Wherein Age and Cunning Overcome Youth and Strength

Three nights ago, Max was running through the house like his ass was on fire; every 20 minutes or so he thundered into the bedroom and meowed at the top of his little lungs, then turned around and ran back out.

I was pretty sure this was a deliberate attempt to keep me from sleeping, and it worked. Either that or he was trying to sucker Buddah into a rousing game of Thundering Herd Of Elephants, which apparently can only be played after all the People have gone to bed, because Thundering Herd Of Elephants is only enjoyable if it wakes and annoys at least one human being. So perhaps his behavior was dual-purpose: keep the Woman from sleeping, and get Buddah to play.

Buddah didn't seem interested; while he likes it when Max wants to play, lately he hasn't bent to Max's will very often, and there have been a few overtures of I Want To Be The Big Kitty Now on his part.

After the 4th or 5th time of Max's Mouth pulling me from sleep, I was ready to get up and take his furry little butt downstairs, where I would duct tape all of his considerable mass to a chair. It was after five in the morning, and I was tired. All I wanted was to sleep uninterrupted for at least 3 hours, but he showed no signs of stopping.

At 5:15 I heard him in the hall just outside the bedroom door, meowing in a pathetic little voice; I lifted my head and squinted, but all I could make out was a mass of black against the light carpet. Given the change in his tone--from HEY HERE I AM! to Hey, I need help--I reached for my glasses, now concerned that he'd hurt himself.

The mass of kitty turned out to be both of them: Max was on his back, his belly exposed to Buddah, who was standing there like an Authoritative Feline, willing the elder cat to do his bidding. Max wiggled and squirmed, using his back paws to push off the wall to get closer to Buddah, all the while offering that tender, exposed kitty tummy.

I sat on the bed, trying to be very quiet, wondering if I was seeing the final push in Buddah becoming the Alpha Cat, thinking that maybe Max had finally realized that Buddah was younger, stronger, and not willing to take any more crap.

Max wiggled a bit more, meowing in a tiny voice, and as Buddah stepped closer, I was sure I was seeing the tide turn.

That's when Max reached out with his front paws, grabbed Buddah under his furry little armpits, and launched him down the stairs.

Max then sat up and began grooming himself.

There have been no more overtures on Buddah's part. Last night he even sat still while Max gave his head a thorough licking.

Part of me feels bad for Buddah, but another part of me totally appreciates Max's cunning and guile.

But mostly, I was glad I could finally get some sleep, and they've left me alone at night since then.

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