Do you live with a soul that has control issues? I think sometimes that I can be a bit blatant about wanting things in my household to go ‘my’ way, but in my defense, it is more so about where things are put away in my kitchen then wanting to be the boss. My spouse might say differently, but I digress! I think everyone under our roof would have to agree that the one who is in charge at our address is our cat Romeo! His need to feel that he is the over-seer of our movements is down right overt! I have been taking note of his behaviour as of late and find it somewhat amusing. Romeo, is a Maine Coon, on the spectrum of felines, he is a good sized cat, in fact he weighs more than some of my canine clients! I would put him at maybe 16 pounds, perhaps five of that is made up of fur, man he is fluffy! Our dog, Lucas, is a Shepherd mix and weighs around 71 pounds, you would think the balance of power would be more in his favour due to his sheer size and gurth, and yet it is not. That poor dog skulks around the house like a hen pecked husband, he will let Romeo push him out of the way at the water bowl, he allows him to block him from his food dish and it is usually me who has to get stern with the cat and tell him not to bully Lucas and let him have his dinner. The coming and goings on the stairway is an even greater phenomena! That cat of mine will stand on the landing midway between floors, or at the very top to the main level, or even more overtly, he will lay on a stair, knowing full and well that Lucas is terrified to walk past him. His mere presence, will prevent Lucas from traversing from one floor to another, leaving him trapped. This week we have Harley the Golden Retriever living with us, he is around 100 pounds…combined the two pooches would have no difficulty asserting dominance over our little kitty, and yet both dogs this morning were stuck on the lower landing as the cat stood at the top staring down at them with a look of disdain. It was feeding time, and even with the smell of food, the poor boys stood frozen at the bottom of the steps staring up at Romeo wishing he would move. I came up behind and took note of the scene, I made a comment to my gentlemen to follow me. Romeo, looked like Mufasa on Pride Rock (I swear that cat thinks he is a Lion and has no clue that his size does not match his attitude). I acted as a human shield, so the dogs felt assured they had safe passage. The cat begrudgingly moved out of the way, Lucas and Harley avoided making eye contact with him, and whisked by. The comical part is, Romeo never hisses, never is not one to use his claws (I am not sure he is aware he has them) and if he did by chance pretend to take a swipe at one of the dogs it is a lame attempt to seem imposing…his control is all in his eyes and his demeanor. He is the epitomy of that song by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers “I won’t back down.” It never ceases to amaze me how proud Romeo is of himself when he keeps the dogs at bay, he will acquiesce when I tell him not to be such a bully…he gets this look like “oh fine, I will let your chicken ass pooches come up the stairs….” The other way he likes to assert he is “boss” is to situate himself on one of the dogs beds! That cat could roost in any number of comfortable locations in this house, he can usually be found on the back of the couch (where he likes to over see the comings and going at the front door), the corner chair where his cat bed rests, his number of resting spots in the house is infinitesimal. Yet he will purposefully lay on Harley or Lucas’ beds, resting right in the middle of it, looking like a Prince, while the dogs lay on the floor a few feet away. They don’t try and assert that it is their spot or even suggest perhaps Romeo could share, nope, the message is loud and clear, Romeo is the one who calls the shots! I am one of the cats minions as well, he has me very well trained to do his bidding, in fact all of us in the household stop what we are doing to feed him when he stands imposingly in the kitchen and stares at us until we stop what we are doing and get him a snack. It is good that all of us understand the hierarchy, that we don’t question who is in charge, but I will say that it amuses me that the cat with the liver wrapped around his heart, who is sort of fragile, is the one who is in charge! Perhaps he uses his frailty to his advantage? I don’t really think that is though, he is a control freak! Whenever I feel I am being a bit bossy, I remind myself that I don’t have “Catitude” like our Romeo!