If you’ve been following my blog here you’ve seen my cruise ship adventures and my escapades in the Everglades so you know the plight of the black and white stray was not “top of mind” for me. But occasionally I did wonder how he was settling in.
Once I got back home and unpacked I reached out to my friend for an update. She said she and Mittens were doing fine regaling me with the way he sat next to her or at her feet or helped her type on her keyboard. That she hadn’t yet taken him in for a check up was my only concern. It was time for life to begin to get back to normal… for another week.
Just about a week later, out of the blue I got an urgent message from my friend that she couldn’t keep “Mittens” any longer. I was shocked. The reports had been so positive! She had discovered she was very allergic to him.
We met up half way between her place and mine and I transferred Mr. Mittens and all his stuff to my car. In the approximately 3 weeks my friend had been a cat mother Mittens had accumulated a cat bed, a scratching post, a scratching mat, a covered litter box, cat food, grooming brushes, catnip and so on. Clearly Mittens would have been one spoiled kitty if he has stayed there. My car was full!
But Mr. La Chat was not going home with me…not yet…he needed a clean bill of health before I could let him mingle with my “boys” so off to the vet we went. He was confirmed as a “He”, a neutered male, and was disease and parisite free. He was good to go home to meet his new family.
But first I had to figure out how to do a slow introduction. I boarded him overnight while I searched for a training crate to keep him in until I could get everyone accustomed to each other. I was determined to avoid the cat fights I’d had when Smokey was introduced to Little Joe.
My dog owner friends came through with a large kennel. So now as well as cat trees and scratching posts I had a huge dog crate in my living room. I was beginning to feel like I belonged on that TV program about the hoarders or Buried Alive or whatever it’s called.
The vet gave Mittens , now known as Tippy (for the white tip on his tail) a clean bill of health so home we went and into the crate. Tippy could peek out and Rocky and Smokey could peek in. They could hiss and sniff but they couldn’t hurt each other.
Tippy is a big cat almost 2 lbs heavier than either Rocky or Smokey but he has this tiny, little meow. It is such a sad sounding meow. After a little while in the crate that plaintive sound began . Shortly after that the hissing stopped. Everyone just sat staring at each other.
After about 4 hours of this I couldn’t take it any more. It was my lunchtime so I opened a can of tuna and drained the fish flavored water off into 3 cat bowls. I let Tippy out and put all 3 bowls in a row. Success! What self-respecting cat can resist tuna fish! The first hurdle was over.
I let Tippy stay out for the rest of the afternoon with close supervision. Smokey liked to walk by Tippy and hiss his displeasure. Tippy would jump like he was startled but there was no fight. Rocky was more accepting finding he had a playmate in this big stranger. I let all of them mingle when I went to bed. I figured if they started fighting it would be hard not to hear them.
This was going better than I expected!
To be continued…….