A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Cats with No Names

Our search for companion(s) for Nyla has progressed to the point where we brought home two female adult cats from the local SPCA shelter. We choose them from a meager collection of a dozen or so felines. One - mostly black with white socks and irregular black and white facial markings - came up to the front of her cage and rubbed against our hands through the cage bars. The other - smaller with a gray and white fur pattern - seemed disinterested to everything and everyone, but did allow us to reach in so she could sniff our hands. Given that she did not swat at us was encouraging.

When the woman at the front desk asked which one we wanted, we could not make up our minds. Thus we took the big plunge and decided to take both home with us. There were a few formalities, paperwork, payment to spay them, and testing for feline leukemia. It was decided that we could come back later in the week to bring our new children home.

Saturday was the big day. There were a few nervous meows on the way home, but we tried to soothe them as best we could. As soon as entered through our kitchen door and set down the cat carriers, Nyla came over to inspect the contents. Since Meredith’s passing, we have promoted Nyla to queen of the house. Her Majesty peered into the carrier with our black/white cat and registered her disapproval, quite loudly and with lots of venom.

We hurriedly took the new ones to the basement where we have two litter boxes set up. The door was closed behind us so that the queen could not follow. Each occupant came out walked around the room, saw each other, hissed, and staked out their own hiding places. Black and white found comfort behind the television cabinet, while the gray girl found an empty spot on the bottom shelf of our bar. 
Both stayed in their spots for the better part of the weekend. A bowl of dry food and a bowl of water were put out for them, and I was happy to see that the dry food bowl was nearly empty when Sunday morning dawned. The trauma of the move had not affected their appetites.

As Sunday progressed, black and white got braver and ventured up the stairs towards the closed basement door. I had spent some time with her and felt guilty about leaving her behind a closed door. Warrior Queen and I decided to experiment. We kept the door open so that black and white could explore the kitchen. Nyla - still in the living room - was clueless about the intruder. Within moments, she followed Warrior Queen into the kitchen. By this time, black and white had made it as far as the dining room, where she was checking out the glass cabinet which housed our collection of Maryland Renaissance Fair steins and limited edition Bradford Exchange collection of great moments in Beatles history plates.

I had hopes that Nyla would approach cautiously and quietly rub noses with her new sister. No such luck. It turns out the queen was still in no mood to sing “Getting to Know You” from The King and I.

The initial meeting between Her Majesty and black and white started with hissing, yelling (from both cats and humans), and paws raised in indignation. Their encounter went quickly downhill from there. A chase through the kitchen and into the living room, and finally back down the basement where Warrior Queen apprehended the queen.

We immediately began to assess our situation, while the participants retreated to their respective hiding places and licked their paws. We had never experienced such animosity when we brought home our other cats. Meredith and Kelly came home together, but Kelly never really warmed up to his livelier little sister. They came to an agreement; they could co-exist under the same roof, but avoided each other as best they could.

Meredith accepted Kelly’s successor, Steven, with little problem. When Nyla came home, Meredith hissed and would have nothing to do with her. This arrangement went on for six weeks, until finally they accepted each others presence within the same room.

We concluded that there were no problems in the past because the newcomers were bigger than Meredith. This time, the queen and black and white are roughly the same size and each one most likely perceives the other as a threat. Since then, Warrior Queen and I have spent time with black and white, who is very affectionate…at least until the gray girl decides to venture from behind the bar. Then the hissing begins, and a quick run to our hiding place behind the television. Black and white still has some issues to sort out with the gray girl, who is gradually getter braver and exploring more of the basement each day.

So far, we have not named them, holding off on a final decision until we can determine if their personalities will allow them to live together. For now, I’m thinking of calling the black and white cat Oreo; gray girl will remain Gray Girl for the time being. Nyla will still officially be Nyla, but secretly I’m thinking of nicknaming her “Psychotic Bitch.”

Hey, if the paw fits!

(Thank you for reading. Quick! Someone save the Beatles plates!)


Blogger Ur-spo said...

turn them all in and get a dog. :-)

May 20, 2014 at 11:49 PM  
Blogger todd gunther said...

Speaking of dogs! You (euphemism for female canine)! :)

May 21, 2014 at 8:31 PM  
Anonymous Janey, Queen of the Jungle said...

This is why I grow plants instead! :-)

May 22, 2014 at 7:31 AM  
Blogger todd gunther said...

Fair enough, Janey. But do your plants crawl up on you every morning, gently tickle your chin with their leases, asking for their daily water and feeding of Miracle Gro? Wait, on second thought, don't answer that!

May 26, 2014 at 8:03 AM  
Blogger todd gunther said...

Apologies for the spelling error in the last paragraph. Leases should be leaves. Does it make sense now?

May 26, 2014 at 8:05 AM  
Anonymous Janey said...

Why, yes, the leaves of my favorite plant are tickling me right now! :-)

PS: This Memorial Day marks the 27th (!) year of Pig-Boy, my cat, passing away...

May 26, 2014 at 8:11 AM  
Blogger todd gunther said...

Ah, Pig-Boy! Many good memories are coming back to me. The one we have named Oreo has markings similar to Pig-Boy, but she isn't as big.

May 27, 2014 at 7:26 AM  

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