My forever cat (Coriander the Not Easily Amused, about whom more anon) died shortly after we moved to this house in 2007. A few months later, Angela brought home Tillie (nee Amber), a stray tortoise-shell momma cat, less than two years old, who had been found outside in the winter cold, trying to feed her kittens and nearly starving herself.
All of them had been rescued and treated and all of them survived, but Tillie was practically a skeleton when she first came home to us. She’s fat and sassy now, but while she has certainly prospered, we’ve always felt she was the type of cat that could use a buddy, someone to lick. Or beat up on. When we leave she yowls loudly.
Enter this orange thing (see below). We haven’t named him yet. He comes from the same shelter Tillie did (Animal Talk Rescue in Roosevelt). They knew we’d been keeping our eye out for more than a year, and they called us to suggest we come and take a look at him. He’s a year old.
Angela and Mara visited him at the shelter and it was three-way love-at-first-sight. Bright blue bolts of Spielbergian love-light were zapping and warping all over the place. They brought him home yesterday and he spent all day and all last night in Tillie’s bathroom downstairs.
Instead of putting her ears back and hissing, as we’d feared, Tillie kept trying to get in to see him, and they talked to each other continuously. She made a weird monkey sound we’d never heard out of her before. Angela thought it might be her mothering sound.
The newcomer was supposed to stay locked up for two full days — so he could acclimate to the idea of a new home and she to that of an intruder — but they set up such a doling in the night that we figured there’s no way we’re going to go through all that noise again. So this morning we let him out and hoped for the best.
I imagine Butch and Sundance’s first meeting must have been like this. They got along right away. He explored the whole house, every inch of it, and she followed behind him, batting at him every once in a while, sniffing his butt. When he was satisfied with the floor plan, he lay down and rolled over in front of her, which is his way of signalling Tillie that (at least for now) he agrees to abide by her rules. She’s alpha.
She already knew that.