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and now we are five

13 August 2007 2,622 views 22 Comments

We have been living with two kitties in our home. Indy is a mild mannered, quietly charming orange cat. Adopted and returned to the pet store 3 times before she came into my life 10 years ago, she’s a sweet lil’ kit. Grew up to be a lot like me. Polite, assertive and cute, but you never know what she’s thinking (cheeky too.) Sometimes a little too smart for her own good, she can open a door on her own, never questioning which way it swings.

Bicoe on the other hand is beautiful, talkative and immediately endearing. She is the first cat to win over guests in the house. Always afoot, always chatty, always present. Full to the brim with personality, but not so smart. She’s socially awkward with other cats and we’re never sure if she is ready to attack or just doesn’t know how to say I love you. The previous owners of our house abandoned her (don’t get me started) but she was a welcome addition to our family.

The two have never become friends. Bicoe would love to get to know Indy, but Indy hates her with the same passion that she loves tuna juice. When we go on holidays, we can’t leave them in the house alone together. One has to go to "camp" at the kennel, the other stays in the house alone.

To bridge the gap between the two, we’ve adopted a wee boy kitten we’ve named Teek. (Short for The Keymaster) The hope is that Bicoe can rip around the house with him and expend some energy while Indy will have a companion to keep her company when we’re at work. We’re taking the introductions slowly. Bicoe is becoming familiar with his smell on blankets and shirts, while Indy has already met him in person a couple times. We’ve loaded the house with Feliway diffusers, but I’m wondering if anybody has any other magic tricks to share to make the transition easier.


  • Stacy said:

    If you start having litterbox issues get some Dr. Elsey’s Kitty Litter at Petsmart. It’s magic. We are about to do the Kitty Shuffle Wednesday when Miss Kitty becomes an official Austinite and reunite two cats that have not seen each other in several months. We are all curious about what will happen. (I can’t believe you have held out this long since you wanted one of those yellow kittens at Opal Divine’s last spring!)

  • Abbe said:

    OH the cuteness!! That kitten is irresistible.

  • chris said:

    Awww! CUTE!!
    I wish I had some good tips . . . as it is Abby still hates Mardi about 90 percent of the time.
    One of the sites I’ve gone to for a couple tips is kittencare.com.

  • Molly said:

    What beautiful cats and the super cute kitty baby! How dare the previous owners just leave a cat behind! Shame on them! Good for you to take him in

  • Chris said:

    Awww – so cute! Poor Mayhem wasn’t out of the bathroom alone with Chaos (such as overnight or while I was at work) for several months. I was absolutely convinced he was going to kill her, based on all the noise. But no blood was ever drawn, so maybe it was all just posturing?? May still “nurses” on random Chaos fur when she needs comfort, and Chaos licks her head like a good mom while she “nurses.”

  • Karola said:

    rub a tissue against the kitten’s forehead (where the specific scent is generated). Lay this tissue under the feed bowls of the seniors. Hopefully they associate the kitten’s scent with food (=positive). This trick worked out well with my two dogs and a new cat. It took two years, but they’re friends now. You just have to be patient.

  • Jenn said:

    Cutie! We were really lucky with our transition this spring – there was a lot of growling and hissing and hiding from our older cat at first, but they are best friends now and spend most of their time when the dogs are outside wrestling and chasing each other around the house. Good luck!

  • s t a c i said:

    I don’t have any cat advice, just a compliment…
    That is such a nice photo of Teek and The Husband.

  • carrie said:

    OK, I’m just going to suggest to take a laid-back approach. When I moved in with my (now) ex bf and his 2 cats with my Mary things were tense for weeks, lots of hissing and growling. He was tense from the get-go, even before I brought Mary. He would jump up at every little growl, every hiss. Even though I told him that cats can pick up on emotions, etc. His were a fair bit younger too, so it should have been fine. It was not.
    I just got a new kitty, Lily, last month. Lily is 2 and Mary is 7. There was a tiny bit of growling through thr crack in the door for about 1 day. Some hissing. After the first day I let them be in the same room together (I know, it seems like pushing it, but really they were not aggressive at all, more just a little defensive.) Some hissing, that’s it. No growling. No fighting. No blood. I let them work it out, and they worked it out real fast. I didn’t sweat the little hisses. Lily hid under the bed for a day or 2 and then she came out on her own and things were pretty much peaceful. Amazing what a different attitude can do! So, anyway, try not to be anxious and just remember that cats hiss and posture to communicate, and to work out the New World Order. Since new kitten is so much younger I bet it’s a breeze. (I wouldn’t leave them alone though for a while – an adult cat can unintentionally hurt a much smaller kitten!)
    Anyway, my 2 cents. :)

  • carrie said:

    PS I almost forgot – all the kitties are CUTE!

