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Tale of Two Bratz

Have you ever gone about something completely wrong and had it turn out perfect? That’s exactly what happened when I found myself the new ‘pet parent’ of not one but two little furry balls of nitro here on the farm. 


Most people give themselves proper time to grieve the loss of a pet before adopting another. Not me. Who in their right mind would adopt two cats from two different rescue centers at the same time and bring them into the same household? Obviously; Me.


Brat One

 

Lady Mary Marcello

(Merry) Young Warrior



I was barely entertaining the thought of adopting a cat when I ran across a photo of Mary while browsing available cats at local rescue centers online. She is a gorgeous shorthair tuxedo cat (American shorthair). So sweet and so tiny, she touched my heart right away. I reached out to the agency and began the adoption process.


Without knowing all the details, I understood Mary had gone through some trauma. Since Mary was a young cat of about six months old, I thought she might adjust better if she had a playmate. I mentioned to the cat lady I would be willing to adopt a second cat if Mary had a sibling or a buddy that she liked.


Adoption day came and my cousin and I set out to pick up Mary. When we got there, the cat lady only had Mary with her and said she was unable to find the other cat in time.


However, she had a better idea.

 

Brat Two

 

Lucian Umbra

Light Shadow



The cat lady shows me a photo of another cat, a male cat the same age as Mary. My heart stopped; he was almost the spitting image of my dear Buster. He’s a longhair tuxedo (American shorthair), and he’ll be a big boy like Buster too. A handsome baby Buster, be still my heart.


So, Lucian was located at a different adoption center and the cat lady arranged for us to go meet him and possibly adopt him. Off we went to the other center. We met and spoke with the other cat lady for a while and I asked to hold Lucian. That was it, he was coming home with me. Where do I sign?

 

“What could go wrong”?

 

That first night went ok even though I pretty much broke all the rules. You are supposed to introduce cats to each other gradually. When bringing a cat home for the first time you should start in a small room and slowly increase their space. Let me just say I was really lucky. Maybe I was naïve or just overly confident that it would all be fine. I love cats and cats love me so, what is there to worry about?  Anyway, I just dove in the deep in. Let’s just do it.

 

My instincts said it would be ok and I went with that. I felt that way because they both were so young and of the opposite sex. I figured they would get along pretty well as opposed to two females or two males. There wouldn’t be that desire for competition. I was right about that; they took to each other right off the bat. Not one growl or hiss. Mary appeared very nervous and didn’t want anything to do with anybody, except Lucian. She liked him just fine. Lucian may have been slightly uneasy about his new environment but hid it well and came across as calm but curious.


I didn’t fully recognize at first the extent of Mary’s prior trauma. Let me just say, that if I had brought home any other cat besides Lucian, it could have easily gone very badly.

 

That First Day


I woke up the next morning and was unable to find either of them. I felt for a moment like one of the three bears. Somebody used the litter box and somebody has been eating the food. They have to be around here somewhere. Cats like their hiding places, especially in a new place. They have to have a place where they can nap without fear of being bothered. I get that. So long as it is a safe place for napping.

 

I realized Mary was hiding inside the couch which was the only place not safe for her to be. I was going to need assistance in getting her out of there. I still had no idea where Lucian might be but I was guessing he may be upstairs somewhere. I was wrong. After my cousin arrived to help me, I realized he was inside the couch with her. What happened next was a scene straight out of Looney Tunes.


 

 The Assassin and the Appeaser

 

To reach them, my cousin lifted one end of the sofa and I retrieved Lucian and passed him off to my boyfriend who was sitting in the recliner. Next, I attempted to gently pick up Mary who decided she was having none of it. She quickly leapt clear over my head while I tried to pluck her from the air looking like I was climbing an invisible rope. She landed beautifully onto my boyfriend’s chest who was sitting with Lucian across the room. Then without hesitation launched herself again clear over my cousin’s head (who was standing nearby) and disappeared out of the living room leaving us all (including Lucian) wide-eyed and dumbfounded as to what just happened.

 

It was at that moment that I questioned myself as to whether I was up for the task. Mary was utterly terrified and this was going to take a lot of time and all the patience I could muster to gain her trust and ease her nerves. On the bright side, I was only dealing with a scared ninja, not at all an angry one.

  

Mary in Solitary

 

It was sheer luck that Mary chose to hide in the bathroom. This would be a nice small space for me to work with her. So, for the next week, I channeled my inner Dian Fossey and began to tame the wild gorilla in the midst. She adjusted very well in this environment. I set her up with her own food and water bowls and litter box. I also set her carrying/tote so she would have a safe space to sleep and/or hide.


Mary would sleep most of the day. So, I would work with her in the early morning and then late afternoon/evening hours. Even being so scared she was still the sweetest little thing. I would come in and fill her food bowl and sit on the floor across the room. Then I would see her little head poke out of the tote and head for the food bowl never once taking her eyes off of me. Even while eating she would position herself where she could always keep an eye on me. Whenever she finished her bowl of food, she would leave me a token of thanks in her food bowl.


Is that not the most precious thing ever?



Meanwhile, Lucian would be ‘talking’ to her through the door from time to time. After her first day in solitary, I would take him into the bathroom now and then to play with her. Lucian was invaluable in helping her adjust. His instincts were spot on. It took about two days before she would approach me. She loved to play with me and would let me pet her but wasn’t keen on being picked up and being held.


It took about four days before I felt we were at a place where she was ready to leave solitary. Learning from past mistakes, I took it slow. I didn’t remove her from the bathroom. I left all her stuff in there as it was and simply opened the door. That way she had the freedom to leave but also knew that she could return to her ‘safe space’ any time she felt the need to. Gradually, in the upcoming days, I was able to clear everything from the bathroom as she became adjusted to her new environment.


 

(Un)Settling In

 

They are so much fun and have tons of energy. Lucian is the very definition of a lap cat. He is all love, all the time, and enjoys being admired for his good looks. Right now, he is practicing his pouncing. Mary loves to eat, not only her food but Lucian’s as well. She is a very loud eater. If she dislikes a certain food you’ve placed before her, she will let you know by attempting to bury it on the kitchen floor. No doubt, she feels it is something that belongs in the litter box.

 

The past few months have been hilariously exciting watching these two being fascinated with absolutely everything. That’s the thing with adopted kitties. In most cases, cats are kept in a cage/crate setting in a room with not much in the way of entertainment. Here on the farm, there is always something going on to be fascinated with. New sights, sounds, smells, and places to explore. Life will never be boring and the food is way better.

 

Take care and thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

 

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