The New Resident at Home Sweet Abbey

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Ten days ago, I brought a new member into the family living in my Abbey. Her name is Shadow, and she is Mom’s cat. For three weeks after Mom had a stroke, Shadow continued living in the assisted living apartment they shared. I stopped by twice a day to take care of her and spend some time. A friend of ours also visited daily.

But when I learned that Mom would not be able to return to the apartment, I packed up shadowmugShadow and brought her home. Shadow is 9. Mom adopted her six months ago, after Shadow had waited for months in a cage, hoping to be chosen. I guess people were more interested in kittens or young adults. On that day, I promised Mom and the woman in charge of adoptions that Shadow would always have a home with me if necessary. And I am happy to keep that promise.

angiemugBut things are complicated, to say the least. As you might know, I already had a cat, Angie. I wrote about her several months ago in this post. Angie is 13 and has been my only cat since I adopted her 12 years ago. She has always given me all the companionship I ever wanted or needed. We are very close and very protective of each other.

To say that life has been interesting the past week and a half would be an understatement. Nudging these two toward friendship is going to be a process of a lot more than 10 days. However, I feel we are off to a fairly good beginning.

It helps that each has her own room. I set Shadow up in my office with all of her possessions. As you can see, she feels quite secure in there with the door closed.shadowcouch

Angie bunks with me in the master bedroom. That leaves the rest of the house as neutral territory. At first I kept the office door closed almost all the time. Now I am gradually extending the time they can be together, if they please.

Both dislike having the other in her room, but both want to be wherever I am. That’s the major problem. Angie feels, rightly so, that two weeks ago the office was part of her territory, and she is not happy about the door being closed, especially if I am in there. Here she is, checking to see if it might be safe to enter.

angieindoorOnce she does, their body language tells you all you need to know.

bothcats

One saving grace is their difference in age. Angie needs a lot more sleep than Shadow does. So while Angie snoozes in her room or the closet, Shadow comes out and explores. She is particularly interested in the Christmas tree.

shadowtree

I am hoping that a large dose of patience, along with the spirit of the Christmas season, will bring peace to my little family living in Home Sweet Abbey.

2 Comments

  1. The fact that they can be in the same room (even if just barely on Angie’s part) is a good sign. I’ve heard it can take months for cats to even tolerate each other and each cat having their own space will really help the transition too. As long as they are not forced to interact and aren’t fighting, you’re on your way!!

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