(Clearly this is not a picture of Duko. Duko is in the top picture, looking sultry on the floor of Kurt's closet. While Duko may not be as big as this cat, she's a lot scarier!)
Last night Shadow and Tuna almost had a fight. It was the first time this had happened and I really think that it was all a misunderstanding. Shadow had just lain himself down on a pile of (clean) laundry and was about to fall asleep. Tuna, not aware that Shadow was there, jumped up on the pile of laundry and spooked both himself and Shadow, who assumed a defensive posture. Tuna, who’s finally feeling a little more confident after all these weeks, struck a similar pose. It never went any farther than a paw batting because I intervened right away. Being 3 years older and about 5 pounds lighter, Shadow was not going to come out of a battle with 8 year old Tuna unscathed. Anyway, Tuna doesn’t have enough seniority to be getting snotty with anyone, so I made him get down, I picked Shadow up and hugged him and told him that he was a good boy and hoped that would be the end of it.
It wasn’t. A few minutes later, I heard hissing by the china cabinet. Shadow was in his big basket and Tuna had come to kick him out. I jumped out of my chair and swatted Tuna with the Pennysaver. He took off into the bedroom, even though Kurt was in there. (He’s not fond of Kurt yet. Though he may be fonder of him today than he was yesterday.) But this was serious. I had to make Tuna understand that this was NOT going to be tolerated. So, I turned into a cat. I cornered him in the bedroom, hissing, growling and showing my teeth. He slunk back against the bureau but he was hissing back at me and his eyes were locked on mine. I moved forward, very slowly, and I made that noise that the Mother Cat used to make; that freaky, scary yowl. Suddenly he broke eye contact, looking down and to my left. But he was still hissing. I looked down. Right beside me was Duko, in all her shining, coal-black glory, head flattened like a cobra and her tail fuzzed out to the width of a half-used roll of paper towels. Her glowing, yellow eyes were the size of quarters and her mouth was wider than her head! She was going to kill him. And, because she hadn’t seen what started it all, she was going to kill him for me! I was so touched. This from a cat not even ten months old! We both stayed there and rumbled at him for another minute or two, then I stood up and called her off. She came away reluctantly, but parked herself in the bedroom door and wouldn’t let him out for over an hour.
Finally, we all sat together and ‘communed’. I combed Shadow’s hair. I combed Tuna’s hair. I explained to Seven (who knew that something had happened and why wasn’t anybody playing with her?) that we were all friends again. Duko sneered at Tuna. It was perfect. There were no more incidents, and this morning when I got up, Tuna and Shadow were sleeping in the two baskets by the window.
You should have seen us. We were fearsome. We were like partners, Duko and I. We were ‘bad cop’ (me) and ‘worse cop’ (her). I almost wish I hadn’t gotten her spayed. The world needs more Dukos.