gothams3rdrobin: (me)
[personal profile] gothams3rdrobin
So it occurs to me that I haven't mentioned on my LJ the new addition to the household; my twelve week old kitten Matilda (Tilly), who joined us on July 8th and has been causing chaos around here ever since!

I got her from a colleague of my mother, who owns both Tilly's parents but also has a couple of small children so needed to find a new home for the kitten. I went up to see her, already pretty certain I'd be taking her home, but felt it would have been presumptuous of me to take a cat carrier along. After all, Mam's colleague might not have felt we were a good choice to give the kitten to. *shrug* But she was unconcerned, obviously impatient to rehouse her, and managed to find a box we could take her on the bus in with reasonable security.

We managed fine on the buses - it was trying to cross the dual carriageway on Newport Rd on route to the second bus that was the adventure! Good thing I managed to keep a good grip on the box lid!

This flat's not at all designed to allow for easing a new pet into the household gradually, so we were basically stuck with opening the box in the living room and hoping Myfanwy wouldn't go too mental at the sight of the new arrival. I wish I could say it was all snuggles and grooming, but those of you who have me as a friend on Facebook or Twitter will already know this isn't true. In fact, I think Myfi reacted more strongly to Tilly's arrival than she did Walli's - only this time she was the aggressor. She didn't attack her or anything, but any approach on Tilly's part was met with growls, swipes and hisses, whereas she used to just run off when Walli tried to assert dominance. I think she's also gotten rather depressed - again, more so than when Walli was around - as she went back to sulking in my room but was also extremely non-responsive to anyone. Mealtimes were a struggle for several days too, as she refused to eat anywhere near Tilly. Nowadays they'll eat in the same room, but keep eating each others food after a few minutes; this afternoon, I put their food down, and Myfi ignored hers, choosing instead to pat at Tilly's tail - presumably trying to get her to give up her kitten food! *laughs*

One thing that seems to have helped was my purchase of a Felliway diffuser, which apparently spreads feline hormone through the room to encourage a feeling of safety. I have it out in the hallway, as that's the centre of the flat and the place is small enough that the smell will spread out pretty well from there. I got it two days after Tilly arrived, and within an hour Myfi had come out of her shell and was talking to me again. I realised yesterday that I was overdue to change the bottle over, and half an hour later when I was in my room Myfi was looking for a smooch! I hadn't realised that she was coping without its moodlifting influence for the last several days, and I'm proud that she's able to function despite still being unhappy. She hasn't made friends with Tilly yet, and she still hides in my room a lot, but I feel like they might come to an arrangement eventually.

Tilly herself is, as you would expect, a little ball of energy and mischief. She likes to play tag, and has been known to hide by the bathroom door or under a chair so she can get you as you go by - it's really funny when she does that. Other times she just will not stop chasing you around - particularly if she can grab at the hem of your trousers - and do not get me started on clothes with ties! If there is anything dangling from my waist, or off my shirt, she will hunt it relentlessly. Her favourite toy is a ball/feather dangler that we can tie on the doorframe for when we're not playing with her ourselves; I ended up buying two of them, one for in the living room, and one to keep tied on the bathroom door - perfect for when its time to shut her into the bathroom at bed time, or when we're heading out for the day, as she comes running when the bell tinkles. I don't like having to still shut her in, but I'm not happy that my Furbelles are getting on well enough for me to leave her roaming for more than an hour without supervision.

I'm not entirely sure how to interpret her interaction with Myfi; whether it's a child's 'tag, you're it!' or if she's hassling her like Walli used to. She tries to pounce on Myfi from under the chair or the table, and she's often going for her tail - which, of course, is constantly twitching to indicate agitation but is too much for a kitten to resist. I'd like to think Tilly just wants Myfi to play with her, as she lies down when Myf growls and takes a swipe, but my big fat Furbelle just doesn't seem to want to know. At least not yet.

