Saturday, 28 April 2012

Diary of 2 Black Cats: Part 1

Let me start from the beginning. On March 15th, 2010, my husband called me up to tell me he found a lost cat outside of a Tim Hortons. He bought some milk and a bun from Tim's and tried to feed the cat (but he would not eat.) The cat looked clean, and was very friendly, so he decided to bring him home and gave him a place to stay. He dropped kitty off at home with me, and rushed to the closest 24 hour grocery store to get him some cat food and kitty litter for the night. Little did we know, this cat will find a permanent place to stay in our home and in our hearts. <3

We figured, he's so clean, he must belong to someone. We put up ads in the neighbourhood hubby found him, as well as Craigslist, Kijiji and on the Humane Society website. A few people had called, claiming to have lost a black cat, but their description did not suit him. We noticed he kept shaking his head and scratching his ears, so we took him the vet a few days later. It turns out, he had ear mites, so the vet treated him, and also let us know this cat was unneutered, so it's very likely he's a stray. Furthermore, he checked kitty for a chip and he did not have one. We gave it a few more weeks, but at this point, nobody had called, so we decided to keep him, and took him back to the vet for his vaccines and to get him fixed.

After a couple of months, I decided to officially name him "Pepper" (several months after that, he got unofficially named to "Timbit." So, we call him one or the other...but mostly Pepper.) Pepper's kept us good company over the last two years. He's a very vocal cat who is gentle in nature. He spends all of his time hanging around in whatever room we are in. He watches TV with us, eats dinner with us, and sleeps with us (and by "sleeps with us", I mean he sleeps on the top half of my/hubby's pillow, while we sleep on the bottom!) He is far more dependent compared to other cats. He hates when we leave the apartment, and meows at the door like there's no tomorrow when we're leaving. On the contrary, he also greets us with endless meows when we walk back in.

A few months back, my husband said he wanted to bring a second cat home (a kitten.) We'd been shopping around some shelters and websites to see if any cat was suitable to bring home for Pepper. The animal shelter I volunteer at had many cats which I started bonding with, but a few of them had come with disclaimers stating "not good with other cats" or "not good with kids." So, those cats were out of the question.

Then just a couple of weeks ago, one of my friends (who's moving out of the country) told me she's looking for a new home for her cat, and asked me if I'd be able to take him in. I told her I'd test it out for a week or so, and see how the two cats bond. Although my husband and I are comfortable having a second cat at home, Pepper is the one who gets the final vote! So, kitty #2 (Blackjack) came "home" last night. I've set up each of the cats in separate rooms, with their own food bowls, water dishes and litter boxes. There was a bit of hissing from each side, but overall, the cats have been doing their own thing. Any time I open the bedroom door, Pepper keeps running up with me to see what's going on in there, and Blackjack is usually the one hissing from the inside.

I have my fingers crossed that the cats will eventually be okay. All the books/magazines/websites say that some cats bond really quickly (within a week), for other cats it takes a few months, and other cats don't bond at all. It just depends on the personality of each cat. My main concern was, these are both male cats, I really really did not want any spraying cats in my apartment! Knock on wood... no spraying so far! Just mild hissing, and I had Blackjack paw me a few times (out of stress and fear.) My hubby really had his heart set on a kitten, not another adult cat. In retrospect, kittens can easily find homes. Even at the shelter, one of the questions I hear ever so often is "where are all the kittens?!" Adult cats generally do take longer to get adopted out, because everyone wants the cute babies. So, I think we are doing a good thing for Blackjack. I'm very hopeful that these cats will learn to coexist.

But, we will have to keep in mind... when a baby comes along, we'll need a bigger place for 2 cats and a child!

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