This morning I had taken out my gardening supplies and had planned on going out to tie some low branches on my apple trees. I had placed the ball of twine on the table, along with my clippers, ready to go outside, when the phone rang. While I was gone, 'Ling Ling', my Siamese mix decided to get up on the table (a 'no-no') and knocked the ball of twine onto the floor. By the time I came back, she had it mostly unwound and was having a great time with it, so I grabbed my camera. By then, Ninky, (rhimes with 'stinky'), had come over to investigate.
Ninky is my only male cat, and he can be unpredictable. (They say women are unpredictable, but in the cat world, it is the opposite) Mostly he is as loving as a kitten and climbs into my lap every evening and gives me great big hugs. But recently, a stray Tom cat had come around that I had been feeding, and before I realized it wasn't a good idea, the Tom cat had decided that Ninky was enemy number one. So every time poor Ninky went outside he was attacked viciously. (I eventually trapped Tommy Boy and gave him a new home, but we will leave that story for another time) This has left a little bit of an imprint on Ninky and so lately he has been even more 'unpredictable' than usual.
But pretty soon, he was feeling the playful spirit and decided to join in the fun.
This attracted Maggie, my older female, and after a curious look at what all the fuss was about, she decided to sit on the sidelines. Maggie is not the playful type. She is serious. She is my huntress, and keeps the mouse population in check. But if one of her companions is in trouble, Maggie will run over and jump in to defend. She regularly goes after Whitey, the dog. Not that Whitey chases the cats, but once in a while Maggie gets suspicious of his motives. It's not unusual to have Whitey running towards me to hide behind me with Maggie hot on his tail.
Soon, Ninky was claiming the twine all to himself. After all, he is the dominate male, don't you know? So while he was having a jolly good time, Maggie and Ling Ling were watching very curiously. This was not like Ninky at all.
Pretty soon, Ling Ling decided to join in. She was my Mom's pampered little companion. She is very sweet and innocent. She has never had to deal with unpredictable Tom's. The very next instant, Ninky went over and scratched her. He has been a little jealous lately since Ling Ling has joined the family. He has also been through the ordeal of being bullied. He was acting out.
Sweet little Ling Ling retreated, hurt and confused. Ninky was ushered outside with a reprimand.
At which point, Maggie rushed after Ninky, swatted his backside, and then came back to console Ling Ling.
The moral of the story is that bullies are products of their experiences. If you see someone being bullied, stand up for them. Let the victim know you are going to stand by their side.
I gave Ling Ling lots of sympathy. After all, she is just the new kid. I also praised Maggie for defending her new friend. And later, when Ninky climbs in my lap like he always does, I will be sure to give him an extra dose of loving, just to let him know that I understand where he is coming from and that I still love him just as much, but that two wrongs don't make a right.