Cat Friendship Shows Up in Unique Ways

Subtle indications reveal true relationships between cats, which might be better than you thought. How do your cats show friendship to one another?

Sometimes I wonder about my cats. They don’t seem particularly close. They never snuggle together or groom each other (unless it’s Binga grooming Boodie, which is really just as a lead-in to a smackdown). Although they share the bed with me and my fiancé, they tend to gravitate as far from each other as possible. The other morning, I caught Binga and Summer smacking each other right before breakfast (the same way Binga and Sparkle used to in the mornings). Do these cats even like each other? I guess being a human, I didn’t get the memo because Summer, at least, made her feelings clear the other week.

Binga had a bad tooth that needed to be extracted, so I scheduled her for a dental. Since dentals always require an early morning drop off and Brian is usually up way before me, I asked him to take her. I figured I’d sleep through it, but I forgot that we were dealing with a tortoiseshell drama queen, and there was no way I was going to sleep through the howling once Brian put her in the carrier. Summer didn’t sleep through it either. She was up and at attention with a concerned look on her little face. She sat on the bed, wide-eyed, and watched with growing alarm as Brian walked out the hallway door that led to the garage, Binga’s carrier slung over his shoulder. As soon as she heard the click, she dashed over to the closed door and waited there until he returned — empty-handed, of course. Since Brian and I didn’t seem upset or concerned, she calmed down, but she was still a little bit on edge, wondering what was happening. She was very happy later that day, when Binga returned, a little loopy but none the worse for wear (in fact, she was much better with that pesky tooth gone).

I finally realized that that all this time, I’d been missing out on a lot of subtle indications that there was more going on between Summer and Binga than might be apparent to mere humans. The two of them sometimes play together in the morning – but Summer is always the instigator. Whenever I take Summer anywhere, whether for an hour or a few days, Binga always is there, waiting for us, and is the first to greet Summer when I open the carrier. The morning smackdown? I think Binga missed doing this with Sparkle because she literally took months to train Summer that it was something she was supposed to do. And speaking of Sparkle, I’d wondered the same thing about her and Binga until that fateful day at the vet clinic a few years ago.

Some people are touchy-feely and embellish their relationships with sentimental touches. Others hold those closest to them at arm’s length and yet display a loyalty that borders on the feral. Yes, there are cats that play cozy together, but mine fall firmly into the latter category.

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