Pausing during her rounds this morning, in a particular spot we'd never seen her occupy before atop the studio file cabinets and framed by Tuck's model of "America," Tiny appears lost in thought. We're thinking the fading scent of her brother in all the usual places must be a puzzlement to the feline mind.
Tiny's been playing superball every day, more than usual, since we lost her brother. It may be her way of dealing with stress — Why are Grandpa and Grandma so quiet? Why can't I pick up the scent of my brother, and where is he, anyway?
"Political strongcat Tiny 'The Warrior' signals her displeasure to Baby 'The Cakes' with a hissing, snarling neck grab as her brother makes the mistake of coming too close in maneuvering past her on the kitchen counter in pursuit of kitty treats. Note Tiny's furious glare and Baby's hang-cat look of resignation," we captioned this image of the Chelsea Grays in early November.
Or maybe the superballs are an outlet for the aggressive impulse, someone to swipe at (above) in the absense of Baby Cakes.
"Setting herself up in a hunting blind of hostas and violets, Tiny draws a bead on a gray squirrel," we captioned this image of Tiny last May, noting that "Offspring of the feral beauty Sweet Pea — AKA The Squirrel Slayer — our own Sweet Tiny Pea and her brother Baby" had "slain reckless squirrels at the base of this very tree on occasion … even as they were constrained by their tethers. Knowing this, the squirrels like to play 'chicken', testing their mettle by taunting the Chelsea Grays."
Then, too, there's the cabin-fever aspect of her mindset in the wake of yesterday's substantial snowfall, followed by today's single-digit temperatures and sub-zero windchill factor. The usual opportunities for territorial patrol to destroy vermin (above) and run off feline intruders aren't available.
"Tiny goes for the jugular of her 'Pure Catnip' kitty toy," we captioned this image of Tiny in her cups in December of 2006, "Not vindictive, her attitude toward prey seems to be more aligned with Avery Cardinal Dulles's 'just retribution, which seeks to establish the right order of things.'"
She did have her own version of New Year's Day Eggs Benedict and champagne for brunch — an extra serving of wet cat food and a shot of catnip — and is at the moment upstairs in a box in the attic sleeping it off.