We have a guest cat in our house for the week. Meet Tucker:
Tucker was brought over for catsitting on Friday night and proceeded to hide under/in a chair in the sunporch for his first few hours. Apparently Tucker has become the hiding master, as necessitated by the fact that he lives with a six-year-old girl who likes to use him as a dolly.
We eventually got him into the living room, where he slipped into the loveseat. Now, if we want to get him out, we have to either recline the seat and reach under there, risking head injuries or blindness as we squirm into the inner workings of the seat--or get out the catnip.
You can guess what my preferred method is.
Tucker has slowly, slowly come out of his shell/hiding place. He spent most of Saturday in the loveseat, but that evening he lounged on the living room floor for quite a while, only darting away when TH clomped* down the stairs. But he would hang out under the side table next to his sanctuary, rather than going all the way back into hiding, while he checked out the threat. He even wandered around the living room, hopping up to look out the window.
The prospect of temporarily housing a second cat worried me. I worried about Shakespeare. Not because I thought he might be in danger, but because I thought he might be a danger. See, Shakes has gradually become the terror of all my friends. He acts all friendly, rubbing against your legs and letting you pet him and even pick him up--but then he arbitrarily decides he's not all about this anymore, and he bites you. I don't know where we went wrong, but I blame TH. He never had a cat before, so he played rough with him, and that, I think, made Shakes think he could play rough back. Either that, or it's the classic Siamese temperament--which is temperamental. Bipolar, even. Although he's a barn cat, Shakes obviously has some Siamese or maybe seal-point Himalayan blood.
This is him sitting on top of his scratching board thing, where I had placed his catnip, evidently trying to absorb it through osmosis...or protect it from Tucker, the catnip fiend.
But Shakes has been a doll baby. Seriously. Every time he comes near Tucker, there's growling and hissing--but it's almost always from Tucker. Tuck's a good cat, so I think this is mainly a response to being in another cat's territory. Just self-preservation. Tucker's even batted at Shakespeare's face a few times, and Shakes doesn't really fight back. He even makes chirping, happy noises toward Tucker, which I translate as, "Won't you be my friend? Please? Please please please? It would make me so happy!"
To which Tucker replies with a hiss and a growl.
Of course, he does act in some ways I consider passive aggressive. For instance, if Tucker is in his loveseat enclave, there's a good chance Shakes is sleeping on top of the loveseat.
This has given me hope, though. I thought Shakes would be hard to socialize after almost five years of being the King of the Castle.** I thought I'd have to wait until we move to get my second cat.***
But I think--much to TH's chagrin--that Shakes will have a little buddy to play with by the end of August.
Hopefully this one will spend some time outside the loveseat.
*Really, Firefox? "Clomped" is a word? Okay, I'll take it.
**TH and I have no illusions. Our names may be on the deed, and we may pay the mortgage, but The Bard runs the joint.
***I remembered last week that I'd been promised: once I got an agent, we would get another cat. It was just another incentive to work hard, and I had so many of those that I forgot the cat thing until over a week after I accepted representation.
If you don't feel that you are possibly on the edge of humiliating yourself, of losing control of the whole thing, then possibly what you are doing isn't very vital. If you don't feel like you are writing somewhat over your head, why do it? If you don't have some doubt of your authority to tell this story, then you are not trying to tell enough. --John Irving