my neighborhood cats are engaged in a turf war over my patio.
i am sick of their stalking each other on my patio. i am sick or their competitive spraying on my patio and i am sick of waking in the night to their fights over and on my patio.
see, the key words in all those sentences are MY PATIO. i already know whose territory it is. it's mine.
i have been thinking about how to properly convey this concept in a language they understand and last week i was thinking that if i catch them each in their turn and pee on them, that is a message about territory and my possession of it that they will comprehend.
i have, however, settled on a different method.
i wish for the neighborhood cats to believe that they are on my menu.
you've all seen cats stalk prey, right?
well, i am now stalking them. when i see them i stare right at them, and very intensely. i move very slowly toward them, never taking my eyes off of them and when they look away, i move into better position. i wish for everything about my body language to say "i could use a little more protein in my diet and you look delicious".
today i did this with one of the contestants for the better part of an hour before he first slunk away to safer ground and then finally broke and ran away.
over the time of stalking i watched him change posture from challenging to merely confident to uncomfortable to nervous to retreating and finally running away flat out.
he came back a little while later to peer nervously around the hedge, but a few glaring stares and licking of the lips sent him away for the rest of the evening.
i am hoping to make my patio a place the contestants no longer wish to occupy.