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You cannae take my kitteh!

So, uh, remember that thing I wrote yesterday? About giving my mom my cat? Well, forget that. She came over last night to scuttle him away and suddenly I was like, “YOU CANNAE TAKE MY KITTEH!!” *Hiss, snarl, spit.* What sounded good in theory did not sound nearly as good in reality. It helped that Krupke was on his best behavior, cuddling with me on the couch, and only hissing at Java twice. No neck biting or blood! That’s progress, right? The little booger doesn’t know how close his ass was to leaving.

So, I’m going to read Cat Vs. Cat: Keeping Peace When You Have More Than One Cat and see if I can promote peaceful coexistence, if not a total lovefest. When I adopted Java Bean I had dreams of coming home to find two kitties curled up together in my office chair. And it will remain just that, a dream. However, maybe I can still negotiate a cease fire. We’ll see. And if things spiral downward again, my mom’s house is still available to house refugee kittens.

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37 Comments

Charlie Hills • December 3, 2008 at 9:46 am

I suppose you could still fulfill the dream with two stuffed cats. And by that I mean toys. Not actual cats brought home from the taxidermist. Although … hmm … that might work too, now that I think about it.

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BrightAngel • December 3, 2008 at 10:04 am

Be sure to let us know how it goes with your cats. That book looks interesting, I think I might read it too.

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elife • December 3, 2008 at 10:12 am

I love that you channeled Fat Bastard to deliver the news.

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jodi • December 3, 2008 at 10:22 am

it took some time before my cat and my boyfriend’s cat got along but they are buddies now… yes, they still wrestle, chase each other, and fight on occasion but that’s what cats do… but since eric got ANOTHER cat, that’s been more interesting – his two get along much better than my cat and the new one (they are only together on the weekends)… there are times when they’ll all be lying on the carpet at peace and then other times, there’s a herd running thru the house… i like it though so give yours some time and i’m sure it will be okay… :)

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Connie • December 3, 2008 at 10:41 am

It took TWO years for my cat and a new cat to get used to each other. It didn’t help that they were both adult (neutered) males when they were introduced. There is still the occasional disagreement but the fur flying fights ended after about 8 months. After about a year I would come home to find them both on my bed, but they would each stay in their own corner. Now there is less that 12″ between them, but I doubt I will ever find them curled up together.

Just in the last few weeks they will finally touch noses in greeting. I think that is as close as they are ever going to get. They do make a master lizard hunting team though and will actually tag team to make the kill. I live in Florida and we have small lizards that are very common.

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Mymsie • December 3, 2008 at 10:48 am

Awww, I’m so glad you’re keeping Krupke! :-)

P.S. Hope the news about your job is good. I’ve been thinkin’ about ya and hoping everything’s OK.

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Deb • December 3, 2008 at 11:28 am

I don’t blame you. We get attached to our pets. I can’t imagine having to give one of mine away. Have you had Officer Krupke for a long time>

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Bob • December 3, 2008 at 11:32 am

Since you got Java Bean to keep Krupke company and Krupke isn’t happy about it, what about putting Java Bean at your Mom’s? Obviously your Mom is open to a cat and then you could see Java when you see Mom and Krupke will mellow out again.

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Karoline • December 3, 2008 at 11:45 am

I don’t know if this is at all encouraging…but when we brought a new kitten into our house, the older cat took close to a year to really be OK with it. Now they sleep all curled up like you described, and play with each other, etc. It took a pretty long while, but it still happened. Maybe all Krupke needs is time?

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jen • December 3, 2008 at 12:02 pm

Good luck with your kitties!

I have to say, the only time my cats cuddle is when I’m moving (mutual stress/fear seems to create temporary bonding…). Otherwise, the detente ranges from mostly peaceful coexistence within 2 feet of each other to nightly tussles on the bed (with me in it!).

And I’m very glad to hear that you didn’t get laid off!

– Jen

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Vito Leone • December 3, 2008 at 12:12 pm

Two words for you, Pasta Queen (actually it may be one word): CAT NIP.

Get Officer Krupke high on the nip some night when all three of you are nice and relaxed at home. And let Java Bean have some too. They’ll get all crazy playful, but it goes a long way toward reducing cat anxiety. Plus, it gives them something to do other than stare at each other in seething hatred. Cats that play together stay together (at least some of the time). Good luck! It really does take a long time for some cats to adjust to each other, but eventually they probably will.

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Amy • December 3, 2008 at 12:13 pm

I have three cats and a giant dog. All adopted separately. It usually takes about a year for each new addition to be accepted. I think it helps in our household that there is one univerally understood “queen” cat that the other two cats – and the dog – defer to. She rules the whole place and they trip over themselves to get on her good side.

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PastaQueen • December 3, 2008 at 12:23 pm

@Vito Leone – Oddly enough, Java Bean seems immune to the nip. It doesn’t do anything for him.

