Ever since we adopted our (first ever) kitty, Simone, my SAT (self-appointed trainer) has been talking about getting a “friend” for Simone. I was much more hesitant about that idea because I wanted Simone to adjust more to our house and to us….and although I loved having Simone, the thought of another kitty seemed a bit daunting to me. What if the two don’t get along? Would we have to give up the second cat? What if the two take FOREVER to become, if not friends, tolerant of each other?
As a compromise, 2 weekends ago, we decided to check out a local pet rescue to learn about volunteer opportunities. Lost Our Home is a “no-kill” shelter that was founded in 2008 as a response to the recession at the time. A local mortgage banker noticed a lot of abandoned homes and animals; often times, the animals did not have access to any food or water. We were impressed upon hearing the story and wanted to give back to the community in a small way. (Plus, hanging out with cute animals is fun!)
When we visited Lost Our Home, we checked out the “cattery” (i.e. the area in which the cats were housed) and saw a number of very social and charming felines, all available for adoption. One in particular caught my SAT’s eye: a striking boy named Jack. According to Lost Our Home, most white cats with blue eyes are deaf. Jack is a white cat with blue eyes who is not deaf….therefore, he is a “purrfect” specimen. He’s about 1.5 years old and is almost twice as big as Simone, weighing in at 14 pounds (she’s almost 3 years old and about 8.5 pounds).
Well, we adopted Jack and started the same process with him as we did with Simone to begin acclimating him to our house (i.e. keep him in one room). However, it was more important to keep him in his own room this time because of Simone, who was showing territorial behavior. The first 3 days were a little rough: we kept Jack in one room the first night, then listened to him meow and meow. We would go and hang out with Jack that first night, where he would exhibit some signs of anxiety (pacing, frenetic head-butting, lots of vocalization). The second day and night was more of the same with the addition of cracking Jack’s door open so Simone could smell him (and sort of see him) better. That resulted in Simone hissing at Jack, her hackles rising, and her tail becoming really bushy, all classic signs of aggression. Jack just made some pitiful meows and stayed in his room. I actually spent the night in Jack’s room to try and comfort him.
Day three: my SAT worked from home that day and was rather distracted by Jack’s constant meowing. During my commute home that night, my SAT called me and reported that the two cats were in the same room AND NOT KILLING EACH OTHER. Day 3 ended with both kitties on our bed. What??? Of course, there were a few not-so-nice interactions, mainly instigated by Simone, but ever since that night, the two have been existing in relative harmony. We’ve noticed their relationship developing really nicely and observed some key indicators that point to a good friendship: 1) they’ve chosen to use the same litter box, 2) they eat their food beside each other, 3) they sleep near each other on our bed during the day when we’re not home, 4) they sleep on our bed with us, and 5) they hang out on their “catio” together (a “catio” is an enclosed outdoor space for kitties).
Jack is a friendly guy who LOVES to know what you’re doing at all times. If you’re in the bathroom, he will follow you. If you’re working at home, he will lounge by you. He’s always up for some petting and he always greets you when you come home. He’s also a little impulsive, sticking his nose into whatever he can get it into. I think he’s a good foil to Simone, who’s more reserved and cautious.
It’s been really fun to see the two of them playing together and chasing each other around the house. They are both very lovable and we love them a lot! Now, maybe I won’t feel too guilty when I go on my next day hike or bike ride because the kitties have each other for company!