It’s been awhile since I’ve written about my two grand house-mates, Fred and Jake. I saw something a few nights ago that just had to be written about. First an introduction.
The gorgeous blond on the left is Fred while his brother Jake is on the right. As you can tell, they’re quite fond of each other, being brothers and all. I didn’t realize how fond until a few nights ago.
While they’re from the same litter, they could not have more different personalities. Fred is a hail-fellow-well-met type of guy. Never met a stranger. Chatters a lot with a big vocabulary. Jake is the total ‘fraidycat. He’s off to his hidy-hole under the bed at the mere sound of a car going by or other disturbance.
Fred has this alarm clock built into his head that goes off at 7:30 every night. When it does, the “feed me now or die” song and dance starts. He does his dance, he chats, he runs back and forth, he chats some more, etc. Jake is much more dignified, strolling calmly to the eating area, turning around and looking at me with that “so whatcha waiting for, Bubba?” look.
A couple of weeks ago Garett, the head honcho of Fluxeon® was in town for a crash session on building Roy 3.0 heaters. During his 5 day visit, Jake took up permanent residence under the bed. I’d hear him sneak out after we went to bed to hit the litter box or to the bathroom to get a drink and their food was always gone the next morning but I had no idea of the drama that unfolded.
Every night at 7:30 Fred did his song and dance and I put out their food. Jake, of course, stayed hidden. Fred would take a nibble or two, just to make sure that I’d followed proper protocol of course, and then walk off. Normally a can of food is hoovered up between them in minutes so I found the behavior interesting.
One night I was laying in bed with the lights out listening to an audio book when I saw, as Paul Harvey would say, “The rest of the story”.
Fred came strolling into the bedroom and headed under the bed. A few minutes later, undoubtedly after delivering a pep talk and mapping out their tactical movements, Fred came back out followed by Jake. Jake is down low, chest dragging the ground, looking in all 4 directions at once, obviously scared witless.
Fred would take a couple of steps, look back over his shoulder, make a little chirp and then proceed a few steps farther. Jake would crawl a couple of steps and then wait, looking all around, until Fred turned around and chirped again. Fred was obviously assuring Jake that the coast was clear and that it was safe to take a few more steps. They left the bedroom in that fashion.
Intrigued, I waited a few minutes, put on my house moccasins and crept out to the mud room where they eat. There were Fred and Jake seated at their dinner bowl eating away as if nothing were out of the ordinary.
Big brother Fred had reconned a path to the food bowl that scardy-cat Jake could follow. Furthermore, Fred had waited to eat until his brother could be there. Amazing.
And to think that some people would tell you that animals can’t think or have emotions.