Friday, December 6, 2013

Getting a Third Cat Is a Sign You Are Crazy

Some of you* have been wondering where I've been. I have a darn fine excuse, and her name is Pepper Anne. (*I'm going to go ahead and just pretend that's the case, without any actual proof to support that claim.)
"Hi! I'm Pepper Anne! Won't you be my friend?"
So I saw this picture on Homer the Blind WonderCat's Facebook page. I wrote about my quite-possibly-disturbing-to-non-cat-people "friendship" with the blind cat Homer (stop judging me) not too long ago. It seemed that darling Pepper Anne needed a home, and she was nearby. I began a Super-Stealthy Campaign to win over my husband.

"Just LOOK at this adorable kitten!" I'd chirp, thrusting my phone into his field of vision several times a day.

"Yeah, she's cute," he'd mumble, and continue trying to rake leaves or shower or drive off to work.

"Poor Squeaky," I'd muse, whenever Squeaky the Cat was looking slightly bored. "She needs a playmate."

"Poor Capt. Nap," I'd say, nudging my husband. "See how he's sleeping there on the couch? He totally is wishing he had someone to curl up with."

My husband would look at me blankly and I'd whip out the picture of Pepper Anne again.

"Just LOOK at this adorable kitten!" I'd chirp...and so forth.

After several days of my Super-Stealthy Campaign, I "discovered" that Pepper Anne would be at a local pet store during an adoption event. By making 1,275 perfectly reasonable promises, I managed to talk my husband into going to the pet store "just to LOOK."

Let's fast-forward. We have Pepper Anne. We're several weeks into the trial period, during which we make sure she meshes well with our resident cats. That bit has been rather...TAXING. Let's check in with everyone.

"This is MY toy!"
Squeaky the Cat spends a lot of time guarding this particular toy. When she's not guarding the toy (okay, even when she is guarding the toy), she's hissing, growling, and lunging. Mostly at Pepper Anne, but sometimes at Capt. Nap and/or my husband and me. Good times. She's by far the least won over by Pepper Anne's considerable charms.

"It's totally obvious that you don't love me AT ALL."
Capt. Nap spends a lot of his time skulking near windows and doors, hoping someone will open them and liberate him from the madness that is our home. He also gives us this LOOK, which is designed for (and quite effective at) maximum guilt.

I keep Grouchy-Ass Squeaky and Beleaguered Capt. Nap separate from My New Very Favorite Pepper Anne (just kidding; I love them all equally, except for Squeaky, who is being a real pain) when I'm not around. I've read tons of stuff on how to introduce cats, and pestered the people at the adoption center with 4,857,973 questions. In addition, I've spent around $78,974 on cat-calming items. Below are just a few:

Jackson Galaxy SPIRIT ESSENCES drops and Feliway COMFORT ZONE spray.
Feliway diffusers for the areas in the house where conflicts are most likely to occur. (AKA, the ENTIRE house.)
As I indicated above, the pictures reveal only a tiny portion of the sprays that litter nearly every surface in the house, plus the diffusers plugged in at potential conflict zones. (Did I mention that conflict zones are, like, everywhere?)

I hope you can at least on some pitying level understand why I've been busy for three weeks. YES, I'm aware that my blog is ancient and hasn't been updated since October. LATE October, though, please note. Keep your fingers crossed for us as we enter the fourth and final week of the trial period. Oh, and Squeaky is up for adoption if anyone's interested. (Just kidding.) (Mostly.)
I'm keeping Wee Squeaky, though. She's MUCH better behaved. 


22 comments:

  1. Oh how I hear you.
    When we introduced Jazz (now a completely dominant bully) to the house it REEKED of attar of cat pee. Everytime he saw Jewel or heard her bell he let fly. Wherever he was.
    And congratulations on the stealth manoevres which brought Pepper Anne into your home as well as your heart.

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    1. EC, is there hope? I'm going to pretend Jazz and Jewel get along FAMOUSLY now...don't tell me if I'm wrong.

      They were some pretty good non-stealthy stealth maneuvers, weren't they?

