The struggle to be king

When we first brought Abe home from the pound, we tried a bizarre scheme to introduce him to Winston, something Greg had read about on the Internet. I held Winston, and Greg cradled Abe in his arms on the other side of the room. We slowly walked toward each other while petting our respective animals and giving them treats. By the time we met in the center of the room, we were all supposed to be friends.
Maybe we didn’t give enough treats. Maybe we walked toward the center of the room too quickly. Something went wrong. Ever since Abe got that first good sniff of cat flesh, he has been out to kill Winston. Abe grabs Winston’s ears and drags him across the floor. If Winston is sitting on a window ledge, Abe bites into Winston’s back paw and pulls him down. Occasionally, Winston fights back. He launches himself onto Abe’s back and tries to bite Abe. This is rare and wonderful. It usually happens at night. We try to prevent the death matches, but sometimes it’s just too exhausting.
One anomaly exists in all this civil war: Abe’s food dish. We’re always trying to curtail Winston’s food intake. Sometimes when Winston is really hungry, he starts eating out of Abe’s food dish. And Abe will not stop him. He won’t go within 10 feet of his dish if Winston is there. If Abe lived in the wild, he would let the alpha male eat first. In the game reserve that is the Muthler household, Winston is the alpha male.
This is probably why Winston always tries to eat off our plates before we sit down to dinner. We must all let the pudgy, 12-pound fuzzball feast first. He must wonder what the heck is going on. “Don’t you dimwits realize that I am king? I could have you all killed. Off with your heads!”

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