When we got him, his foster mother was afraid on two counts. He had a bad leg and might never run normally. But he also had an alpha, i.e., lion personality. He tended to dominate, bully, and otherwise persecute other cats.
I knew what she was talking about, at least literarily. My first orange cat I named Webster, after a feline monster in a P.G. Wodehouse story. Webster belonged to a bishop, lived faultlessly, got put in the guardianship of the bishop’s Bohemian nephew, tasted alcohol, and became the warrior king of the neighborhood. My Webster failed to live up to that promise. He lived indoors and confined his combats to the occasional ambush of a cairn terrier who never once acknowledged his existence.
Why I didn’t take Elliott’s mom too seriously. In a house populated by sighthounds, cats are more prey than predator. The dogs are nice but flit by them too fast and instincts kick in. They are much much faster, even in a living room.
That was our concern. But Elliott settled in. His leg healed nicely. Completely in fact. He’s frigging fast now.
So he has a prosaic indoor life. He caught water fascination from the Bengal Izzie, and now he camps like a fool on the sink.
He lounges with the Big Guy, Mickey. Orange guys aren’t in it with ferals. Much much better to accept your station in life and watch TV with them, eh?
All is good and fine and proper, right?
And then there’s the really Big Guy. The One who’d better like you or else.
Elliott’s done that too. All the reports to foster mom emeritus have been positive. We keep sending nice stories to her.
Except that Elliott has a secret life. He goes outside. At will. We used to think it was an occasional escape. It’s not. He goes outside whenever he wants. He shows up at mealtimes. Always ambling in from the back yard. Beginning to think he’s the Webster of the story.
Exhibit One. His ear today. Izzie didn’t do it. At a third his weight she’s full of sound and fury and has never laid a glove on him. But he swaggered in this morning with an ear looking like this.
Nobody likes to be made a fool of. What I’m thinking. Elliott is sparring gently with the little Bengal girl, hanging out with Mickey, snoozing with Raebert, then bursting into the outside world of Elsinboro and kicking every cat ass in the neighborhood. Used to be a white cat who acted like he owned our whole yard. Don’t see him anymore. Whatcha gonna do? He weighs 20 pounds. He clears the dog gate as easily and fluidly as if he’s been practicing for the Olympics. He boxes better than any cat I’ve known and I’ve boxed a lot of cats. He’s an MMA guy. Just doesn’t want Mommy to know. Hence all the offhand strolling back in during dinner time. Hell. She’s even willing to blame the bloody ear on Izzie. Who’s got who fooled here?
Worst thing of all. He seems so full of himself these days. Like he knows something we don’t. Never a good sign in a cat. Never.