Almost there...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Cat Integration

It all seemed logical and simple. I had two cats - Pixel and Leeloo. It's a good number of cats. Erik had two cats - Fleck and Pepper. (Because it's a good number of cats.) Then we moved in together, and well, four cats is a LOT of cats.

So we've spent six months working through the Humane Society guidelines for introducing cats to one another. On Saturday, Erik turned over and asked me to scoot over a bit as he was falling off the bed. I lifted my head to tell him he was crazy and realized that the bed hog was not a human. It was Pepper wedged in between us. Better yet, Pepper, Pixel, and Leeloo all shared the bed in a non-hissing, non-fighting truce. While we've had a bit of that here and there, it seems pretty consistent now. For a while, Pepper was convinced Leeloo just had to die, and Leeloo did everything she could to promote that idea for Pepper. Eventually we got a bit desperate, and whenever Pepper attacked Leeloo, we'd throw her in the shower. As with many cats, she does not like water. It took less than a half-dozen times of getting showered to convince her that maybe her life would be better if she let Leeloo live.

Now, why did we work so hard on integrating Pepper? Well, frankly, she's not very adoptable. She's a former feral girl who is six years old, who lost her tail to injury, who is missing her upper teeth from gum disease, who is about five to eight pounds overweight and can't really clean herself very well because of it. She's a real sweetheart, but she just doesn't scream "I'm sooooooo cute! Adopt me!" (The similar goes for Leeloo, the string-eating wonder-cat who gets two pills a day.)

Fleck on the other hand has also not thrived in his new environment, but he just screams, "I'm soooooooo cute!" He's an orange boy. He's a Manx. He's a snuggle bum who purrs like a motorboat.

I mean, seriously, he's just that cute. But he's going to be a lot happier someplace with less than four cats. He's not getting the attention he needs. We're still hoping friends or family can adopt him so that we can visit him from time to time.

But three cats comfortably sharing the bed is nice. It's a big milestone. Better yet, we left them all together with no gates or barriers for three hours on Friday night and NOBODY DIED! There wasn't even any blood. It was awesome. In my fantasy world of the future, Leeloo will only need one pill a day and we'll be able to stay out overnight without a cat sitter. Meanwhile, life is a bit more circumscribed than that at the moment. That's okay. Getting snuggled by three kitties and your favorite person on a random Saturday morning in between reading a book and dozing in and out of sleep is pretty darned good.


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