I’m living in a feline war zone. There are five cats in the house, divided into two factions. The upstairs faction: The Nervous Ninjas. The downstairs faction: The Pissed-off Psychos. There’s kind of a time-share cold war going on right now. Except for a couple rooms designated “home territory”, the cats are separated by time, rather than place.

The Nervous Ninja faction is comprised of two cats. Teazer is the curious one. She’s the one who is always first into a new situation, seeking places and food. She’s small and perpetually has her tail curved under. If human psychology applied to felines, she’s had learned helplessness beaten into her by her brother all the while they were growing up (until he tried to bully a dog and got mauled for it). Thus, Teazer is the ninja of the group, hiding, sneaking, and suddenly appearing on my lap without warning. Rika is probably the biggest cat in the house…but she grew up around Teazer and very few visitors to the house. So she kind of picks on Teazer a bit and thinks she’s the boss kitty. Problem is, she’s skittish. I’ve seen her go from lounging in the middle of the floor in the I-own-this posture to teleporting across the room when someone shifted their seat on the couch. Oh, and as a ninja, she totally fails: she always announces her presence.

The Pissed-off Psycho faction is comprised of three cats, though there really is only one active member of the faction. Koshka is Teazer’s counterpart. She’s nervous and perfectly willing to be bottom cat as long as she’s left alone. She not only has a tendency to hide, she stays hidden, rarely being seen. She’ll hiss at some of the other cats, but it’s usually a trot-by hissing and is usually ignored by the other cats of the faction. Polly is the grande dame of the group. Old and crotchety, she swats all the other cats out of general principle. She’s too cranky to actually be malicious toward the others. She feels safe and secure in her position as top kitty. Lucy is the inspiration for the name “Pissed-off Psychos”. She is one of those cats that were snipped as soon as feasible and thus has the perma-kitten look. She’s sweet and cute and cuddly…as long as none of the other faction is around. Then she does one of two things, pretends she’s docile then literally jumps on the other’s back and latches onto their neck the moment they start to walk away, or she simply charges on sight.

I think if it weren’t for Lucy, the others would get along just fine…or at least cordially ignore each other. But Lucy is on the war path. She crouches by the door behind which the Nervous Ninjas sleep. She sticks her paw under the door and slashes around even when none of the other cats are near. Rika has taken to taunting Lucy, though, by sitting just out of range and not even flinching when the paw shoots under the door to grab. Oh yes, and Lucy tries to dig under the door to get at the Ninjas. (Note to self: replace carpet with sandpaper, maybe she’s file her nails while she’s trying to dig, because I don’t think the discomfort would deter her.)