Are Big Red and Junior friends or enemies? It is hard to describe their relationship. They enjoy each other’s company, but they also like to push each other’s buttons. I would argue that Big Red is the button pusher, and Junior has learned to stand up to him. They started cohabitating in 2019. They did have encounters in the past, but they did not spend too much time together as they do today. Both Big Red and Junior had life-altering events occur in their lives outdoors that led them to lean on each other for companionship and support.
You see, Big Red had many friends, but his bonded mate was Mean Mommy. His close friend was Scrappy. Scrappy loved pets, and when I first started volunteer with the coalition, the only way to pet Big Red was to pet Scrappy first; and then quickly move over to Big Red. It seemed like Scrappy assured Big Red that he can trust me. Life for outdoor kitties is hard, and Mean Mommy and Big Red’s life completely changed when they lost their friend Scrappy. They both moved to different areas on campus and made new cat friends.
Junior had a similar situation happen to him. His best friend was Buddy. Buddy and Junior were always together, and I would sing the song by Harry Nilsson, “Best Friend,” to both of them. This song, in my opinion, personified Buddy’s and Junior’s relationship. Junior lost Buddy. We were all devastated by the loss of Buddy. As I am writing this, I cannot help but cry. Junior was the one who led our volunteer to his buddy, and she made sure to give Buddy a proper burial.
What brings comfort to my heart is knowing that Big Red and Junior have each other, and even though it is not a perfect relationship, they have managed to cohabitate quite well.