My newest foster-cat, Cammie, is doing well. The back parlour is still her preserve, and her refuge when she wants to feel safe, but its door is open to the rest of the house now, whenever I am home. I don’t think she has ever met other cats, perhaps didn’t know they existed, and then she was confronted by five. They trooped into the parlour one after another to check out the new creature living there.
That was a couple of weeks ago. Cammie is used to the others but doesn’t like them much. There is a great deal of hissing, especially with the boys - Renn, in particular, is miffed because the window seat in the parlour is often taken by the new girl - but there has been no fighting. Bear-Bear has been receiving the most hostility from Cammie, who will chase the BB from one room to another. There is, however, little anger on the new girl’s part, at least that I can see. She seems annoyed with Bear-Bear’s proximity and makes it clear to him that he should give her space. I think if the BB didn’t move fast enough, though, he might be encouraged with a claw or two in the bum. Nonethelss, I’m not worried. Bear-Bear’s personality is a strong one but not violent or aggressive in any form. Cammie chases, he runs. Still, it must provide Tucker with a glow of Schadenfreude, since Bear-Bear enjoys annoying him, too.
Aside from Renn and Bear-Bear, the other cats hiss at Cammie and are hissed at in return. Josie sometimes hides under a chair when the new girl is loose, but that isn’t a big problem. Tungsten indulges her usual full-face scowling when confronted by Cammie, but that doesn’t stop her from eating from the newcomer’s food-bowl, or using her litter-box, the latter activity seeming an outrageous act of lèse majesté to Cammie.
Cammie is not a timid cat. She has taken to exploring the house, looking into all the rooms she can, probing closets and climbing cat-trees. She loves her Fancy Feast and trots out to the kitchen to wait when I prepare it, braving the presence of all the other felines to do so.
Reluctant to be petted, she now submits to that contact, and even seems sometimes to enjoy it. She no longer hisses at me as I pass her, and is used to me coming and going. I largely ignored her for the first couple of weeks, talking to her but otherwise leaving her alone, letting her see that I was harmless as I went about my business. Leaving the door to the parlour open has assisted the transition, as she now hears and sees much of what goes on in the household, and can grow accustomed to it.
She is a smart animal, learning quickly the important things in life: the sound of dishes being filled, the words ‘dinner’ and ‘snack’ and knowing to use her litter-box, even if some interlopers feel that they can use it instead of trekking downstairs to use their own. Her progress would be facilitated greatly, I think, if she could move into a foster-home with fewer cats and a person or two who could devote more time to her. Even so, I think that she would do adequately in a multi-cat home, though patience would be required for her to grow used to everything. That needs to be done at her own pace. Some cats respond to a little prodding; Cammie isn’t one of them.
Given time, however, I think this beautiful, intelligent and small creature will bestow her affection on a lucky individual. I think she’s a choosy one, though, so it may not be me.