James's and Pushka's Game

 In the 1990s I shared my house with three cats: a Pushka a noisy, blue point Siamese; James, a large black and white longhair; and Catullus a very quiet, black, short-hair.

James and Pushka ‘devised’ a game that they often played about tea-time in the kitchen. I suspect it first began when James playfully chased Pushka into the kitchen, who sought refuge behind the door. They then ‘learnt’ that this situation could become a venue for a game. One they could repeat as often as they wanted to. Each game began when James ‘chased’ Pushka into the kitchen. The ‘chase’ was always initiated by James at about the same time of the day and it always began in the passage leading from the front door. Both co-operated in the whole sequence of events: Pushka waiting in the ‘agreed’ area ready to be chased by James. As neither cat reaching top speed this was a play chase. Upon reaching the kitchen Pushka ran round a door and ‘hid’ behind it. The door when open—which was most of the time—enclosed a narrow triangular space bounded by itself and a kitchen wall. James took up his position outside the triangle. Thus the two cats sat opposite each other with the door between them. Each cat watched for the others’ paw to slip under the door then tried to whack it with their own. Each game continued for several minutes or more until both became bored with it and wandered off to some other part of the house.

James also wanted to play the game with Catullus. However, unlike Pushka who when ‘chased’ would always run behind the door, James had to persist until he had cornered Catullus, then drive him behind the door. He then tried to play the game, but no amount of example caused Catullus to participate. James tried at least several times to ‘teach’ Catullus to play the game, but eventually he gave up.


Peter Adamson
True Story?: 

you have a siamese? they are

you have a siamese? they are so awesome!