2-10-17 Friday

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Newt’s young’un picture! He was so slender. Does Maxi still tolerate her, um, kitten?


(My favorite Newt picture, just because.)

I actually updated the compatibility chart, FINALLY, and had to ask Fred’s opinion on how Maxi feels about Newt. He said he thinks she LURVES him, because she runs over to rub against him when she sees him come outside. So she still loves her little boy, at least until he annoys her, and then she smacks him. He’s never too old for a smack!

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I’ve heartily enjoyed lurking for about two years now. Today I found myself in a bit of a pickle, and I was hoping I could get some input from you and/or the lovely Love&Hisses community on the feasibility of my plan.

My amazing 11-year-old intact traditional Persian male, Darwin, lives with my parents because I seem to be allergic to him. He is highly active when he wants to be – he often scales the outside walls of our small summer home to peek in on whoever’s working on the upper floors – but seems really bored of having the same old people around. On the other hand, he is an attention hog, displaying jealousy both of his girlfriends over us, and of us over his girlfriends, when they’ve visited. Many people have recommended getting a kitten to keep him company without threatening his current position as High Lord of Everything.

I was recently asked to foster Grey, a neutered, timid 7yo silver tabby, who does not seem to trigger my allergies. Four days after he arrived, he’s a confident, cuddly lovebug, but he prefers to play without my help, and he seems absolutely desperate to greet and cuddle with the stray cats that sometimes perch on my windowsill. He runs trilling to them and rubs the window lovingly whenever they’re here. The organization I got Grey from fear that the strays may be infected with feline herpes, and that Grey might shoot out of any open window and get lost, so I can’t let them play together.

1. I’m guessing I’m actually allergic to the FrontLine-like substance we treat Darwin with, rather than Darwin himself.

2. Is it feasible to attempt to bring these two together at my place, which smells more of Grey than it does of Darwin right now? Can males turn from strangers to buddies? Any tips for accommodating elderly males in particular?

Any and all opinions are welcome and greatly appreciated!

P.S. I’m unsure about neutering Darwin, partly because of potential complications due to his age, and partly because I have yet to find a vet around here I’d trust with performing the operation.

P.P.S. It says on Grey’s passport he’s a Siberian, but his coat is too short and he was found on the streets, so I don’t think that’s likely.

P.P.P.S. Yes, I am falling into the trap of wanting to adopt my foster cat.

I think they certainly can become friends or they might hate each other – it sounds like Grey desperately needs a friend, so I say go for it.

If you do decide to give it a try, I would suggest you take it very very slow. Don’t throw them together – confine one of them to a room for at least several days, let them sniff at each other under the door, feed them on either side of the door, then room-swap. The tips on this page are pretty much what I would suggest. I can’t think of any specific tips for elderly cats, just follow the tips on that page, take it slowww, and let us know how it went!

I will say that until you know for sure that it’s the Frontline you’re allergic to, I’d wait. There’s no point in introducing them and making them friends if Darwin can’t stay with you. Unless you’re planning to home both of them at your parents’ house? Maybe I need clarification on this.

You guys, please chime in!

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I’m going to tell my husband about Crooked Acres when I make my pitch for us to adopt my one remaining foster kitten. Yes, I kept one from the first litter. No, I’m not going to keep doing this with fosters. But my little girl was just so scared at her adoption event, and just so happy and relieved to come home. Anyway, this would just bring us to six permanent residents.

I am happy to be the one y’all point to and say “But Robyn and Fred have ELEVEN cats and they’re fine.” I have used the “So-and-so have FOURTEEN cats and they’re fine!” It didn’t work for me (this was several years ago), but hopefully it’ll work for you. Good luck!

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Frankie and Dennis on the bed at the same time! Okay, it’s POSSIBLE Fred put Frankie in that bed, but still. He stayed there!


Frankie discovered this bed (which has a heated pad on it) and decided it was a swell place to snooze for a bit.


That FACE.

Frankie seems to be doing well – he’s more alert and moving around than he has been, and he’s been eating fairly well. It seems like he’s been screaming less, and pilling him is a little easier for Fred than it has been.

I FINALLY finished the foster room (which I repainted the exact same color), got everything hung back up and the room vacuuming and rearranged, and so Frankie got to spend last night in the foster room instead of in the upstairs bathroom. We wondered how he’d deal with it, and as it turned out – he dealt with it just fine. He looked out the window for a while, tried the four different beds, and settled in on the Fancy Sofa.

He’s been getting the run of the house during the day and it’s going well. I figure we’ll give him a few more private overnight stays in the foster room, and then leave him out overnight and see how it goes.

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Archie, unimpressed.

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Previously
2016: “You gonna come in here and serve up those snacks, lady?”
2015: “Okay, lady. Time for the belly rubbing!”
2014: “They have really pretty kittens in there,” thinks Dennis.
2013: No entry.
2012: Alice Mo approves of Everett’s form.
2011: Okay, so, the story on Reacher.
2010: Oh, M’Lynn. Break my heart, why don’t you?
2009: Miz Poo will put up with the kittens as long as they don’t get TOO much in her space.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.

Comments

Comments

2-10-17 Friday — 24 Comments

  1. I noticed on the compatibility chart that sweet Dewey likes EVERYONE! Poor Stephan…he is the only perm who is LOATHED by two other cats.

