Introducing the Household

Earlier this year, our home went from having 5 fur kids to only 3 in just a couple of weeks. We worried about Sophie and Tribble when they lost Tuxedo as he seemed to be the glue that held them together. There was no such bond between our cats, Boo and Sly, so we weren't nearly as concerned about Sly when Boo died. After a while, we began to wonder if Sly would like to have a cat friend or not. We want to be responsible about possibly getting a cat, and we also need to be cautious on behalf of the bunnies. We found the answer in Animal Humane Society's Mission: Meow. AHS needs foster homes for adult cats during the summer and fall when they are overrun with kittens. We talked with AHS' fostering coordinator for Mission: Meow to find out if we would be able to request a cat who was more likely to be respectful of the rabbits and not see them as prey. Thankfully, AHS was willing to work with us and shortly after that we attended foster home training. This past weekend, we found out that we were getting our foster cat, Max, on Monday.

One of AHS' policies is that the foster cat needs to be kept in quarantine for the first few days in his new foster home. This is partly to allow the cat to get used to the everyday sounds of our home, and partly to make sure that the stress of moving from shelter to foster home did not cause Max to get sick. As I sit here writing this, I find it hard to follow that rule. Joanna and I both know, from years of fostering rabbits, how important quarantine is and we will keep Max separate for at least a few days, but it is really hard listening to the pathetic meows coming from the downstairs bathroom. Joanna and I have each spent some time with Max this evening to begin to get to know him. So far, we have learned that he likes the presence of people, but he's not quite sure that we are worthy of petting him yet. He loves the Zoom Groom and he seems to like toys on a string. He's a very smart cat - he has already figured out how to work the light switches in the bathroom.

Sly has just figured out that there is an interloper in the house and has spent the last minute or two enthusiastically "clawing" the recliner to make sure that we all know that the chair is his (just ignore the fact that he doesn't have front claws). Other than that, and a sudden fascination with the bathroom, Sly seems to be okay with the interloper so far. Hopefully the fact that he is used to foster bunnies coming and going, combined with the fact that Max had been living in the cat colony room and likes other cats, will make the introduction between the boys relatively easy. Now, we just have to figure out if the girls will get along with Max and he with them. Sophie is a diva and might not appreciate the fact that I have already mentioned to a couple of people that "Max looks a lot like Sophie". Tribble will probably be fine, since Joanna just told me that the shelter staff mentioned that Max loves it when other cats groom him. Tribble loves to groom anything with fur, so hopefully Max will decide that a rabbit is an acceptable substitute.

1 comment: