As Wednesday night rolled around again, the issue of the two cats came up again in the Commune Meeting. Partly it happened because Carrie and Inky were both at the meeting.
Winter was petting Inky, who had grown quite a bit in the past few weeks. Carrie had been sitting quietly in Viv’s lap when she jumped up and strolled over to where Inky was.
Dan had been trying to work through a specific issue with Sal with the group’s help but when Carrie began to rub against Winter’s legs, the whole commune’s attention was diverted. As Inky leapt down and faced Carrie, everyone began focusing on the cats.
Carrie hissed at Inky. Strange Brew, who was facilitating, said, “Wait a minute. You aren’t allowed to call anyone names in the meeting.”
Carrie sat back and looked at Strange Brew. Inky gazed around at the assembled commune.
“Do I have to remind you what the rules are here?” Strange Brew asked. “You need to take turns and explain yourselves. Carrie, you seem to be having some difficulty with Inky. Is that correct?”
Carrie tilted her head. “I’ll take that as a yes,” Strange Brew said. “I know you were the cat that was here first.” At that Carrie sat up straight and proud.
“Inky,” Strange Brew said and Inky seemed to acknowledge his name by looking straight at Strange Brew. “You want to live here also.” Inky purred.
“Okay,” Strange Brew said. “Carrie, are you willing to live peacefully here with Inky?” Carrie stopped looking at Strange Brew and began looking at the door. “I will take that as a no. Can you think of a way that can change?” Carrie continued to look at the door. “Would you like Inky to leave?” Carrie immediately turned back to Strange Brew and mewed.
“No, no, no,” Strange Brew said. “Pleading won’t help. What about if you stayed on one side of the community and Inky stayed on the other and neither of you interacted?” Carrie cocked her head to one side and seemed to consider this. “While you’re thinking about this, Inky, what do you think about each of you taking a side of the community?” Inky also cocked his head and looked at Strange Brew. “Okay, maybe we can work this out.”
“Can I help here?” Marge asked.
“Sure,” said Strange Brew.
Marge turned to Carrie. “You’ve been here a long time. I know that you like to hang out in the side house and in Groovy House. Are you willing to mostly stay around there?” Carrie looked at Marge. She lay down and purred. “Okay, Inky, you’re new here. I’ve seen you hanging out with some of the newer folks. How about you hang out more at Harmony House?” Inky cocked his head and looked at her. “Alright, you can also wander around the back fields and hang out with the goats.” Inky lay down and purred.
“Okay,” Strange Brew said. “I think we have an agreement here. Now let’s get back to working things out with Sal and Dan.”
“That was amazing,” Cat said to Luna after the meeting was over. “It was great how Strange Brew and Marge were able to get the two cats to work things out.”
“Absolutely,” Luna agreed. “I wish we could do things like that more often.”
“You know,” Cat said. “We could do something similar to what Carrie and Inky agreed to with the two Humbugs.”
“That’s not a bad idea,” Luna said. “Let me talk with them.”
Strange Brew wasn’t far away, talking with Marge and Viv. Cat and Luna walked over and joined them.
“It was not a problem,” Strange Brew was saying. “Both cats were very cooperative. It was just a matter of trying to figure out how to get everyone’s needs met.”
“I still think that you and Marge were brilliant,” Viv said.
“Thank you,” Marge said. “But I agree with Strange Brew. We couldn’t have done it if the cats hadn’t cooperated.”
“Well, I was impressed,” said Luna.
“Me, too,” said Cat.
“Thank you both,” Strange Brew said.
“I do have a question, however,” Luna said.
“Yes?” said Marge.
“If you could get Carrie and Inky to come to agreement, why couldn’t you do it with Dan and Sal?”
“I don’t know,” Strange Brew said. “Sometimes cats are easier to herd than people.”