At some point this morning, I ran upstairs to my bedroom, and found my prince of a grey tabby cat stretched out in the sun on my striped rug, taking a gloriously lazy nap.
Of course, I felt the need to grab my camera and capture the cuteness forever.
Instantly, Ranger noticed the shift in my attention, and cleverly inserted himself into the scene. Notice the large red paw staking its claim next to the lounging cat.
Notice the eyes of the cat are wide and alert. Relaxed no more, Cedric realized that his turf had been invaded. How dare the peasant dog tread upon his royal slumbering grounds?
As Cedric pondered his options for responding to this outrage, Ranger did a bold thing. He bent down, pushed his nose right up close to Cedric's face, and gave him a good solid sniff.
It all happened much too fast for me to get a shot, but Cedric was clearly appalled. He gazed up at Ranger, with equal parts surprise and disgust, plotting his revenge, I'm sure.
Again, much faster than I could react, Ranger glanced down at the startled cat, and did what any big brother would do. He repeated the provocation with great exaggeration and style. He buried his inquisitive nose in that kitty's soft furry tummy, rubbed it around with gusto, and gave a big lusty snort.
It was a powerful triumph of brotherly domination.
Once again, the animals were faster than me. I missed the whole smackdown, but I caught the inevitable aftermath.
Cedric leapt to his feet and strode off with as much regal dignity as a nap-interrupted, belly-sniffed cat can muster.
And Ranger, wagging his tail and looking entirely pleased with himself, smiled back at me as if to say, "That was fun. What should we do next?!"
The whole episode cracked me up, and served to remind me why I am willing to share my home with four pets. It's the same phenomenon that convinced me to bear four children. The moments I share with my little ones are precious and tender, but the real fun comes from watching them learning how to share life with each other. The crazy stuff they think up to do to each other, the good-natured sparring and testing that comes from life with siblings, is a necessary and highly entertaining part of life.
* * * * *
A few hours later, I found myself in Target where I overheard a weary-sounding mother of four scolding two of her daughters. They were maybe nine and eleven years old, and they were face to face, locked in an embrace, with each girl's arms wrapped around the other's shoulders as they wildly tried to kick each other in the shins. In the middle of Housewares. At five thirty in the afternoon. Shrieking and giggling all the while. Maybe I would have been less amused if I was their mom, but honestly, I found the whole thing to be delightfully crazy good fun.
Somehow, that incident reminded me of exactly what Ranger and Cedric had done on the rug. Life with siblings, human or otherwise, is full of pure and simple shenanigans, and I love every single minute of it.