Thursday, January 08, 2009

Cat - Raccoon Detente

If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes I'd never have believed it.

My family owns a cat that is the most peace-loving, mellow cat ever born. This cat had never attacked another animal as far as I know. It loves to go out on our back deck and watch the squirrels carry on and the squirrels have accepted the fact that it's a passive observer and will parade right in front of it without fear.

Sometimes I leave unsalted peanuts out for the squirrels and, the other night, there were several that the squirrels had missed. As I was reading on the back porch I saw a raccoon come up to the deck and - timidly - start to grab and each the nuts. Meanwhile, my cat came to the back porch door and wanted out. With some trepidation I let him out.

The cat went about halfway across the deck before noticing the raccoon. The raccoon backed off and started making itself look bigger by extending it's forearms and trying to look menacing. My cat just stood there looking left and right and never directly at the raccoon.

The raccoon advanced on the cat and got face-to-face and started swishing it's forearms and snarling. The cat continued to act non-chalant. The raccoon then took a few steps back and reapproached the cat peacefully, nodding it's head up and down.

It walked right up to the cat and both animals sniffed each other nose to nose. Satisfied, the raccoon resumed eating nuts while the cat sat scant inches away without a care in the world.

I called the cat in that night but the next night I let the cat out and a few minutes later saw my cat *playing* with the raccoon. Every few minutes the animals would stop playing and do a "kissy, kissy" with the noses again. It was clear that they enjoyed each others company.

Is that normal or am I raising the Gandhi of cats?