Saturday, June 12, 2010

Middle Child Syndrome

Luke has it.

Now, with the recognition that my cats are cats and not people, my cats have very definite family birth-order personalities: Han is the older brother, brave, confident, a mama's boy, but in the sense that he wants to take care of me. He looks after his brother and sister, if someone's sneezing or throwing up, he goes over to make sure that they're okay, with the sweetest little concerned look. If I put someone in time out (either shut in the bathroom or in the cat carrier), he won't leave them alone, because he knows that something's wrong.

Leia is the baby sister. She's the darling, the sweet, soft, cuddle girl who loooooves to play and will push her brothers aside for a toy or a treat. She's somewhat of a favorite for Elijah and me, because she's so much more willing to cuddle and interact.

Although Han and Luke are twins, Luke's personality is definitely that of the middle child. He's not as brave or confident as either sibling; he's a 'fraidy-cat. I got them a new water fountain yesterday, and when I brought him over to see it, he struggled out of my arms and ran away to hide. He spends a lot of time hiding in caves, or anywhere where it's harder to get him out.

I've been working on toilet-training them, and it's actually going pretty well- we're down to the intermediate green ring on the Litter Kwitter (step 4 out of 6, essentially), and the cats are generally pretty good about using the toilet. We keep Leia in the bathroom at night, because if we don't, we tend to find poop in awkward places. A few nights ago, we put all three cats in the bathroom overnight, because the boys had been acting up at night (wrestling on the bed when we're trying to sleep, bringing toys onto the bed, taking things off my desk). Luke seemed to take offense at being shut in the bathroom, since he's started peeing outside the bathroom- on bags, backpacks, etc. Last night was just Luke and Leia in the bathroom; since Han had been good (he had a great day- he actually asked to go outside, and once outside, he even did some exploring!), he got to stay out with me. When I got up to use the toilet in the middle of the night, Luke escaped, and I had to chase him around the house twice before I could catch him to put him back.

It's a bit of tough love, but I'm going to win this. Luke thinks that he can win ("Well, if you put me in the bathroom all night, I'm going to pee on your stuff, so there!"), but I've told him that he'll stay in the bathroom at night until he stops doing that. Unlike his forgiving baby sister, middle child Luke seems to hold grudges.


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