It took a long time to figure out what Spice and Sugar were to each other. Were they reluctant spouses? Roommates? It was about a year into their relationship before they cuddled up but they still have little spats. Spice still dominates her in little ways. He’ll shoo her away from the food bowl if he feels like it. Sugar will back up and sit patiently until he’s feeling more like sharing. We’ve determined they’re brother and sister.
Spice was with us for a couple of years before we brought Sugar in to the family. Both were over the age of ten when they arrived after finding themselves suddenly sent to a shelter. Spice had declared the whole house his domain and their first couple of fights over territory were so loud and upsetting that I found myself wondering if adopting Sugar had been a grave error in judgment. But we were patient, intervening when necessary, and they worked it out. Now, with Spice obviously an aging prize fighter, Sugar is pushing the limits of his patience.
The arm of the couch in our TV room beside me used to be his perch exclusively but he sleeps more now and doesn’t freak out when she climbs – or is lifted – up there. However, his favourite spot is on the other end of the same couch, against a cushion that reads ROCK & ROLL. Last week he made the mistake of getting up to visit the food bowl and when he returned, she was there, with no intention of moving. He tried two ways to get her to leave.
First, he laid down in front of her, practically on top of her, and blocked her in. When that didn’t feel right he sat up and loomed over her, staring. She avoided eye contact and held her ground while we tried not to laugh out loud. I can remember similar responses from my brother if I took his favourite TV viewing spot although his protest would more likely end with him slapping me in the face with my own hand and repeatedly asking, Why are you hitting yourself?
There’s no way to sugar-coat it (pun intended). Spice is slowing down and sometimes feeling his age, although I pity any mouse or bug who dares to enter this house because he’s still the great hunter he always was. Sugar isn’t as lithe or limber but she is coming into her own. It’s the way of the wild and the circle of life. And it’s endless hours of love and live entertainment.