I know the whole “alpha” concept in animal packs has recently been called into question, but this is a photo of the alpha pet in our house. Helen dominates both our other cat, Oreo (though she is never called by that name – usually Pam calls her “kitty girl” and I call her “stupid cat”), and Clive, the animal who should be our alpha pet because he is awesome.
She doesn’t do it through aggression. She does it through deafness. She bats Oreo around and continues to chase and play with Oreo even though Oreo growls and hisses as much as she possibly can. Oreo does everything she can to convey to Helen that if Helen continues such behavior then Oreo is going to get more aggressive, without actually getting aggressive. Of course, Helen can’t hear all Oreo’s attempts to convey to her how seriously annoying she is getting, so Helen just keeps on playing. Since, Oreo doesn’t actually want to get aggressive, because a fight will inevitably lead to both parties sustaining damage, Oreo eventually just ends up running away from Helen. The small kitten wins.
Helen likes eating with Clive and sleeping in his bed. When Clive starts eating Helen jumps right in there with him and pushes him out of the way a little to get some food. Clive does what any dog would do when another creature starts to steal its food. He growls and barks and tries to convey to Helen “this is dangerous, you don’t want to do this”. Helen is busy eating and can ‘t hear anything so she just keep on eating. When Clive jumps into his bed at night, Helen likes to sleep with him. That’s usually fine with Clive until Helen decides she wants to bite his tail when it moves. Clive growls but it is again to no avail because a noisy threat is meaningless to a creature that is unable to hear it. Clive doesn’t actually want to fight and therefore, Clive just gets out of his bed and leaves it to Helen.
I’m sure some personal improvement coach could write a book of inspiration concerning how much you can accomplish if you just don’t hear the people telling you don’t do that. If you write this book it should be called “the Helen Principle”. All I know is that a 5 pound kitten is ruling our house simply because she can’t hear the threats that are being hurled her way.