  • Stephanie said:

    I don’t have any helpful comments because I only have one cat, but I wanted to say that the little guy is really cute! :)

  • MiniMolli said:

    I love your blog – I’m a knitter also and have 2 kitties. When we got our youngest, Pixie, (3 years ago) our oldest, Miss Kitty, was about 4 and was NOT used to other animals. We set up an enclosure (puppy fence) in our living room and put the Pixie in it with a tower – she was too small to get out. That way Miss Kitty could come and check her out without having to acutally interact. We did that for about a week and would sit inside the enclosure with the kitten. The older cat got used to her very quickly and was very interested. Finally we opened the door to the enclosure and the older cat would go in and sniff the kitten while she was sleeping – so cute! They still have a few issues with eachother, Pixie likes to hide and attack Miss Kitty which she totally hates but for the most part they get along. Good luck – and cute kitties!

  • Dixie said:

    Oh, the cute! The cute!
    I love the top picture with the big blue eyes on Bicoe and the ears back on Indy.
    I do not really have any suggestions, just faith that it will work out. With five pets, one has to have a little faith! We adopted one of our cats when our duplex neighbor moved out and left him. He was an outdoor kitty and we made him come inside (he’s declawed). He would not leave the closet for the first week or so. That was about six years ago. There is tension from time to time, but for the most part, everyone gets along.
    I think the fact that Teek is a kitten will make it all ok. Usually introducing a new young member works out alright.

  • mari said:

    He is absolutely adorable. I so want a kitty! I am sure our current kitty wouldn’t mind, right? So, yeah, I have no idea how to make it a smooth and easy transition, either. Good luck!

  • stacey said:

    Indy does not seem to look entirely convinced Bicoe aught to come in as he looks out the window with seeming disdain:) The new guy is just a handsome little fella – I hope he will be the perfect negotiater and mediator.

  • Stacey said:

    ohmygod, Indy really does hate Bicoe, poor Bicoe. That photo is just hilarious.

  • feli said:

    I just adopted a new kitty too. My cat Toby has been the only child for the past 5 years and hid under the bed for a few days too. I heard about Feliway and I am thinking of getting it too. Is it good? does it work

  • Kristi said:

    They are all gorgeous cats, but little Teek is my favorite. He is so itty bitty.

  • Debbie said:

    Aww, sweet baby boy! We got one of those a couple of years ago and it made the other three cats actually like each other more because they had a new common enemy. So that may work out well for Indy and Bicoe in the end.
    We have a cat that was left behind by the previous tennants, too. The daughter loved him and was bawling, but the mother said “We ain’t taking him. We’ll just let him go outside.” :O Needless to say, Chi Chi has been ours since.
    As far as advice, I like to give them treats all together so they can have some pleasnt times being close together. I make them take turns and stretch it out for as long as I can, usually only a few minutes, but it’s good for them to have even that little bit of time where they’re all happy at once and about the same thing.

  • Francesca said:

    What a cute trio of kitties! I hope the introductions go down smoothly for all concerned. :)

  • claire said:

    in general, kittens are accepted better than new adults. you can rub both of them with scented dryer sheets. Make sure all the bedding gets washed, so they all start out with as little “personal” scents as possible, initially. Make sure food dishes are well apart, and litter boxes too, so they have their own spaces with no need to mark territory. Reward good behavior, and you must be the “mama cat” in charge of all of them. Bad behavior gets “scruffing” (hold them gently but firmly by the neck, press down and hiss a couple times. Then ease up and pet/groom lovingly a few moments. Be consistent and equal with love, treats and discipline.

  • Rebecca said:

    I have had cats my whole life…(I have kids in college) not disclosing my age.. lol any way..there is nothing better, than seeing a big burly man, holding a kitten.
    I know this has nothing to do with the particular discussion…I just love to see random pics of such things.
    Awesome…post some more :)
    It is, however, my experience that cats love men..(well the right kind of man) It’s hard to find a man, who is man enough, to let that side show.
    When you find him…hang on!
    (I got me one)

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