Thursday, September 12, 2013

Cammie at Her Own Pace

It’s very interesting to me to see how a cat interacts with others in a new environment, and especially how that interaction changes as it becomes used to its surroundings. Bear-Bear fit in quite well at my house, though he still causes some problems. Cammie, conversely, is actually causing fewer problems for the other beasts, but is herself slower to integrate.

She is, however, making progress. It seems faster with me than with the roommates of her own species but that, perhaps, is natural. I don’t use her litter-box or eat her food, after all. I can pet her much more than previously, and more extensively, over more of her body. She hasn’t purred since that first instance (and I am beginning to wonder if I heard that correctly) so I must interpret her reactions in light of other factors. Josie will flick her tail while purring and clearly enjoying something; in another cat, such a movement would indicate simmering anger. I think Cammie may be closer to Josie in this aspect than to a typical cat.

Her hissing is much reduced these days, and she tends to use it more when she is annoyed than when threatened or threatening. She largely ignores Tucker, but the roly poly doesn’t ignore her. He is having a hard time with the guest-cats’ presence, growling (actually a kind of low grumble) when he sees them, and doing the same with Josie. (He has done this before; Josie seems to be a proxy for his irritation.) Cammie also ignores Josie, who has always been the most accepting of any new cat.

The guest-girl’s reaction toward Tungsten is intriguing. I am starting to think that Cammie wants to be friends with the orange one. She will follow Tungsten, receive the latter’s unmistakable hiss in return, but continue to follow, not making a hostile sound of her own. This doesn’t happen all the time, but enough for me to wonder that, if Tungsten permitted, the two may become chums. Another unusual scene played itself out with Bear-Bear. The BB approached Cammie the other evening, was warned off, but kept pressing, not with vehemence but almost with curiosity. The two ended by sniffing noses, after which they went separate ways, without a sound.

The most watchable of her relationships is with Renn. Cammie dislikes my big boy, though I do not believe it has to do with a clash of personalities. Rather, Renn likes to spend time in the back parlour; he always has. He likes the opportunity of using the parlour’s windows out of which to examine the back lawn, doubling his viewing area, as he already has a similar prospect from the bedroom. Cammie, who sleeps in the back parlour and has her litter-box and cat-tree there, understandably, feels that she has some claim to the room. Renn’s stake, based on prior occupancy, is just as valid. Thus, the new girl and my big boy have words from time to time.

Often what transpires between them is a childish stand-off which seems impressive, even frightening, but which is in effect the feline equivalent of two adolescents yelling “Oh, yeah?” and “Says you!” at each other, ad infinitum. Cammie will sometimes trap Renn in a corner. Despite his size, Renn is a reluctant fighter, not the pacifist that Josie is, but not a combative animal, either. Thus, I will sometimes hear growling and grumbling from some part of the house and find, upon investigation, Cammie having run the big boy to earth, from where I must then rescue him.

One of the funniest moments with Cammie comes immediately upon a less amusing incident between Bear-Bear and Tucker. Those two will still sometimes come to a screeching confrontation, which I must defuse. But upon hearing an outbreak of howling anger, Cammie will come rushing from the parlour, hissing and hissing, her ears back, ready to fight. She will hiss at Tucker, at Bear-Bear, at me, then slink off, content perhaps that she has told us once, if she’s told us a thousand times, that she didn’t come to this house to be disturbed by a couple of children.

But all in all, I’m pleased with Cammie’s progress. It is much slower than Bear-Bear’s, and slower than the average cat’s. But who can say what she went through before she was rescued? She bumps my fist with her head when coming into the parlour, and will roll on her back to sleep, even when Renn is in the room, though this would expose her belly to an enemy in the wild. I believe she feels no danger in her foster-home. She is growing accustomed to her surroundings, but is naturally cautious. Time is no foe here, however, and if she is slow to integrate, there is, after all, no reason to hurry.


  1. I'm constantly amazed at how such tiny bodies can contain such large personalities. It would seem Cammie has a very large personality. LOL. Makes me think of Annie, actually.

    And then, I'm utterly struck by how neat and tidy and clean your living area is in the photo. You wouldn't like to teleport over before Dad's visit, would you? (I do exaggerate a bit, the house is fairly clean....if you don't look in ceiling corners at cobwebs or look at dusty baseboards. )

  2. It would seem Cammie has gotten comfortable with you...any chance she'll stay? I just wonder how she'll manage if she were moved again. Bear-Bear seems to more likely to settle into a new home easily.

    Mind you I don't know how you (or anyone else) fosters as it is apparent they make their way into your heart and your home.

  3. I think as Cammie's confidence grows she will be able to adapt to a new situation with a minimal adjustment period :-) You are doing a great job with her!

  4. This is very good progress. Our Fitz girl has taken almost a year to integrate and this is from a kitty who has been fully living with the fur family. Very funny about her giving her two meows to those who are in a tiff.
    Thanks so much for being a foster! There is such need.
    Purrs from all of us.