  2. For Darwin’s person: Let me get this straight – you have an INTACT male that is allowed to go outside?????? I hope I read that wrong.

    Anyway, if you do decide to try introducing them, follow Robyn’s advice about taking it slow and using food. And don’t be surprised if there is some spraying or other aggression. Darwin may be “mature” but he is still a full male. I highly recommend getting him neutered.

    As for cat allergies: most people become immune to their own cats from the constant exposure. Get some pills and deal with it 🙂

    Good luck!

    • I did allergy shots. I am allergic to many things…cats included. I have multiple cats and all is well.

    • You read that right, Beth. We’ve got a fenced in yard in the middle of nowhere where he walks around on an invisible leash when we happen to be there. He flat-out refused to be more than two feet away from me at any time. Plenty of precautions are taken, no need to worry. 🙂

      The spraying is just part of daily life. He doesn’t do it often, but I couldn’t hold it against him if he did. The aggression or lack thereof will be the deciding factor, if no one offers Grey a home where he can be dominant first.

      Pills have had unpleasant side-effects, but the shots GD mentioned are a bit of a new thing here, and I’ll be starting on them next month! 😀

      • Stick with it…don’t give up. It will be worth it in the end. It is a 3 – 5 yr commitment. Insurance should cover it. I got a shot in each arm (cuz I am allergic to the world). If an area gets tender, just cover it with your fingers and let them know that they can stick you anywhere but the area you have covered! 🙂 You will be glad you did it. If I had known about it 20 years ago…..

  3. Love the new compatibility chart! Maybe you should add two more columns… How do the cats feel about Fred and Robyn?! Rows are not needed, we know you guys LURRVE every one of them!

  4. Darwin & Gray: Darwin can easily be neutered – the surgery is so quick that they aren’t under for very long and it will be much better. we suggest get that done now, let him recover at your parents house and get the testosterone out of his system and then try slow introductions.

    Dennis on the bed reminds me of Daiquiri – how exactly is that comfortable???

    • I completely forgot to say this in my answer – I think that introducing the two cats will go a LOT more smoothly if Darwin is neutered; I highly recommend that you have him neutered even if you decide not to introduce the two cats.

      • Thanks for the great answer and the suggestion, Robyn and RF! I’ll keep looking for a reputable vet. There’s bound to be at least one!

        Ideally, I won’t start introducing them for at least a few weeks, and I’m thinking of just doing a couple of playdates first, where Darwin visits for a few hours then goes home, with a chauffeur for the Lord, of course. B)
        My plan is to hold out for at least 2-3 months until I start trying to introduce them to the idea of living together.

  5. I don’t know if introducing two cats to each other is different from introducing a dog to a cat but I suspect it doesn’t really matter that much and is based on their personalities. When I got my new puppy I did it slowly, but how long can you realistically keep a cat locked up in the bathroom?? We had her in there for a few hours and have since kept her isolated for the most part by a wire gate/fence. We fed them both on either side, but the puppy is wanting to play and make friends while the cat is essentially saying F off. She enjoyed being the only one. It is a bit like having a new baby after your first has grown to a teenager. The teenager thinks “WTF-I LIKED being an only child. THANKS!” So just a warning, if your older cat has been aloof and alone he may regard a new addition with much hesitancy and hissing and batting at the other even after a slow introduction.
    Btw-we just keep them apart as much as possible now and deal with things when they come into contact.

    • That’s a very good point, Holly!
      My hope is hinging on the fact that they’re both eager to talk to new cats they see through the windows, and their common interests – lounging, not playing with toys that don’t move on their own, a love of creating funny routines on the fly, and a shared dislike of loud noises.
      Hopefully, someone will adopt Grey, but I want to make sure I’ve thought of a good contingency plan.

      • Puppies combine the ill manners of all babies to the different body language and habits of a dog versus cat. An adult cat at least will not be as insistent on being buddies right this instant while the old fellow adjusts to the situation.

        I haven’t had any real issues with male cats adjusting to new cats and I have had quite a few cases in the last 20 years. It went from kittens to a 17 year old cat to the 5 year gap you have here. Some were more roommates than buddies, but no real friction.

  6. I feel like there’s real potential for a “Which Crooked Acres Permanent Resident Are You” quiz here. Do you like everyone? You’re a Dewey! Dislike everyone? An Archie! Generally dislike adults but like babies? You’re a Newt!

    • Thanks Shakatany! We do make occasional trips to the groomer’s which involve bathing, but it isn’t quite once a month. I might try and, very slowly, get him used to a light bath.

  7. I could NOT love the Compatibility Chart more. (I only have two cats and they Hate/Loathe/Tolerate each other.)

  8. It makes me happy that Joe Bob has two more “likes” in his column. I always felt like that sweet boy didn’t have enough friends.

    And is Dewey a sweetie or what?!? He just likes everyone! Maybe he is following in Uncle Jake’s paw prints.
    😀

  9. Trying to understand how anyone can HATE Joe Bob or Jake. Jake especially, when he loves the world.

    Archie is such the bad boy of the lot. He’s wear a black leather jacket with the collar flipped up and a chain on his wallet if he could.

  10. Glad we can still see the old compatibility chart.
    Joe Bob – “not a fan” of Archie…LOL

  11. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say Jake will probably at least “like” Frankie…