Tilly's also a little biter when she's not getting her way; I have a number of 'war wounds' on my arms from when she's gone after me - either because she wants to play and I'm not giving her enough attention, or she's hungry, or possibly because she's had enough and would like to go sleep somewhere dark and quiet rather than on the sofa with me. Very similar, I think, to how Symba used to come warn me it was time to go to bed! *laughs* Only he didn't try and chew my hand and arm off to get his point across! On the flip side, she can be extremely affectionate and I treasure the times she comes and snuggles down to sleep on my chest or my shoulder, or gives me kisses while we cuddle. She also follows me just about everywhere, wanting to see everything I do - which makes washing the dishes a nightmare as she's up climbing all over the draining board investigating.

I'm happy she's joined us, even when she won't stop biting me. I just wish she and Myfanwy would hurry up and declare peace. Or at least a cessation of hostilities.

If anyone's wondering what happened to Walli? Well, after he'd been here a few months, and had gone out in the garden a couple of times, he decided he was going to wander off for two weeks, during which my Myfi gradually returned to her previous happy, Zen self. Then one night he decided to come back, unsettling my poor girl again. Only this time he was a slightly different cat, not quite as friendly as he used to be; it was like he'd gone through some rite of passage and grown up a little, and it left him slightly moody. Plus he began marking territory *nosewrinkle* A habit I'm sorry to say Myfi has picked up when she's sufficiently pissed (hah - pun intended, I guess...). Anyway, when he asked to be let out a few days later, I let him go and we haven't seen him since. My neighbour is pretty confident that he worked out where his actual owners were, and he's gone back home. While I do miss the sweet little thing that originally moved in, I don't miss the moody little bully who came back for a visit.

Date: 2011-08-07 12:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Aww. Tilly reminds me of Sneakers when she was a wee baby kitten.

Date: 2011-08-07 02:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*grin* She's awesome, and just as much trouble as a human baby ;-)

Date: 2011-08-07 07:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
re: Walli - well, kitty puberty will do that. Neutering early before that behaviour starts is the best way to avoid it. *shrugs*

Myfi will either adjust or she won't. As long as she feels slighted or isn't getting attention enough, she'll resent the other cat. The eating of her food is a dominance thing. The pecking order's got to be established, after all!

Date: 2011-08-07 02:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yep, that was my theory too. Shame I couldn't do anything about that, but if he was still around I wouldn't have Tilly so hey. These things work out for a reason.

I make a point to give Myfanwy as much attention as I can, though it's not easy when she flounces off like a diva! *laughs* She was sitting on my lap on the sofa this afternoon - which she hasn't felt happy to do for ages - with Matilda dozing alongside us. But when I got my phone out of my pocket she was off... such a jealous kitty.

Date: 2011-08-07 08:10 am (UTC)
ext_3751: (The ShadowCat)
From: [identity profile]
Cat politics is a complex and mutable thing. Our three are siblings and have been together all their lives, but the pecking order is still Byzantine. Of our previous cats, the late, lamented Mintaka never did really get along with the others, who all only got along with one another to a limited and varying degree, but we all survived. (Granted, we had more room than you have in your flat.) I expect yours will either come to terms with one another or settle into an uneasy armed truce.


Date: 2011-08-07 02:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*nods* Tilly went along for a snack just now while Myfi was having a drink. She made no objections to her nibbling on what remains of Myfi's wet food, but growled when she went for the dried food. *laughs* Guess that bowl was just a little too close!

My boys never truly got on, though they did learn to co-exist. I made sure Tammie never felt left out, and it seemed to work, but the flipside of that was that Symba and I didn't really bond till the last couple of years. So now I'm trying to keep Myf happy while bonding with Tilly - I think the fact I've had Myf for less than a year too will help a bit there. Tammie had been on his own for eight years when Symba joined us.

Date: 2011-08-12 01:17 am (UTC)
ext_166: Over a Canadian flag: "No, don't you get it? If you die in Canada, you die in real life!" (Being a grownup)
From: [identity profile]
Plus he began marking territory *nosewrinkle* A habit I'm sorry to say Myfi has picked up when she's sufficiently pissed (hah - pun intended, I guess...).

Okay I giggled entirely too much at this....

Date: 2011-08-13 01:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Lol! Yep, I get you there. It would be funny if cleaning up wasn't so irritating ;-)


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