What a development! This morning, I witnessed Imogen and Percival playing.
I had seen what might be termed preparations for play, or perhaps tests for play, last week. Percival had been running around, and Imogen had followed, not involved in Perce’s fun, but, in a way, judging it, judging his willingness, or maybe his ability to separate playing from something too unpleasant.
This morning, after the beasts had had their breakfasts and their little post-meal naps, Percival felt energetic and started running about. Imogen ran after him. Very soon, I observed my new boy running into the bedroom, and my new girl running after him. Then, Imogen sprinted out again, Percival trotting, a little uncertainly, behind. But their postures and movements around the nylon cube were those of cats at play. And when Imogen hurried into the bathroom, Percival pursued her.
Everything had the stop-and-start action of two animals having fun; tails were up, and the only hissing came from Imo when, in the cube and facing one of its blank walls, she knew Perce was very near but couldn’t see him. I think that still unnerves her.
But what a step for both, especially Imogen. Had she known other cats in her kittenhood and played with them? Or is this a new discovery for her? Whatever the case, it is clear that she need not be an only cat in a new home, as long as the other cat or cats are gentle, unobtrusive and willing to let her be until she says otherwise. I was very lucky to bring her into a home with two oldsters who want merely to be left alone, and a new feline who cares more about attention from humans than his own species. It’s early days, yet I think Imo may have it in her to enjoy a feline pal.
This is a big step for Percival, too. It shows that he does have an interest in enjoying the company of other cats, but would likely let them set the pace. He might be just the sort to come into a home of a lonely cat who would benefit from a friend but would be initially frightened of a new family member.
I hope to see more of this behaviour. Will it occur tomorrow? Next week? Never? Unless scared into regression, cats move forward, so I am very optimistic.