In the past two issues of Catnip, I’ve shared the plight of my new adopted cat, Tony, and the trouble it’s been causing for my two resident cats (not to mention my quality of life).
Taking the time to make gradual and safe introductions, I thought I was following the best advice of our own Dr. Nick Dodman. I even felt the relative ages made sense (all adults over the age of two but under nine). Tony is about three, so I assumed he wouldn’t be bringing any kitten-like behavior into my home ruled by languid, older cats who enjoy frequent naps and meditation (in other words, lazy).
But I was wrong about a few things. First, Tony does act like a kitten. He is very high energy, playful, attention-seeking and — if I may be frank — a little bit annoying, at times. As an example, one of his favorite “hobbies” is to wait until you’re making your way up or down the stairs — and then finding a way (i.e. any way) to get to the landing before you.
It also created an unexpected alliance between Puja and Rocky, who have never been completely compatible. I started to be concerned that their bullying of Tony was taking on a new level of premeditation — and if everyone would be better off if I found a different home for him.
And as I finished off last month’s editorial and gave a lot of thought to the situation, an unexpected thing happened: The tension lightened considerably.
Just to be clear, it wasn’t a matter of instantaneous feline synchronicity. I tried some bonding with the ample amount of catnip that I have growing in my garden — all three have a taste for it — and that seemed to allow them all to hang out in the kitchen without fur flying.
And then they simply figured out that in an old house with two stories and three bedrooms (plus some creepy closets), there was plenty of space to timeshare the environment so they didn’t have to interact that much. Once in a while (as pictured at left), they will even acquiesce to taking a nap on the same bed.
Ultimately, the cats made the decision about Tony’s future with us. And that’s just fine by me!