Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Same As It Ever Was

Sunny and I have been considering getting another cat for a while and after hearing that my dog Jake had died at the grand old age of seventeen back in England, the time just seemed right. If you're wondering why I haven't posted about Jake's death, it's simply because it's really hard for me to think of him without seriously losing my shit. I'm not one of those people who treats their pets like their children…but let's just say that Jake was just as big a member of my family as I am.

Anyway, we visited the local animal shelter and I have to say that I honestly don't know how the staff members there manage it. Those places are run on donations and are seriously understaffed and underfunded. After walking through the dog cages to get to the cats, I was seriously close to tears. I'll admit, a lot of that emotion came from thinking about Jake, but to see so many gorgeous, healthy dogs living in concrete cages in a room that stunk to high heaven of ammonia was heart-breaking.

So, before I go any further, if you're thinking about getting a pet, visit your local animal shelter instead of going to a breeder.

Anyway we picked out a black and white cat, although I'm not sure if he picked us. Most of the cats there acted like cats…indifferent and uninterested. This one reached through the bars of his cage and grabbed me as I walked past and started trying to rub the sides of his head on me through the bars.

Now, Buddy has shared our house with five or more cats over the past six or so years as we've taken in strays. In fact, in many ways getting a cat was more for Buddy than for ourselves as he still starts whining and demands we open the front door every time he hears a cat on TV. However, we asked if they knew how the cat got on with dogs.

We were told that the cat was adopted by a member of staff who brought him back because the cats she already had were beating on him. However, he was apparently fine with dogs and all other kinds of animals. You know what? I totally believed her…especially when I carried the cat through the room with all the dogs barking and he just lay in my arms, purring without a care in the world.

The way I saw it, if I could carry this cat through a room filled with barking dogs, he'd be fine with one dog.

So, when I walked through the front door and introduced him to Buddy, I was expecting Buddy to treat the cat like a new toy like he usually does and the cat to be a little miffed, but relaxed.

Instead, the cat totally freaked out, turned into a whirlwind of teeth and claws, shredded the skin on my forearms and tore around the room like a firework, knocking over lamps and furniture in the process.

Luckily, this is exactly how Leonard reacted, and the two were the best of friends after a couple of days. The down side is that Leonard was a kitten when we got him and couldn't cause much property damage during the adjustment period.

The only thing I'm a little worried about is that Leonard could box Buddy's ears all day long without Buddy caring. The new cat is a lot bigger and has long, sharp claws (which my forearms can confirm), so if the cat attacks Buddy and forces him to retaliate and things escalate…things could get very nasty very quickly.

We haven't named him yet as we're waiting to see what his personality is like. Hopefully he'll settle in and tolerate Buddy.


MC Etcher said...

Good luck with the new little one! He's lucky to have found such a good home!

Evan 08 said...

A cat? A cat. A cat! Seriously?