I’ve had Merlin for 9 and a half years now and during that time there have been other cats on the scene. When Merlin was a kitten she enjoyed meeting my partner’s (at the time) elder cat. Merlin would tease and follow him everywhere, jumping out on him unawares and generally making a nuisance of herself. That was, until, one day as she causally walked by, he took his aged old paw and gave her a blow around the ears which knocked her flying! She was a little bit more wary after that! So was I…but that’s another story!!
Fast forward 4 years – and I thought about having another kitten from a friend who lived in the bottom flat. Every night I would go downstairs and fetch him up for a few hours to see how he got on with the new surroundings – and, more importantly, how Merlin reacted. For 5 nights running she hissed and growled (I’d never heard this before!!!) making it very clear that this little bundle of fluff was very unwelcome. I buckled and decided it wasn’t such a good idea and promptly informed my friend that she’d have to find a new home for the kitten!
Fast forward 2 years. My beau moved into my flat – along with his cat; another female with a personality equally as strong as Merlin’s was a sobering and unpromising thought! We gave it a go and tried 8 weeks of swapping scents, bedding, safe views and eating either side of thick perspex that they could see each other through. To be fair to Merlin, she held her own in the self defence stakes but by the end was starting to give the impression that she might be up for the idea of a live-in playmate. My beau’s cat refused the idea and started soiling all over the flat in marked defiance! The final straw was when, after a trip to IKEA, I decided to invest in an expensive woollen rug that I felt she’d be able to roll around and fall asleep on in pure decadence and bliss. Surely she’d love me and her new abode after this gesture!? We introduced the rug to her and then left her to explore in peace. On our return back into the room just half an hour later, we found that the cat had indeed liked the rug….just enough to diarrhoea all over it! She returned to my beau’s housemate – something which, whilst I was unhappy about it, meant that she returned to her familiar surroundings of old. She was happy again.
Fast forward three and half years. My beau and I have been thinking of getting another kitten. We’d done our research, thought about the pro’s and the con’s and even been to see some pretty little kittens. Despite our hearts telling us one thing, our heads decided it wasn’t a good idea. Settled? Stupidly, we discovered another cat website at the weekend and looked at some of the listed ads showcasing kittens for sale and needing ‘forever’ homes. We melted and went to see a litter of kittens that were literally only two villages away! Needless to say, we melted some more…and came home with a kitten and a lighter wallet!!
Caught up emotionally in it all, we lost sight of our heads and convinced ourselves all would be well. Surely, our current home equilibrium would only be temporarily upset – and Merlin may actually like another kitten around to mother, bully and eventually cuddle up to! No?
Things are going well….considering. There has been hissing and unsettlement on Merlin’s part – but actually she has been sitting in the same room as the kitten (who was safely tucked away in its carrier) for long periods – even though she is clearly unhappy and keeps throwing deathly glances our way! Thy’ve not met in the ‘flesh’ yet! I am slightly regretting our impromptu decision…but maybe that’s the result of an unsettled sleep caused by two unsettled felines! Maybe I’ll be thinking differently when I have my two pussycats huddled up close to me on a winter’s evening!
Fingers crossed ;-)
So now meet Misty – who is 8 weeks old today – the new addition to our family ;-)