The war at home continues.

About a year ago, I posted about the conflict between the cats and dogs in this house. Specifically, the two cats (Gus and Ringo) rule the upstairs, while the dogs (Star and Chase) have control of the downstairs. Other than that, the two groups rarely interact; Gus and Ringo are smart enough to avoid the dogs and know that Star hates them (Chase is indifferent on his own but usually takes Star’s lead). For their part, the dogs can’t get to the cats because of the child’s gates in the kitchen and at the foot of the stairs. This doesn’t stop Star from barrelling from the kitchen to the foot of the stairs when let out, hoping to get a glimpse of either cat.

Well, things got more interesting yesterday.

As I was coming downstairs for breakfast this morning, Mom told me the story. Apparently yesterday after I made my way over to Louie’s apartment, Mom was in the kitchen sorting out her Christmas decorations. One of her great hobbies/projects every year is to completely redecorate the living room and dining room in a Christmas theme. Anyway, she happened to glance from where she was into the dining room, and Gus was sitting in there, in plain view yet well away from the gate, as if to say, “Yeah, I’m here. So what?”

A couple of minutes later, Star trotted past the dining room entrance from the kitchen and glanced over… and froze dead when she saw Gus standing there. Predictably, she then went berzerk, launching her self at the gate and raising holy hell over the cat that DARED show his face. At that point, Chase came over to see what was going on and started barking at Gus too. Gus hissed and spat at them, and wandered back over to the stairs.

Once at the stairs, Gus sat there and meowed. Of course, the sound of Gus meowing sent Star and Chase into a frenzy. Then, as soon as they calmed down… Gus meowed again, setting them off again. This continued for about another half-dozen times, until Gus got reinforcements, so to speak. His meow was quickly followed by another one from Ringo upstairs. Once again, this only served to make Star and Chase even madder. :-)

I suppose it’s something we’re going to have to get used to at this time of year. Once the decorations come up, in particular the Christmas tree, Gus considers the downstairs his area and will come down to sit under the tree. He considers the living room HIS area at that time of year, dogs be damned. It doesn’t help that Gus is apparently learning that if he wants to be downstairs, he can as long as he KNOWS the dogs are confined to the kitchen. I just have to hope it’s not going to escalate any further than it already has…