Two’s company…Three’s a crowd

July 22, 2009 at 4:52 pm Leave a comment

Cole-1Last January, we moved into a friend’s house while she took a leave of absence for a year to live in Costa Rica. We promised to take care of her home, her yard, her tenants, her mail…and her 14-year-old cat, Coleman.

We (my fiancé and his two young boys) are cat lovers – having adopted two kittens (Pablo and Pearl Playful Robertson) – two years earlier. We were excited at the prospect of including Coleman into our family.

Cole-4I should have realized things were not going to go as smoothly as I had envisioned when, while moving in, I was certain that Coleman was giving me evil looks; slanting his yellow eyes and looking ready to attack any time I got too close to him. He’s a very vocal black cat and would “meow” with discontent each time a new box was unpacked. I’m not going to lie to you – I was a little scared of the old guy. He seemed angry and unpredictable. We decided, however, with a little patience (and a lot of love and attention) Coleman would warm up to us.

We also did some research on introducing cats to each other. Unfortunately, it didn’t sound as easy as introducing friends at a cocktail party.

Cole-2Keeping Pablo and Pearl Playful sequestered in a room, while adjusting to their new environment, was the first step. This was supposed to allow time to adjust to Coleman’s scent and their new surroundings.

The second thing was to have the cats meet face-to-face, keeping one of the cats in a cage to avoid a physical confrontation. The first meeting was shocking for me because I had never heard my cute, sweet, adorable, cuddly Pablo hiss!

Cole-5The ‘process of introduction’ is supposed to take about a month – until you feel like the cats will get along happily ever after – cage or no cage. We didn’t have the luxury of time. A week after moving in, we left for a planned vacation to Mexico. We let all the cats loose in the house, and although they continued to hiss at each other if they happened to cross paths, they weren’t biting or scratching.

I was a little apprehensive about the situation but after a couple of margaritas in Mexico, the whole thing seemed amusing. That was until we returned home a week later to find the entire place had been sprayed by “Cole-Monster”. I guess that was his way of letting us know that he does not like us or our cats.

“Cole-Monster” then ran away for a week. Maybe he needed a holiday too. Since then, he has been an outdoor cat. He visits daily for food and attention but he’s mostly a grumpy guy who didn’t appreciate his house being taken over. I do sympathize with him.

Cole-3We tried, maybe a little too quickly, to include him (or have him include us). I’m positive that when we move out, he’ll move right back in and take back what was his.

We are moving again soon and I can’t stop thinking about how great it would be to have another kitten…

Helpful tip: I found the best thing to use for cat spray is pure apple cider vinegar. The scent of vinegar will linger for awhile, but it’s the only product that completely erases the cat spray.

– Sandra Hahlen

Entry filed under: Pet Stories.

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