When I was a kid, we had a cat named Ataturk. She was territorial and fearless; if any of us girls had boys over, she would wedge herself between us and the guys on the sofa, keeping a glareful eye on the hairy little intruders. And once, when I was about 12, she got out of the house. We found her just a minute or two later—she was chasing a German Shepherd around the corner. That dog was running at full tilt, trying to get away from the maniacal flabby feline.

Now…picture tiny little Buddah, all one pound of him, as Ataturk, and Max as the German Shepherd.

We let Buddah out to roam the apartment today—first time—and he immediately sighted Max, and ran towards him. And Max, 15 pounds of big brave kitty, ran like a scared little girl. Down the hall, through the bedroom, back up the hall, through the kitchen…Buddah had Max running harder than he has since he was about 6 months old.

Max found a place to rest in the bedroom while Buddah continued to explore, he was very wary, flinching at every sound, his eyes black with widened pupils. And then we made the mistake: we plopped Buddah down onto the bed. He made a beeline for Max, and the chase began again. Buddah just wants to play; Max just wants to live. Right now he is truly terrified of that little black ball of fur zipping through the house at 100mph.

We were worried that Max would rip Buddah to shreds—he did attack the vet after all—but now we’re worried that Max will spend the rest of his life in terror of this little thing that all he needs to do is turn and hiss at the way he did the vet.

That’s all it would take. One good, authoritative hiss, maybe accompanied by the growl we now know he has.

We specifically got a young kitten to avoid dominance issues.

Hah. That’ll teach us to think…

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