Our bonded rescues, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, still depend on each other as brothers. Though they are growing into different cats.
The invisible cord of their partnership remains strong. They can’t be separated for more than a matter of hours. Then they will seek to reunite.
In the picture above, I watched one of my favorite things they do. Road work was going on outside the window, with the added novelty of a beeping truck. Lou and Bud alternated looking out the window, then facing each other for a Cat Conference.
Bud was sitting close for the best view. I tried not to laugh out loud at the antics his ears were doing as he watched the activity below. It wasn’t always the radar dish tilting of finding the source of a sound.
It alternated with expressions of surprise and confusion. I explain how their ears are part of their facial expression in The Gears of Their Ears.
Lou seemed to be taking in what Bud was “saying.” So they were both getting the benefit of Bud’s observations. This obvious teamwork had been the first thing I noticed about them, as I describe in Welcome, MC Hammer and Fresh Prince!
In my previous post, Burden of Leadership, it would seem that Lou Costello brings a lot to our Civilization. Which he does. What about Bud Abbott?
For one thing, he’s good for Lou. Where did Lou get all that social savvy from? Likely from those intense early connections between himself and his brother. When I consider this, I realize Lou actually isn’t working alone. It might be his skill at this role, even as a teen cat, is how he has Bud in his corner.
I rescued them, for their fourth and final time, as a package deal. Because I wanted them to stay together.
targeting a need
Bud can be a source of conflict, as I detail in The Alpha Brain Challenge. But while he exasperates Rhiannon, who has plenty of Fortitude, he’s become a sweet big brother to Morgen. Which is helping him recognize how he can improve his relationship with Rhia.
Bud is also a happy team player in the important work of wearing out baby Morgen. At six months old, she’s surfing a growth spurt that gives her considerable energy. Bud and Lou wear her out, while wearing themselves out, too.
This leaves Rhiannon and Tristan free to explore their own friendship and makes Bud less obnoxious about playing with her. Lately, he will let her play her favorite laser game without interrupting.
This Bud contribution is important to Mr. WayofCats. He found Morgen’s need for play to be more than he can handle when his sleep is disrupted. At such times, I let her romp in Kitten Country.
This is when I notice Bud and Morgen’s friendship the most. He won’t come in until she has made her way all the way up the stairs. She likes to sleep at the top of the little cat tree, and he has chosen a middle shelf on the big cat tree, so he can easily keep an eye on her.
Bud’s swiftness makes him a favorite target when she wants to play chase. They share the love of ambush. Bud is happy to be “surprised” by her.
I always felt Bud would improve with maturation. Of course, as a cat far out on the Alpha end of the Cat Type Distribution curve, that might take a while. Alphas stay kittens the longest.
The shift in activities has been good for him. He gets worn out faster and sooner with Morgen’s help. This leaves less of that restless energy that drives him to annoy.
There have been instances of Lou scolding Bud, which has never happened before. I think Lou sees Bud getting into trouble, and is trying to get through to him. He’s probably the best one to do so.
So, on many fronts, Bud is making advancements.
Compared to when they were kittens, they might seem to spend more time apart. Instead of sleeping together on one cat shelf, they have a tendency to pick different spots in the room. Lou has patrol responsibilities. Bud hangs near Morgen when she is upstairs.
But while they are not always together like they used to be, they have increased the intensity of the time they do spend together. When Lou is on patrol, Bud does not always accompany him. But he will wait at the threshold for his return.
More and more, I find Bud sleeping near Tristan and Rhiannon. I guess they have decided he is “good when he’s sleeping.” That’s another encouraging sign.
bonded pair pluses
Adopting two cats who already get along is a real advantage. From Introductions to lack of loneliness, two friends are a gift that keeps on giving.
This is why rescue organizations are trying, more than ever, to keep bonded pairs together. It’s a classic case of Cat Math.
When it comes to multiple cats, it’s not about the numbers. It’s about the variables.