Well it’s been a week since I last checked in with you. At that time things were pretty dire between my two boys, Sundance and Bartlett. Okay, maybe “dire” is a tad over dramatic. How about “heated?” Or “tenuous?” Nope, that doesn’t really describe the situation.
I know. “Tense.” Yes, that’s it. Things were “tense.” Sundance was definitely “tense.” Bartlett, not so much. He actually seemed oblivious. Except he couldn’t have been, because Sundance was afraid of something, of someone; and it sure wasn’t me.
Once I realized an intervention was necessary I sat them both down. Told them that they didn’t have to fight over me — that I was theirs, and that there is plenty of me to go around. Then I set about making Sundance feel more loved than usual and also, safe. To that end one of the things I did was to put a bowl of food on the bathroom vanity so he could eat out of Bartlett’s range. His “safe room,” in other words.
That turned out to be an inspired idea — at least for the first few days. Every time I went into the bathroom I could see that more of the food had been eaten. He never licked the plate clean, but at least he was eating. Then I caught him eating in the kitchen from time to time (yippee) — “yes,” I left a bowl for him there, as well. “Yes,” in case you’re wondering they each have their own food and water bowls.
What can I tell you, it matters to me.
So some food is being consumed. Not enough for this Jewish mother, but some. And that’s an improvement. “Be grateful for some mercies,” I always say.
The better news is, Sundance seems calmer and was spending hardly any time in the closet. He has taken possession of my bed, with the occasional visit by Bartlett, who still “owns” the pillow beside mine. And Bartlett still has squatter’s rights on one of the bedroom chairs, the same bedroom chair he claimed years ago. It’s got a nice, cozy blanket on it and he likes it when I move the chair very close to the bed. That way he doesn’t actually have to jump off the chair and then jump on the bed if he feels like a cuddle — from me, not Sundance. We haven’t made that much progress yet.
And, for the most part, they’re okay to be in there together.
Sundance’s head wound has healed well, for more good news. But he still won’t come into the living room when Bartlett is in there with me. He did one night, but that was it. So in order to make sure both of my fur babies get enough of “me,” I have to divide my time between the two rooms.
You think I’m crazy, don’t you? You wouldn’t be entirely wrong.
They let me know when I’ve overstayed my welcome in whichever room I’m in. When I’m in the bedroom with Sundance and Bartlett’s feeling neglected he comes in, sits in front of the bed, head down, looking very sad and lonely. And he stares at me from under his downcast eyes. He has a very expressive face. He could be a professional actor.
When Sundance is not feeling the love he starts to whine. A lot and at the top of his little lungs. He also paces up and down the hallway, in and out of the bathrooms, the kitchen and my office. Back and forth, back and forth. Until I get up and go into my bedroom. Then he’s happy. And quiet.
All in all we were doing well. Until very early Sunday morning when I had to break up a fight between them and then Sundance retreated to the closet for a while. Who started the fight I do not know. What caused it I also do not know. All I do know is, the peace talks continue.