Welcome, Rufus!

I could swear J.K. Rowlings was inspired by Annie Wilkes in Misery–so much that she decided to create Dolores Umbridge in The Order of the Phoenix. Consider the similarities, if you will. Annie Wilkes cooked delicious dinners and baked cookies for Paul Sheldon, just like Headmaster Umbridge probably gave her kittens and cats tuna every day for dinner. At night, Annie Wilkes broke Paul’s feet and ankles against a wooden block while …

I admit it. I never read the Harry Potter books. When it comes to that series, I am a straight-to-movie kind of gal.

But I could picture that saccharine, pink-dressed, evil teacher locking her kitties inside her room so they could be as near to her as possible as they fulfilled all her needs for furry friendship. *cough*

I admit it, though. That’s exactly what I’ve done.

I’ve locked Rufus inside my room.

(Wait. Let me explain. Please.)

Chauncey, my roommate’s cat, has been at my house, y’see, for approximately 5 months. He’s the King Cat. The Prince of the Household. His role in the residence? “Sole cat.” He’s been largely unsocialized and not lent to get along with other cats. Or kittens.

Enter: Rufus

So I’ve been reading up on the results of my Googling “introducing second cat” quite diligently for the past week. I’ve been noticing some common trends in the articles. Let the kitten get comfortable with and establish his own place in the house. Bond with him. Have the first cat and kitten sniff each other under the door. Be patient. When they finally meet, do not interfere no matter what happens and allow them to go at their own pace.

“Cats are naturally territorial.”

Got it.

An interesting article talks about cat temperament: telling an alpha personality from a beta and a gamma. I’ve concluded that since Chauncey is definitely an alpha (a “mad scientist” in that he has to have his paws on everything), a Bengal kitten would be a good match as the breed is partly wild. What a cute thing it was to see what must have been Rufus’ first time looking in the mirror. The arched back and raised fur while sidling sideways and then hiding again–so awesome.

Chauncey, when excited, scared, surprised or stressed, has 4 natural reactions. He hisses, his pupils dialate, the fur on his back raises and his tail gets bushy and thick–as if a squirrel. If I didn’t feel sympathetic at his discomfort, I’d think the bushy tail was cute. The past 3 days I have seen his pupils dialated almost all the time and I do think his tail has gotten permanently thicker. He is also even more skittish than he has been in the past.

Lately, when he’s passed by my closed bedroom door he’s hissed at it. When I’ve come out of my room, he’s hissed at me. One minute he’ll sidle up to me like he used to for a back scratch. The next second his backed is arched the mean way and the hisses come.

He’s conflicted. I feel for him.

I’m just thinking of the future when they will hopefully become playmates while the humans are at work. If When he gets used to Rufus and Rufus gets used to Chauncey, just think of how much fun they’ll have.

They will collapse at the end of the day like the happy cats they’re meant to be. Just like this:

Sleepy Rufus

They will meet face-to-face next week. :)


7 thoughts on “Welcome, Rufus!

  1. Takes a while but you’re right, it’ll be fun. Just wait til you’re waken up in the middle of the night by the sounds of tumblings and rumblings of them wrestling at 3am.

  2. UPDATE:
    They just met last night. Indeed, they have already wrestled and Chauncey has been quite playful (though naturally still a little jealous and irked). Sometimes he gets excited and forgets he is a good bit larger than Rufus and looks as if he’s going for the kill with a bite or two–but Rufus has done a decent job defending himself/finding shelter when things get heated. ;) Hope things will be okay today as they’re roaming free in the apartment while we’re at work. Rufus will give him a good run for his money as he grows in size…

    Rufus can’t wait for his first night out on the town.

  3. My parents tried this with cat number three. The first two are brother and sister, so nothing in the world could alter behaviour there. The separation for number three worked for about a day, but she got impatient and was able to squeeze under the door and out to the hallway, only to be face to face with two seriously larger and weirded out big kitties. Oh well… it worked out ok in the end, though she’s always been a little weird with the sister. With cat number four, I think they just let her loose on the other three and watched the results with amusement.

    Our own cat is oddly sociable for a cat… with people. I don’t know how she’d react to another cat. She does get a bit too curious with dogs though for her own good…

  4. @twolims: Oh, he does!! He sleeps with me every night. :)

    @lexybeast: That’s hilarious how a kitten could fit *under* a door. I had no idea. Unless that was a huge crack or something. Super cute, though. That is a TON of cats in one household and I was worried I couldn’t handle two. ;)

    They are officially best friends now. I watched them playing last night and they are so cute–whenever Chauncey got a bit too rough, Rufus would kind of protest and then Chauncey would back off. Rufus would even take turns chasing him around, even though he is 1/3 the size. It’s great that neither of them are bored during the day, now. :D

  5. Pingback: e*star LA » Blog Archive » The Kitten Society Update

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