New Cat on the Block

What’s that saying about cats? Betcha can’t have just one? Oh, that’s chips. Right. Well either way, Evan and I have been wanting another kitty around the condo. Tilly needs a friend! She’s pretty good with other cats, from what I’ve seen — she’s still young and when she goes over to her catsitter’s place, a lady who lives in our building, Tilly gets along well with her two cats. I hear it took them all about a day to warm up to each other but now they’re one big happy family. So when she’s here alone, I feel like she’d prefer to have another kitty around.

We were thinking that maybe we could join a rescue organization as cat foster parents, and foster kitties here until they find a permanent home. We have lots of space and you know I have a lot of snuggles to give!!! I’d prefer to drape myself in cats but I’d settle for just two. I was going to wait until we got back from our wedding in Cuba, since we’ll be gone for 10 days. But then…one of my friends posted on Facebook about a 20-year-old cat, Bonnie, who was in a bad situation and needed a new home.

My immediate thought was that no one was going to adopt a 20-year-old cat. And of course I thought of Winnie and where she would have gone if something happened to me when she was that old. I’d hope someone would take her. It made me sad that this kitty had nowhere to go, and made me even sadder to think about her living out the rest of her days in a shelter, so I inquired about the cat. Which led to meeting the cat. And that led to us adopting a 20-year-old (estimated age, it’s possible she’s as young as 18), deaf cat with one tooth named Bonnie.

Look at that little face!!

She’s been here for a week and two days now and she’s just a little muffin. She’s quite spry like a little kitty! But she definitely sleeps a lot.

Her fur is a bit matted because she apparently doesn’t like to be brushed, but we are working on that!

She actually sleeps in Tilly’s reject cat bed so I’m glad it’s being put to use.

Bonnie has a super sweet personality, however the first few days she was a bit crotchety towards us. After she got more comfortable she started sitting in our laps and letting us pet her for longer. She’ll definitely let us know if she’s had too much though and has made attempts to bite us. I’m not too concerned, how much damage can ol’ one tooth do.

Her nails are sharp AF though, I need to cut them once she trusts us a bit more.

Tilly saw me bring Bonnie into the condo in a carrier, but I took her straight to the guest room and we’ve been doing the “mystery guest” introduction. Bonnie stays in the guest room and several times a day we’ll go in and visit with her, feed her, etc. Tilly knew she was in there from the beginning and she would sit outside the door and hiss at it. We started doing the scent swapping thing, with their blankets and food dishes, and rubbing cloths on their faces and letting the other sniff them. We fed them on opposite sides of the door (I read a lot about introducing cats), and Tilly has been getting better. After a few days she seemed to be more curious than anything, and when we opened the guest room door the two would catch glimpses of each other and there was no more hissing. That’s a good sign, so on Friday I decided it was time for the kitties to meet face to face.

At first they just had about a half an hour staring contest and I was feeling pretty confident they were going to be friends. Then much drama ensued.

A cat fight nearly broke out but I broke it up by throwing a couch pillow at Tilly (the instigator, she was being a bully!). I told her she needed to have love and acceptance in her heart but she just wasn’t having it. I do feel bad for her. Actually I feel like I’m a mom who just had another baby and feels guilty for changing the family dynamic. It seems ridiculous to compare it to that but I imagine it would feel similar.

Anyway, it was back to the guest room for Bonnie.

We backed up to the scent swapping and feeding them on either side of the guest room door and just letting them catch glimpses of each other.

As of now we have graduated to a screen separating them.

(Guest room/gym — I work out in there sometimes, okay fine, twice)

The last couple of days there has been a lot of staring contests but not a lot of hissing so I’m hoping by the end of the week we can introduce them again and take away the barrier. I know they may not ever be friends but I hope Tilly stops being a jerk. I guess she’s been accepting of kitties in THEIR house, not HER house. She likes being queen kitty of the castle.

Speaking of, Tilly got a cat tree. We’ve been wanting to get one for her for a long time but they’re so crazy expensive. Evan was even going to build one, but even that’s pricy by the time you get all the materials. We found this one on Amazon (Americans, find it on Amazon.com here) and it is a freaking bargain — if this was in a pet store it would be over $200. It is super sturdy and well-made and she love love loves it.

She hangs out in it all day. Watching her play with that little ball that’s hanging makes Evan and I cry with laughter. And lest you think we’re trying to buy her love, we ordered the cat tree before we adopted the new kitty. But I hope it’s working anyway.

Anyway, here’s hoping they’re going to be friends, but if you have any tips on introducing cats I’ll take them!!

And gratuitous shot of Tilly in the bathtub, her other favourite spot.

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20 responses to “New Cat on the Block

  1. My cat has a slightly less fancy version of that cat tree. He mostly just sits on the top tier though. I think he likes being higher up than us!

