October 18, 2012

Cat Happiness

The cat situation at our house is going SO WELL.

I haven't written much about the cats for awhile, because it seemed like it was Always Bad News. First the three cats we'd had since before we were married dropped off one by one, and none of them died quietly in their sleep, either: it was Issues and Decisions, one after another. One with congestive heart failure plus kidney failure, with a Decision About When to Make The Appointment. One with weight loss and peeing all over the house and finally a tumor, again with a Decision. And the third hit by a car, and a shattered unsaveable leg, and an unexpectedly sudden Decision involving the kind of equations a person does with a 16-year-old indoor/outdoor cat and a multiple-thousands-of-dollars procedure that would result in the cat being restricted to indoors.

All three of those happened over about a year, which made sense because all three cats were about the same age, but it was stressful.

Overlapping and interweaving with that, we adopted three new cats, NONE OF WHOM WE NOW HAVE. One didn't get along with other cats, and eventually we brought her back to the shelter. The other two were hit by cars and killed. I felt like we spent a lot of time at the shelter, and that the shelter was going to start thinking we were not good adoption risks---and that we really WEREN'T. I was getting really discouraged: I just wanted to HAVE CATS. Why was this SO HARD?

So when we adopted two new cats (aiming for adult, mild-personality cats who were already indoor-only and had lived well in the past with other cats and children), I mentioned them here but then stopped mentioning them, because probably we were looking at another failure: the orange one was relentlessly chasing and scaring the grey-and-white one; the grey-and-white one was so skittery and scared, I worried he couldn't be happy in our noisy house: we kept not being able to find him because he was hiding. I talked to the vet; we started using a spritz bottle on the orange one and various feral-cat-socializing techniques on the grey-and-white one---but I felt like we were dooooooomed just like before: the cats would never get along, and any replacement cats we got wouldn't work out any better, and we weren't going to have a plain "household with cats" EVER AGAIN.

But they get along now! They're not snuggling up, but we notice they tend to do a lot of things together: they'll go to their food dishes at the same time, or they'll both be on the cat palace at the same time, or I'll get out of the shower and they'll both be standing on the sink. They tussle a little, but not excessively, and sometimes it's the grey-and-white one who starts it. The grey-and-white one is still a bit skittish, and still sometimes runs from us, but much much much less---and he purrs when petted/held, and he doesn't hide. We were able to go from multiple litter boxes down to one large shared one. They're staying indoors and not trying to get outdoors! They sleep on the bed sometimes but not oppressively! They don't mind if the kids pick them up! And the orange one has jumped up on my lap SEVERAL TIMES in the last week or so! They're being GREAT CATS. They're being HAPPY cats.




33 comments:

Beylit said...

Hooray for happy kitties!
We are going on 9 months since we introduced our little fluff ball kitten, and our old matriarch cat is finally beginning to accept her. By accept I mean not yowl and attack the little fur ball any time she walks into the same room.
Having cats can be such a pain sometimes but so worth it.

StephLove said...

We have two 9-year old cats, littermates who have always been together. Both have health issues and may not live to a ripe old age. You are making me dread replacing them.

But hooray for feline happiness in your house.

Charleen said...

Aww, I'm glad your new cats seem to be happy. That sounds like a really nasty time and I'm glad it's over!

Swistle said...

StephLove- I'm already worried about Next Time! I think my plan is to either adopt two kittens or to adopt a bonded pair of adult cats.

el-e-e said...

Oh, I love that last picture! My childhood cat sprawled out over the backs of couches or chairs like that (I assume they all do) and it is so funny.

Man, does it suck to grow up and become allergic to them. :(

Anna said...

I'm glad you have happy cats. :) They look like nice cats. My husband says we can only ever have ginger (orange) cats, like the one we have now. So be glad you don't have that kind of restriction.

Saly said...

Oh, cats! They are so cute! We've been thinking about a replacement for Oswald because Sebastian is just so needy without him. But Sebastian is 13 and who knows how much longer he'll be around and...it's just hard to decide.

But I am glad you have cat happiness, and they are SO! CUTE!

Amanda said...

Awww. I just love cats. LOVE orange cats.

My son is allergic and his doctor made me choose between the cats and the kid. I let the kid stay so no more cats for us.

Pickles and Dimes said...

That last photo cracks me up!

I'm glad your kitties are getting along so well. :)

missris said...

So happy to see your kitties are doing well and playing nicely together! This makes me smile.

Auntie G said...

