We have a new family member here. Things have been rough since losing Riley but I had been on the lookout for a new cat. Cats generally just show up but the husband was getting impatient.
Last Sunday we went to an auto parts store. There is a large private animal shelter next door. The husband was staring at it. He said that I hadn’t even looked there. I said that I had looked on the website. He kept staring. I asked if he wanted to go in. He said yes.
I told him that this was a bad time to get a cat because we are going on vacation soon. He agreed to just look. I should have known better.
The cats at this shelter are kept in small glass rooms in groups of about 5-6 cats. You can go into each room and sit in a chair and meet the cats. When the husband walked up to room 10 he saw a large tiger cat sitting on a cat tree by the window cleaning himself. He was impressed by the cleanliness. Riley was a bit lacking in personal hygiene. Powder would occasionally make a point to walk up and sniff his head and walk away in disgust. That would shame him into bathing himself.
This was a quiet cat who liked getting petted but wasn’t obnoxious about it. He was born at the shelter in 2013. His name was Terry. He was adopted when he was 3 months old. He was returned 11 months later for being too active. (Seriously? They had him through the horrible kitten crazy months. He had probably almost outgrown the crazy when they brought him back.) He’s been at the shelter since last July. His first family named him Paul. Who names a cat Paul? It is sticking though.
He got vaccinated before we left the shelter so he was quite angry. He spent the first night hiding in the computer room.
The second day I made him get out from under a dresser and told him I was tired of his self-indulgent pity party. I moved him to a bathroom with no hiding spaces. I also brought home a pheromone collar to calm him. It worked. In 15 minutes he was demanding belly rubs.
The next day he moved to the bedroom and therefore had to interact with Freckles and Powder. Powder is pointedly ignoring him. Freckles wants to be friends so badly! Every time he came out from under the bed, she’d be in his face wanting to love him. The dog has no chill. He ignored her except for the one time he smacked her for putting her nose in his ear.
He has been staying either under the bed or in the closet. He likes to be petted a lot but won’t initiate. He also isn’t eating to my liking. He’s getting canned food to try to get him to eat and that is making everyone else so jealous. He’s learning to eat while a dog is literally trying to break through the door to get to the yummy food.
Now he has full run of the house. He goes out of the bedroom at night. The first night he was roaming I found some cat toys that I haven’t seen in years spread out in the living room. He’s starting to walk over to me to get petted instead of making me crawl under the bed. We keep reminding ourselves that this is normal cat behavior. Living with aggressively friendly cats can make you forget that. I do NOTHING alone with Powder around. Riley used to think that when I sat on the toilet it meant that I wanted a cuddle. But even as in your face as Riley could be, he only did it for a few minutes a day. Powder’s constant need to supervise my every move is an anomaly in the cat world, not Paul’s behavior.
I think he’s going to be fine. It won’t surprise if he eventually comes more out of his shell. It has been less than an week so far. Someday I may look back on this post and laugh about talking about his shyness.