  2. I have no advice. But Bonnie is beyond sweet.

  3. I love that you guys took in Bonnie 🙂
    And I saved that link for the cat tree cuz that’s a crazy good deal, thanks!

  4. I freaking love cats, and this was a hilarious post, and SO true… I laughed the whole way through!! My cat likes to bite too, but never enough to hurt me. I call them love bites! HOW is it possible you have such a lovely intact couch?? My cat claws the thing to pieces! Maybe she just needs an intense cat tree… I’ll be looking into that!

    • Oh yeah, Tilly is big on the love bites. Bonnie was not quite as gentle but we were basically strangers so I can’t blame her. Winnie would not bite EVER even if you stuck your finger in her mouth.

      Tilly leaves the couch alone for some reason, but she has other things she inappropriately scratches. Like our wall!!! I haven’t seen her do it since the cat tree arrived though, so I hope this curbed that for good.

  5. What you did is basically what Ive done before- a slow introduction with supervised visits. After that step we allowed both cats to be free in the house as long as we were home (but not necessarily watching them and separate rooms at night). Eventually they warm up!! and while they may never be friends, you will find them occasionally sleeping together.

    Make sure both kitties are eating. My older cat went on a hunger strike when we got a new cat and she got pretty sick. damn stupid cats!!! 🙂

  6. Congrats on the new addition!! Advice – for sure don’t play favorites with the new kitty! Tilly is already jealous, and withholding attention from her will only make her behaviors worse. Try to love on her in the presence of Bonnie, and vice versa. They’ll each see you giving attention to the other, but know they’ll still get individual attention. And I know it sounds like I’m anthropomorphiziing them, but cats DO understand lots more than many people give them credit for! As others have already said, they may never be pals, but they will surely eventually learn to co-exist. I have a blind, 13 yr old cat who learned to accept my (now 9 mo old) newest kitten in a few weeks. There is still hissing & swatting when the kitten gets feisty, but other than that, they get along fine. The dust will settle, just give em some time!

  7. Wow lady, you have made me cry a shit load since 2017. This time it’s tears of happiness and thankfulness. Winnie is smiling down on you and that good deed you did. Love Bonnie. And Tilly will be just fine in a few weeks!

  8. You and Evan are the best, Bonnie is such a lucky kitty to be adopted by such loving people. I’m sure in no time Tilly and Bonnie will be the best of friends. Enjoy your two sweet and adorable fur babies.

  9. Aww, Bonnie is a doll…she is so lucky you guys adopted her….I be she and Tilly will get along in no time, sounds like you are doing a great job with the slow introduction.

  10. It’s so sweet that you and Evan adopted an older girl like Bonnie!! I know all about having more than one cat as we have three, all of whom have come into our home at different times. Make sure to give them both attention, in front of each other. “Only love!!” is something my husband and I will often sing to our cats because while the hissing has quieted down a bit, it certainly hasn’t stopped. But “Only love” never seems to work! We laugh, though. Sometimes it seems like they’re having hissing contests their hisses are so animated, and the next minute, they just flop down and take a nap or something. It does make the moments where they actually sit on the same couch at the same time that much more special though. 😛 But really, Bonnie and Tilly will get into a routine and all will be well, whether they become bffs or not. I look forward to your updates!

  11. OMG, Bonnie!!! That is the sweetest thing. They will get used to living with each other, regardless of if they are ever BFFs. When I had two cats it took a few weeks for true acceptance, and they were never pals, but they eventually existed without trying to murder each other. So happy that Bonnie will have a wonderful home to live out her retirement.

  12. So sweet of you to adopt Bonnie!! We got a second kitten when my cat was about 12 (I think) I had always said I would NEVER because Monte seemed to hate other cats. But, we saw a picture of the most adorable kitten, and my now husband wore me down. I thought it was going to be terrible, and we would have to give away the kitten. I also did a lot of research, but in the end we didn’t even do most of it. Kitten went right in the spare bedroom. We left the carrier for Monte to sniff. I think we brought the kitten out the next day for a little face to face visit. I believe there was some hissing from Monte, but he kept his distance. I think within 3 days we just went for it. I felt sad for the kitten locked in the spare room, and his tiny little mews when he could hear us. I felt bad for Monte when we were visiting the kitten. Luckily for us, everything turned out to be fine. Pretty sure we still put the kitten safely away when we weren’t home for a bit (this was 4 years ago, my memory is hazy on it) but overall it was all good. I don’t know if I would call them BEST friends, but I think they get along just fine. They don’t cuddle, but sometimes they are touching. Monte will give his little brother a bath, which I think is adorable. And of course there is chasing and the odd rumble. I think that’s normal 🙂 I’m so glad we went for it, because they have company when we’re not home. Good luck to you, and thanks for the tip on that cat tree! Ours is BEYOND trashed and we need a new one! 🙂

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