I know almost nothing about cats and don't consider myself a cat person, but I just want to thank you for this update. I am so glad things are working out with these cats and your family! It is so gratifying when all the hard work pays off.

Jess said...

This post... kind of makes me want a cat.

d e v a n said...

YAY! We are down to one cat now and will stay that way after the issues and bad luck and medical issues we have had.
(old cat had kidney failure and had to be put down, got 2 kittens, one insisted on being outside by torturing us and poooping in the bathtub. When we finally relented it went well for a few months, then one disappeared and then other disappeared. After months of searching we gave up. We waited a bit, and got 2 new kittens. Things were going GREAT for a year and then one started beating the snot out of the other on a regular basis. When we finally determined that no medical issues existed and the behavioral stuff wasn't working we rehomed one cat. So... one cat left. But, it's going well! )
Also, the one cat we do have looks just like your sprawled out cat in the last picture ( I know, I've mentioned it a million times) AND he sometimes sleeps like that too.

Jenny said...

When our first two cats died, the ones we'd had since we were first married, we adopted littermates. Not kittens, but sisters about a year old. It was the best decision EVER. They snuggle up! They do everything together! They were bonded from the get-go! We didn't have to deal with kitten issues! And they have quite different personalities, so there's all the fun of that, too. Highly recommended, and the shelter looks at you admiringly for taking two at once.

Cayt said...

The grey and white one looks a lot like my parents' cat Genny (short for Genevieve) which makes me homesick for a place I haven't lived in 5 years but I'm glad your cat situation has improved.

Angela said...

Aww, glad they are getting along! Does that super tall cat tree help them stay out of the kid's reach? One of mine is too dumb/stubborn to get up and leave his sunny windowsill when the baby makes a beeline for him, then gets mad when his tail gets pulled.

JEN said...

we're all highly allergic at our house, but again, I love hearing about your cats!

Swistle said...

Jenny- Shelter admiration DEFINITELY factors in! I'd BASK in it!

Clarabella said...

They're PRETTY cats.
What are their names?

Swistle said...

Angela- YES. The bottom half of the cat tree is useless except for us to put books and drinks on, because the cats only like the tall perches---and the kids can't reach them there!

Swistle said...

Clarabella- I feel so silly disguising their names, but Paul's sister is cat-oriented and is mentioned unfavorably here from time to time, so: the orange one is nomiS, backwards; the grey-and-white one is still unnamed. (We're waiting for Penny Arcade suggestions, due in the next month or two. In the meantime, we call him New Cat.)

lillowen said...

I love when cats drape themselves over the back of the couch, like in that last photo. LOVE IT.

Carmen said...

I love the droopy sleepy New Cat in the last photo. I miss having a cat, but my husband is allergic to them and so...no cat for me. (I'm sure there are non-shedding ones, but I want a fluffy, snuggly, furry one.)

Alice said...

those are EXCELLENT cat photos! i'm very happy to hear the Cat Situation has improved (and has also made me realize how lucky i was to get cat #2 when cat #1 was still so young) (and also how i should remember all this for the Next Time, which I am now dreading as well).

Mama Bub said...

This makes me so happy. We had two cats who loved each other and we so happy, and then we got a dog and I feel like I ruined their lives. These photos make me desperately miss having a cat.

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

Oh this makes me so happy!

Linda said...

I'm so glad your cat situation is going well! Ours are 2 littermates (we think - they were in the same cage at animal control) with totally different personalities and we love them. I dread replacing them, though, but can't imagine being a Non Cat Household, so I'll be referring back to your posts as necessary.

I love the pictures!

Alexicographer said...

Yay. They are lovely cats, and, indeed, happy cats.

I miss having a cat, but I don't think there is anyway DH will tolerate one (or, more particularly, its litterbox) until we get a screened porch (where the litterbox can go). Plus I have two large dogs (note that I said I not we...), one of whom is entirely convinced that he Must Chase Cats. Which, since I'm not equipped (encatted) to work with him on, remains his conviction. Sigh.

Unknown said...

I want this cat tower!

Bunnyslippers said...

Big smiles for happy cats!

Swistle said...

Unknown- It is SUCH a good cat tower! THREE high perches, plus a highish cubby. I got it at Petsmart. Or Petco. I get those two places mixed up.

cakeburnette said...

There can NEVER be enough cat posts with pictures.

artemisia said...

I am so glad your kitty situation has improved and seems to be settling into happiness. You've had such a stressful and heartbreaking year with the little ones.