I learned, a while back, that things with levels are important to cats when it comes to establishing who is alpha. A “cats whisperer” on a TV show solved the problems of some roommates by suggesting their three cats needed a cat tree with three platforms so they could stop fighting.
Every once in a while we get to see this behavior in Kitten Thunder. Like the other day when I was cleaning the main floor bathroom and Oliver was laying on the bottom shelf. Obi came in a jumped onto the sink, then walked across the toilet, onto the window and then hopped onto the top shelf.
Immediately, Oliver wanted on the top shelf. Obi, noticing his brother below him, started rolling around and showing his belly. But how do you be submissive toward someone beneath you? It was silly and fun to watch for several minutes.
Obi finally decided to throw himself off the shelf and Oliver settled back down to supervise my cleaning.
Later in the day they found themselves in the same situation on the condo. Obi submissive positioned himself over the edge of the condo and Oliver hopped up to the top level. Relieved, Obi asked if he could join Oliver for a nap and was allowed up.
Obi has no interest in being the alpha – he’s not ready for leadership yet.