“Hello, Rudy,” I said in a soft voice so not to frighten him.
Rudy eyeballed me but didn’t respond. Instead, he puffed out his furry cheeks as if to say, “I don’t say hello to strangers. What do you take me for?”
Rudy was always an independent cat, even as a kitten. Once in a while, Rudy would chase dots of light, but would rarely use a scratchpad or chase a fake mouse around.
As Rudy grew older, he became even moodier and more territorial and, at times, aggressive toward those who moved into his space.
Rudy never really warmed up to me. He knew that I was Joan’s boyfriend and that she really liked me, but that didn’t make any difference. He seemed to despise all men and especially those who took Joan’s attention away from him.
I wouldn’t have minded if Rudy just avoided me when I came over, but he was openly hostile, often hissing and exposing his sharp claws if I looked at him in the wrong way.
Seeing my discomfort, Joan suggested that I buy Rudy some liver-flavored cat treats and give Rudy some each time I came over her apartment.
So at each visit, I would spread a few cat treats on the floor and watch Rudy snap them up. I would not expect any affection from him nor move into his space. In return, he did not stick his butt in my face or hiss at me. I did this for a month, and it seemed that the two of us came to a mutual understanding.