We’ve been a family of three for some time now. It’s great. We are incredibly blessed to have a such a sweet-natured big furry orange cat. He truly enriches our lives, and as you can tell from this blog I’m kinda obsessed. But we feel bad because he’s alone quite a bit. Beyond work we typically are busy on any given evening leaving only a small sliver of quality cat time before bed. Like any guilty mother I try to compensate by over-feeding him and smothering him in love while we’re together.
After lengthy discussions we finally decided that Gilligan needed a friend. A bigger place allowed for that to happen (Gilligan has his own room!) There’s a small pet shop on Montana where they frequently hold pet adoptions. The woman who owns the place, we’ll call her Jan*, fosters cats at home from the shelter and then finds nice little families for them.
While walking past this shop one day we stopped in to take a look at the cats. I started talking to Jan about how Gilligan might want a friend. She said, “Oh Fiona! She is such a sweetie. She LOOOOOVESSS other cats. In fact she always adopts each batch of kittens, that’s how nurturing and sweet she is.” Well, I like the sound of that!
Two weeks went by and we were mostly settled here in the condo. I called Jan and asked if Fiona was still there. She was. It was a sign! For the next few days I kept telling Gilligan that he was going to be a mommy! His dream come true!!!!
When we picked Fiona up from the shop, the guy helping us said, “Oh you’re getting Fiona? She’s such a diva.” HHmmm, maybe that’s how they refer to sweet kitties these days?
I had done my research and knew that we needed to separate the two for a short time so they could get all their sniffing to get used to the idea of each other. We made her a little home in the main bathroom. She was very sweet and I pet her often. I left treats outside the bathroom door so Gilligan would associate her smell with good things. They meowed at each other through the door and all looked well. After 24 hours we finally cracked the door and let them decide if they wanted to meet.
Gilligan went plowing in. He was so excited! Fiona didn’t really care. She was super disinterested. For the next day she took over his litter box, stole his cat tree, ate his food, swatted and hissed at him and bullied him to no end. I watched, heartbroken, as my sweet fat kitty sulked in the corner crying.
I know it takes time for cats to adjust but it appeared that Fiona was the exact opposite of what we were told. So, I called Jan. I was SO nervous and I was feeling like such a terrible person (I should just love and accept the cat, she’ll come around, right?). But then I was completely validated when Jan said;
“Wait, which cat did you take home?” umm seriously? It was three days ago…
“Ohhhh! No, no, no. Fiona hates other cats! She only likes kittens. You guys have the wrong cat.”
“Bring her back in. You guys can take Mia home.”
Who the heck is Mia!??
“Mia looooves other cats.”
yeah, sure, just like Fiona.
We brought her back in. She seemed relieved as she slinked into her old owner’s arms. Jan then thrusted Mia at me. No. We’ve had enough for one weekend, sorry Mia.
When we got home Gilligan was finally asleep, out cold. He slept all afternoon and night. The poor guy had been through a lot. He wasn’t ready to be a mommy. At least not to a cat who hates other cats, go figure.
A family of three is good for a while.