27 January 13

Bugs and Julius (and Rocky?)

So Andrew and I have decided that Rocky is not the cat that will be happy living alone. So we set out to see if we could find a pair of kitties that we thought might get along. Instead of getting one cat, friends who have worked for animal shelters suggested two cats to work with Rocky’s “issues”.

Since he is so aggressive, getting one cat would make him the automatic dominant cat and therefore a bully. Having two cats who are pretty confident would make it harder for him to be such a bully and so aggressive as he was with Boos. If he attacks one of the pair, the other would likely stick up for him.

The other thought is that having two cats who have a very playful and non aggressive relationship may make it easier for Rocky to figure out what his limits are and permit him to play but not play so rough.

So we went to a cat shelter today to meet some kitties we saw online. The ones we were hoping to meet were no longer there, but they introduced us to this pair of kitties:
Bugs
Bugs

Julius
Julius

Julius is 4 (about the same age as Rocky) and Bugs is just a little over 1.
Neither cat had any friends at the shelter and didn’t get along well in foster homes with other cats. Bugs was too active for one foster cat’s puppy. (A cat too active for a puppy? That must be a wimpy puppy, eh? Not judging.) So they were both taken to the shelter and ended up in the same room and became fast friends. They adore each other and play very well with each other. They get along well with other cats, which makes us hopeful that they’ll get along well with Rocky, too. They’re also not timid or shy in the least. While Andrew was playing with Bugs, Bugs nipped at him and gave Andrew a very stern face. But we’ve learned the body language of a cat about to bite with Rocky so we think we can handle it.

We didn’t have everything we needed today to go pick them up, so we’re going to go down after work tomorrow to finish the paperwork and bring them home. We’ll have to see how we can do about keeping them apart and getting the new cats to feel comfortable in the space. But thankfully we have a big enough place with enough doors that I think we can keep them apart while we’re gone and give them some interaction when we’re home to make it okay. My hope is that Rocky is so bored and lonely that they’ll become quick friends.

We’re not sure if we’ll keep their names the same. And I’m trying to prepare myself to take them back if Rocky really just hates them and can’t accept them. But this feels hopeful. And the volunteer warned us that both cats were likely to play with us, but not let us pet them. But instead they were happy to get some light scratches and they smelled us. They both rubbed up against both of us while we were standing there. And Bugs only went after Andrew because he was feeling playful. So hopefully these two active but gentle guys can teach Rocky to calm down a bit.

All in all, we got the sense that the people who come to this shelter to adopt cats only want kittens or cats that will just curl up in your lap and not do anything. They were describing Julius “questionable” behavior with a foster mom who said she was getting ready for bed one night and Julius kept enticing her to play and then nipped her when she didn’t play with him. “Not one enough to draw blood, but enough that we have a safery waiver you will need to sign.” Seriously! This is what it takes to have questionable behavior and get some black mark put in your permanent record?

Rocky has NOOOO idea how lucky he is. I realized today that if he had ended up in a shelter and then bitten anyone with half as much vehemence as he bites us, then he’d never be adopted and might be put down for being too aggressive and untrainable. Our dude seriously doesn’t realize how lucky he is. Hopefully these cats teach him some gratitude.

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