the big tabby weighed no more than a feather and he had Elliott's throat in his mouth so fast I couldn't even cry out to Mrs. CP. Then he backed off and simply glowered over Elliott. Who eventually crept away.
This scenario has been repeated several times since then. It's unfair to Elliott, really. Izzie starts it. Elliott reaches the point of having had enough and slams the little girl until she cries. Then, always from nowhere, the eleven year old Mickey shows up and, with no hissing, threat displays or slightest hesitation, demonstrates to Elliott that he can and will kill him if any harm befalls his little girl.
Kind of an intractable problem, don't you think? Izzie always starts it. Elliott is always in the middle. And Mickey always ends it. Because what's clear by now is that Mickey is The Boss.
We never knew that about him. We didn't know that hanging out with dogs would make him half dog. We didn't know that he had somehow chosen to take responsibility for everything that happens in this household. But he has. So not not only does he tell us when to feed the dogs and let them out and let them in, he is -- this born anti-social feral -- one of my closest friends. We hang out. He looks at me as if he knows something. I've long ago decided he does.
My conclusion? Gordian knots aren't that complicated. You just have to suspend your sense of what's supposed to be in favor of what is. Mickey's an unlikely boss, no doubt, but there's no doubt that he is and will be the boss of all of us until it's ultimately severed by death.
And then I will mourn Mickey as I have mourned no other cat in my lifetime.