Motley Cat had lost his buddy, and was becoming depressed living with two disapproving old lady cats, so we went hunting for a companion for him.
Since Motley's got a lot of tomcat issues from being fixed late (he had health issues at the time) I was nervous at the prospect of getting a little kitten (he might hurt it) or a grown cat (it might hurt him).
Wolfgang was six months old when we found him, so he fit in nicely.
Wolfgang had been brought in as a feral, socialized at the animal shelter, and adopted out once already.
The woman returned him when he got abscesses and she couldn't or wouldn't pay for a vet.
She *may* have been nuts.
He seemed very disheartened in the kennel and mostly just hid, but my daughter picked him out anyway, and I've learned to trust her instincts.
When we brought him home he just hid for about a month.
We set him up, first in the bathroom, then in the laundry room, coming by to visit him by the hour (bring a book and pat the kitten).
Then one day Motley stuck his nose in the laundry room, and Wolfgang loved him at first sight.
Motley was unnerved to begin with because kitten followed him around like a star-struck fan, but it's been good for them both.
We noticed eventually that — umm — for a cat whose paperwork
said he was neutered, his little rear end was becoming more and more
And he was staying out in the spring nights to the point where he looked just exhausted.
So we finally put two and two together and called the shelter: seems his first person had adopted him as soon as he turned up, and insisted on taking him home right away, even though he had a respiratory infection.
Normally they only send beasties home after neutering them, but he was too sick, and she was apparently persuasive.
So they made her promise to use a voucher at the vet to get it done when he recovered
And when she returned him, she said she had done so, but she lied.
They gave us the voucher, and he got snipped.
We've had him over a year now.
He's fit in with the other cats seamlessly, but I think his feral past is still a strong influence.
No one but the three of us can touch him, or pretty much even see him.
He has a number of hidey holes, both inside and in the yard that are clearly chosen to allow multiple paths for a quick escape.
And some things remain non-negotiable.
No tv. he won't even be in the room with it. Radio is almost as bad. (It has ghost voices, but at least it doesn't have miniature things trapped inside it.)
No loud noises, unusual noises, unexpected rapidly moving things. (The shiny cat toy is scary, though the feathered one is okay.)
Grabbing and holding are just right out. You can pick him up to pat him and he's perfectly happy, unless he thinks you are restraining him
Then he wiggles until he gets away — but he is utterly gentle and has never scratched or bitten once.
Shut doors of any kind at all are an abomination — I can really pin down when he decided we could be trusted; it was when we opened the cat door.
We all adore him.
Henrietta touches noses with him, which is as much as she's allowed any cat since her Orlando died.
Motley and he hang out together and sit and look at stuff.
Silmi the tortie doesn't hate him any more than she hates the others.
The three of us love him.
He's a complete mushball, and sleeps on my feet every night.
He purrs if we look at him.
And I think he likes us all, and thinks we're just a very odd colony of cats to end up in.
But is there anything we can do to help him be less frightened?
I just hate that he finds so many things so disturbing.