Every fight my boyfriend and I have ever had has been about cats.
Cats! Of all the things couples could possibly find to fight about, we argue over cats.
You see, we have three cats. I brought J.K. Meowling to the relationship (the tabby in the photo above), and Jon contributed Pancake, a tuxedo cat, and her daughter, Chuck, who would be a tuxedo if she weren't gray and white instead of black and white. Their gangster names are Pinstripe, Tux, and Three-Piece. Their personalities are as different as the suits they wear.
J.K. is the intelligent, hyper one who thinks she's a dog. She likes to chase her tail and walk on the leash.
Pancake is the quiet, contemplative cat who wants to be touching you at all times, even if it means kneading your breasts as you sleep. Creeper.
Chuck is the cat equivalent of a kid whom you have to constantly remind, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." She hides most of the time and only---ONLY---comes out to harass the others. You'll hardly even see her in these pictures because she's damn near impossible to catch. Not that you'd really want to catch her anyway.
They're all fine cats to have individually, but putting them together is like a Molotov cocktail of hissing, growling, flying fur, and kitty fisticuffs.
I don't know any cats who'd enjoy being packed into a carrier, being driven nine hours north, and unloaded in an unfamiliar place, so we thought they might band together in solidarity. We had this grandiose idea of all the cats getting along and living together in perfect cat harmony. Little did we know that world peace was more likely.
Pancake and Chuck, being mother and daughter, get along reasonably well. But like any single mom and teenage daughter, there are battles for dominance, which result in much head bopping and bared teeth. It seems the only thing they can agree on without qualm is how much they despise J.K.
J.K. is easily the largest of the three. That isn't to say that she's overweight, but rather shows how small the others are. J.K. is 10 pounds to Chuck and Pancake's five and seven pounds, respectively. You would think some kind of self-awareness about the amount of space she takes up in comparison to the other two would embolden her to stand her ground when the others encroach. But no. J.K. runs away at nearly every opportunity and allows herself to be terrorized. She's the household conscientious objector.
Chuck is most often the offending cat. She often "trees" J.K. by sending her flying to the top of the fridge. We've tried to discourage this behavior by shooting her with water from a spray bottle, especially since this is an industrial spray bottle that can easily reach 10 feet out and leave her small frame sopping wet in just a few spurts, but she's a persistent little devil.
Chuck will instigate fights with J.K., but Pancake isn't one to be left out. She prefers to remain neutral unless J.K. chooses to defend herself, in which case Pancake's inner Momma Bear kicks in and she's ready to go to battle to defend her baby's honor.
Most of the time, the cats ignore each other, which is the easiest and quietest solution. However, they most often choose not to ignore each other around 2am, which means Jon and I are awakened by low grumbles, claws snagging in carpet as they tear across the floor, or occasionally the sound of falling home décor items. My bookends and Jon's guitars have especially suffered.
Amid all this, there are times when the cats almost act like they like each other. When they get so close their noses are nearly touching and when they cuddle in bed with us, even if it's on opposite corners of the mattress. Those are the times when I think there's a sliver of possibility that one day, maybe one day, they might all curl up in a pile together---claws sheathed inside furry toes and teeth fully covered by whiskered lips.
Until that day, we're keeping the spray bottle handy. Jon and I just have to laugh at it all.