I know my readers like cat stories, so I have a good one for you. Nearly a year ago I found a kitten in my garden, howling. I adopted him and called him Blackie, on account of his being jet black all over. He is a nice friendly non-violent cat. One of my other cats, Mabel, took an instant dislike to him, though she likes every other cat she has come into contact with. She would ruthlessly chase him intent on serious violence; his only escape was to slide under the chair where she was too big to follow him. He gave her a wide berth at all times. But he was growing bigger all the time and there had to come a day when he could fight back (fortunately he never got seriously hurt by her as a kitten, mainly because of his speed). One day I saw him in a corner unable to escape and he was forced to retaliate. Neither was injured in the encounter but an extraordinary reversal then ensued. Now Mabel became deadly afraid of Blackie! He never hurt her or even menaced her, but she completely reversed roles with him, treating him as an object of dire dread. I think he was puzzled, because he had been very afraid of her up to this point. It has become so bad that she won’t come into the house anymore: she gazes through the window to see if Blackie is there but she won’t venture inside even if she can’t see him. It’s a real problem. Is it that she remembers her own past aggressive behavior and projects it onto gentle Blackie? Who knows? Cats!
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