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    2. Okay, yes, more carefully reading your comment -- particularly this bit: "now a completely dominant bully" -- answers my question. Sigh.

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    3. I LOVED your stealth manoevres. And may start to employ them here. Jazz bullies me at least as much as he does Jewel. Armed neutrality mostly covers it. Sometimes they get on well, and sometime psycho cat rules. And the attar of cat piddle pong is now gone - unless he is punishing me.
      So decidedly there is hope. They will find a way - even if it involves them 'claiming' different areas of the house.

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    4. On the off chance you're wrong, please send me your address so I can ship Squeaky to you at once.

      I haven't had the pee issue to deal with (YET), but there is a...delight of an organic nature just about every time I come home from work or wake up in the morning.

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  2. Lets just say I UNDERSTAND your dilemma & our cat RULE the frickin' house here in Duluth, MN.

    Missed you, Cranky.

    LOOoooove the photos of your precious fur babies! Xxx

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    1. Thank you, Chick! I've missed you, too. Xxx

      p.s. glad you can understand. JUST NOW I watched Ms. Queen B Squeaky lunge at Pepper Anne, who was committing the awful offense of playing with a toy (and not the even toy Squeaky has been guarding). This is exhausting!

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    2. oops - meant to say "not even the toy." MY GRAMMAR IS SLIPPING! THINGS ARE GOING TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

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  3. hopefully they start to get along, but some cats just don't want new cats around so your older cats might not want new friends. Keeping them in separate parts of the house can work if you don't want to give the new one up, but its still stressful on them. you might wake up and find them all curled up sleeping in a bundle together,...but it doesn't sound like it :/ after 3 weeks they should have gotten a little bit more use to each other, less hissing and lunging, wouldn't be stopped all together but shouldnt be all the time.

    separate feeding areas in different rooms can help, (should have separate dishes/bowls anyway to help stop in the spreading of any possible illness/disease),make sure there are enough litter boxes if you use them.


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    1. Yeah...I am coming to the conclusion that Squeaky may be among the "I don't WANT new friends" category. I've tried to remind her that she was once the new kitten on the block, much to Capt. Nap's dismay, but she doesn't seem to understand me.

      Thanks for the tips. It is very stressful on them, I can tell. Trying very hard to be patient with Squeaky especially, but it's hard to see her act aggressively toward the new kitten.

      We're giving them all one more week...if by then things haven't improved significantly, we'll think about giving Squeaky away. NO, I'm kidding. Our "old" cats are our first priority, of course, and we want the kitten to be in a safe, happy home, so we'll reassess in a week. Wish us luck!!!!!

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    2. good luck :) lol, maybe threatening to give her away might work ;p

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    3. Ha! I'll try that immediately ;)

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  4. I wrote a lovely long comment and I think it's disappeared in to cyberspace :-(

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  5. Dude at this rate I won't be able to visit you!

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    1. You've caught on to my plan: NO MORE HOUSEGUESTS! :)

      No, no - we're getting rid of the older/grumpier/less cute cats, not to worry.

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  6. I understand the difficulties of a new cat....they do get jealous of toys and attention so much. Does any of that calming scent work? Daughter has tried one kind....did not see any difference

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    1. Kim, I am not sure if the calming sprays/diffusers/drops work. I guess the only way to know for sure is when they run out! If Squeaky goes ballistic, I'll know they were working. I'll report back!!

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  7. There are really such things as cat calming sprays? I never knew this. That's actually pretty cool.

    We adopted our cat, and she was a burn victim, so she was really skittish at first, but now she's just a big love bug. As for the third cat thing, we have four dogs, so... I must be absolutely insane.

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    1. Cat calming sprays DO exist! And I'll sell you mine for a mighty good price (plus S&H and, er, some taxes and a finder's fee).

      Yay that you adopted a special-needs kitty! And, yes, you clearly are insane!

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  8. Calming spray? I need some of that!
    Welcome back to the blogosphere.

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    1. I, um, am not so sure it's working. On my cats, anyway. For YOU, though, it could be a miracle!! Send me your address and credit card info and I'll ship it at once. Promise.

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