A Chaotic Clowder

Weather drives territorial clans in side despite differences

Magen McMillian, Staff Writer

Photo by Magen McMillian

Cliques. Some are drawn into them and some avoid them altogether, but everyone knows they exist. We see cliques everywhere, if we look hard enough. Cities, schools, work, even animals are drawn to like-minded souls. While cliques vary in make up, location and interest, the one thing we can be certain of is that mixing them most definitely proves challenging.  

Clique locations can be found anywhere from a park to a certain lunch table to a skating rink, or even a parking lot. Some cliques opt for obvious locations like shopping malls or fast food places, but others opt for more secluded, out of the way locations, like a garage, a front porch or an old workshop. 

Sometimes the most interesting thing about a clique is just observing their habits and interactions with one another. On a day with limited entertainment, it does just the trick.

Four members made up the garage clique. They were seen as the easy going, lazy type. They hardly did anything, just stayed in their garage all day sitting around. The oldest member was a frail, eccentric type who didn’t really like the other members, but simply put up with them. Despite being the oldest member, the other members were usually able to bully her into better resources and sitting spots in the garage. The second member was the kindest and most easy going. She never caused any trouble, stayed in her spot, and liked the sunshine. The third was a big, brawny boy that dwarfed the other members. However, he was a gentle giant, and liked to sit around most of the time. The final was the youngest, treated as the annoying kid brother. He was prone to sickness and got into risky situations a lot.

The front porch only had two members, known as the hard-core, angry type that were prone to violence over territory. The other groups knew to stay a distance from the front porch these two members called home because of the sheer terror they obviously felt whenever in the vicinity of these warriors’ habitat. The oldest member was small, but mighty and liked to cause fights. She only befriended the second member, who was big and tough and had obviously proven his worthiness with battle scars on his face. He was the only one she considered fierce enough to join forces with.

The third and final consists of two members in the old workshop. This could hardly be called a group at all; one overweight, lazy and food-driven member, the other one liked to wander off and was never around for very long before leaving again. These dwellers didn’t seem to have anything in common other than their love of the old workshop. One’s hunger never tamed and the other a nomad among the territory.

Putting these very different groups together could only mean disaster.

A snowstorm swept across the area where these groups lived, causing record breaking low temperatures and piles of snow. Under these circumstances, these groups had no choice but to stay inside… together, invading each other’s space during a weather event that seemed endless. Three members of the garage group were inside (the smallest stayed outside, and soon the gentle giant was kicked out for bad behavior), along with the front porch group and the lazy workshop member. A disastrous mixing of personalities. The wanderer decided to tough it out outside and was not seen for the entire snowstorm. The other members had to deal with each other trapped in the house, staying a safe distance from each other but close enough to the raging fire to fight the cold.

When the snow finally melted and the temperatures rose, the members practically sprinted out of the house in joy of being free from each other. Finally, they were able to stay in their relative spaces again. Again, they were able to go back to their anti-social cliques in their desired spaces.

That is how my eight cats reacted to being forced to stay inside during the bad weather. The front porch cats are Mr. Kitty and Minnie, the garage cats are Scout, Salem, Milo and Spooky and the final two are Monkey and Stripes. While some of our cats tolerate each other, mainly Minnie hates the other cats other than Mr. Kitty and Monkey. Trying to keep the peace was difficult, but it had to be done.