My new foster-cat, Parker, is quite the explorer. He currently is also a bit of a restless spirit, as he begins to find a place for himself in the crowded apartment. That is to be expected.
He likes to discover what is behind closed doors, which gave me a start on Sunday, when he rushed past me and out our front door. I was taking laundry to the washing machines down the building’s ground floor corridor and, accustomed to my cats’ knowledge of their limits, did not expect to be brushed aside by an orange flash. But once outside the apartment, Parker hesitated. I did not, and, seizing him, deposited him back inside. That’s something for which I will have to watch. Josie sometimes wants outside but her curious pace will never get her there. Making a dash for it is another matter.
Then there is Parker’s jumping. There’s no neuropathy due to diabetes in his back legs. He has been on my kitchen counters several times, following smells, no doubt, but also to get to the ledge that runs under the window. This weekend, he evidently used it to launch himself onto the top of the cupboards. Whenever he sees me unexpectedly, he trills “mrrrrrp”. I was trying to find him Saturday afternoon and heard his greeting twice, but could not see him. He’s almost nineteen pounds, hefty and long, but invisible. Then I saw him above me. I don’t think he could have gotten down, as he had not yet figured out that the refrigerator gives him a kind of step to the counters. I helped him to the floor and sternly told him not to jump up to the cupboards again. I am sure he listened. This time.
The boys mind him the least. Renn will give his low, warning moan at certain times, but just to let the newcomer know who is higher in the hierarchy. There may be tense moments if Parker catches Renn sniffing about the library: Renn will groan deeply while Parker, big fellow that he is, emits a series of high-pitched peeps, like a newly hatched chick. I will hear an alternating rhythm of “errrrrrrr” and “eeeeep” - “errrrrrrr…eeeeep…errrrrrrr…eeeeep…errrrrrrr…eeeeep…errrrrrrr…eeeeep…” It’s like a showdown between James Earl Jones and Tiny Tim. But neither seems inclined to fight.
Much of the time, Parker simply walks about, noting different new scents and scenes. Then he will settle down for a snooze somewhere, often near me. But he’s been on the sitting room couch and an armchair. I believe that normality is an ally in cat-integration; the more a resident feline sees a new arrival about the place, doing ordinary cat-things, the sooner, and easier, will be the latest cat’s inclusion. But as usual, I will let the beasts set the pace. As usual, I really don’t have a say in the matter.