Cast of characters:
1. Tiger, Maine-Coonish mutt rescued from an Indiana farm,
age 11, 9 lbs
2. Louis, 2-yr-old Bengal who Tiger adopted as a brother (8 lbs)
3. Henry, Maine-Coonish stray of unknown provenance, aged ~2 (18 lbs)
All neutered, all up-to-date with vaccinations.
I will NOT send Henry to a shelter. On his own, he's the ideal
lap-cat.. affectionate, devoted and loving. God, I love Henry...
My brother lost his wonderful boy-cat, aged 14, with multiple health
issues, last week. The remaining cat in the household is a 12-yr old
female with a painful hostility to strangers. I'd hoped he would want
Henry, but it's still too painful a loss to discuss with him.
With the expectation that Henry may not have a new home soon (and
frankly hesitant to give him up.. there's nothing more wonderful than
having a huge cat napping on your chest while you're typing), we've
decided to give an introduction another try.
Here's our daily regimen:
Overnight, Henry's in the ba***t.
During the day, Louis and Tiger are in the bedroom upstairs sleeping
(they're there already when I wake up, I just close the door), and
Henry has run of the house.
In the early evening, Henry goes into the bedroom. We "stage" him in a
separate room, remove Tiger and Louis from the bedroom and give them
treats, then move Henry, giving him treats.
At night, Henry goes back downstairs with a treat.
The plus side is that before, during the early evening transfer, Louis
would park himself outside threateningly, and has even charged Henry
during his transit (though Henry outweighs Louis 2-to-1... Louis is a
brave little kitty - god, Bengals are great cats) - but with the
addition of treats the transfer goes smoothly. Henry no longer cowers
in the bathroom, and Louis and Tiger seem to regard his egress with
I'm now tipping toward wanting to spend a fair amount of time
integrating Henry (out of necessity it seems, since I'm not going to
dump him outside or drop him off at the Humane Society). He's a huge
cat, with a "Nerml" face, who simply adores human companionship.
Initially he seemed the aggressor, but now I see that it's Louis the
Bengal's territoriality that is proving the problem.
Complicating things, Louis has taken to marking our front door
incessantly. Feliway and No-Mark notwithstanding. Gaah.
This is more effort than I'm used to spending on a cat introduction.
Though there have been scraps between our adoptees before (counting
seven cats in the last 10 years) none have been this virulent. I might
not be so worried if Henry were not a HUGE cat, quite strong, and
Louis were not such an incredibly beautiful cat. The one fight I broke
up recently (which graced me with an angry infection and sent me on a
potent round of antibiotics) mauled me greaty, but the cats were
I'm not looking for advice here, I guess (though any would be
welcome), but just spilling my story among sympathetic ears, and for
folks who have followed my earlier posts.
Each cat in the household is wonderful, I love them all deeply.
Sometimes you wish you could just grab the cat and say "GET A
GRIP!!!". Louis and Henry would make great playmates.
bah. that's why forums like this exist, I guess.
And yes, I'll be calling Meghan tomorrow. =/