Sunday, 26 May 2013

A Minx in Disguise

This is how we met our second cat.


For a long time we'd been concerned about the boy cat, he's one of those rare gregarious felines who seems to struggle being on his own. We thought he needed a companion, a little kitty friend who could be all his. So we started to plan to get a second cat.

At one point we took him down to the RSPCA to see how he got on with other cats, specifically queens. That ended up with a scared tom cat being bullied by girl cats, whilst the staff said confidently that he was quite a submissive cat, and whoever we took home would rule the roost (how wrong they were).

We didn't take any of the cats we saw there home, to be honest whilst there were a lot of nice cats none of them were what we looking for.

That summer we went back again, this time without Mr Fish. We looked up and down, seeing many lovely cats but my attention was attracted when I thought I heard Eve say 'Dita?". Upon investigation she'd actually said Dee Dee (what is it with the rubbish names the poor cats get given at these places?). The feline in question proved to be, what we thought was another tabby, resting in her basket in a lazy fashion. We asked if we could see her more closely and when the door to her pen was open, she just lay there letting us give her fuss. She was a most incurious animal, just content to sniff our hands but otherwise seemingly unbothered by our attention. She had been one of a pair, her sister had been taken the week before. I think in part our choice was tempered by that, she was a lovely cat, and we felt slightly sorry for her being left behind.

We said we'd have her, the charity sent an assessor around, it was at this point we learnt that the girl in question is a dark tortoiseshell (it makes her sound like a fantasy race) and we were approved.

This is the point where things went slightly wrong. We had a week off at the end of July and wanted to coincide her arrival with that, so that we could settle her in safely. The charity wouldn't agree to it and said we had to take her immediately, implying that if we didn't she would be put to sleep. Colour us both rather unimpressed.

Nonetheless we hurried down and brought her back, trying to set up her up in the spare room. You're supposed to keep cats separate when one moves in, so that they can slowly get used to each other. There are issues with scent and presence that they have to adjust to.

Needless to say that didn't happen. Mr Fish burst in and sniffed our new girl's bottom, which rather set the pattern for their relationship. Even today he's keen to establish his dominance regularly.

As for the little girl, we soon learnt her character when she mewed in delight when I brought fish and chips home for tea. She's a greedy cat  but one that's charming to carry it off. It's a different kind of charm, whilst the boy is suave, she has a wide eyed ingenue quality to her that's endearing.

Today she seems to have settled in, she's blossoming and growing even though she's an 'old' cat. Oddly its only in the last few years that she seems to have developed an interest in hunting and her energy levels seem to be growing. Perhaps she's a kitty time lord...