Friends involved in rescue work have told me that it’s very important for kittens — especially only/orphaned kittens — to be “socialized” by other cats. Based on the interactions between Simon and my lynxpoint male, Niko, I can see that lessons are most definitely being taught. On the first day of “school,” Simon was constantly wanting to play aggressively, but last night there was quite a difference. He still needed to be reprimanded, and Niko, when pushed to pin Simon down and bunny-kick him, was clearly not “angry” — he was very “controlled” and stopped the second that Simon seemed to yield. Perhaps this is a “respect your elders” type of lesson….
It’s actually pretty fascinating to watch the two of them. Niko seems to understand that he has a job to do, and last night Simon WAS generally calmer and more “mannerly.” In this clip, Simon is able to walk past Niko without launching an attack, and Niko responds by trying to groom him:
In this clip, Simon DOES decide to pounce on the big kitty. Niko knocks him down and Simon responds by retreating and then rolling on his back:
Later, Simon considers pouncing on Niko’s tail, but notice how he’s more cautious about doing so and how he looks at Niko to see how he’ll react. Niko gives him a gentle swat, as if to say, “We’ve already covered this, remember?” A bird flies past, capturing Niko’s attention and Simon follows him:
After an hour of play and “lessons,” Simon was obviously tired. He’s still not big enough to jump onto my lap, but that doesn’t stop him from trying:
Of course I scooped him up and cuddled him (which he was more tolerant of than usual), and once he was back in his room for a nap, I cuddled Niko (who purred and purred) and told him that I was very proud of him. Since I’m a teacher, it’s a little funny to acknowledge that one of my cats is now one, too! 🙂