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debby • December 3, 2008 at 12:34 pm

This is hilarious! I came back to ‘comfort’ you and say that it was okay to give O.K. to your mom, after all, animals are for our enjoyment, not the other way around.

But now that you’ve decided to keep him, I really do think things will clear up a bit when Java Bean grows up (1-5 years haha!)

Just don’t let them fight over your face!

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Stacy • December 3, 2008 at 12:50 pm

Too funny!! We have two cats but they’re brothers and grew up together. They’re hilarious though, two 20 lb. cats sit squish together in the tiny cat bed and snuggle up, too cute!

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Budicca • December 3, 2008 at 1:06 pm

Hey PQ,

Your kitten may not be old enough to have a taste for catnip yet. Lots of kittens aren’t crazy about it.

I had a 16-yr-old cat when I brought a kitten into the house to keep old Alex company. I think Alex felt betrayed by me, because he knew I was responsible for the interloper, Barley. Alex became a grouchy cat. That is, until I realized I needed to treat Alex as my cat, and Barley as Alex’s cat.

It was hard to resist cuddling with the adorable and energetic Barley, but it made for a much much happier Alex, and Barley was thrilled when Alex grudgingly accepted him.

Alex has been gone for a few years, and Barley is now my only cat, and he is a lap-cat supreme.

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Maggie • December 3, 2008 at 3:03 pm

My dog was named Java!

My dad initially didn’t want a dog, so my mom let him choose the name. He chose Java because he’s a computer programmer and that’s the language he uses to program – so it has sort of a weird origin for our family. But I think it’s a terrific name. Do people try calling your pet “Jabba” like “Jabba the Hut”?

Anyway, good luck with your cats!

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Juice • December 3, 2008 at 3:39 pm

Next time you are thinking about adding an extra animal to the house you might want to consider fostering. If the animal fits in, great – adopt! If it doesn’t work out, you can let the foster kitty go to another home with no guilty feelings. Either way, you are doing a good deed for a homeless pet. :)

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Jen • December 3, 2008 at 3:41 pm

My cat still only grudgingly tolerates the one we got to keep him company. They play together sometimes, fight sometimes, but mostly they keep their distance. It’s been 8 years and there have been no deaths, though.

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Dee • December 3, 2008 at 3:49 pm

@PastaQueen – Is JavaBean a baby? Nip doesn’t seem to work on kittens, but kicks in at about a year or so.

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Erin • December 3, 2008 at 4:15 pm

I just got a third cat a couple of months and am going through the same thing! That book looks really great! I just placed an order (by clicking through :))for that book and some feliway.

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Esmeralda • December 3, 2008 at 4:22 pm

AWW! I am so glad for you- let us know if that book provides any useful insights- I could use em.

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Tanya • December 3, 2008 at 4:53 pm

Aw, I’m glad to hear you’re keeping Krupke! I felt so sorry for him when you said you had replaced him. They’re not so easy to get over, even if they’re horrid little monsters, are they?

I think you should probably be able to work it out. I once brought my two cats to my Dad’s house to live (with me), and there were already three cats (one of whom was another one of mine, one of whom was my brother’s, and one of whom was my Dad’s) there at the time. One of mine that I brought over hid in the closet for a week (I couldn’t find him and thought he had run away), and the other eventually got along, even though he usually beats up other cats. The worst thing I remember him doing was pushing my childhood cat so that he fell over when he was really weak and dying (my cat that lived with my Dad and my brother’s cat were about 10 years older than the ones I had brought over).

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Shannon • December 3, 2008 at 5:43 pm

@debby – animals are for our enjoyment, but it is also a huge commitment that you make to them when you take one into your home. It’s not like your new flatscreen tv. Animals are living creatures and deserve to be treated as one.

PQ- I’ll admit, I struggled with the idea of criticizing your decision on your blog post yesterday. I know I can be judgemental when it comes to issue’s of animal welfare and that is because I work as a volunteer with a cat rescue organization and know first hand how many people view their pets as disposable. My advice to you is to give it more time. Three months isn’t really long enough (I know it can certainly seem too long) for two new animals to get to know each other. Good luck with the situation.

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Mrs Thighs • December 3, 2008 at 5:48 pm

Good luck with the kitties. Hopefully, they’ll soon become best buds and you won’t have to move Krupke to another home.

Though things didn’t work out between our Maya and that cat Delilah, who I’d mentioned in my previous post, Maya got along great with our late kitty, Dusty. He was much older than her and at first resented having this playful kitten chase and bite him. He’d make this horrible growling noise for a while, too. But then they got used to each other after a few weeks and ended up becoming friends who’d snuggle together.

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Ang • December 3, 2008 at 6:13 pm

Well, now I feel sorry I told you that our cats didn’t get along for 15 years. They basically coexisted peacefully, they mostly avoided each other. There was an occasional skirmish. Good luck with the kitties! I’m glad you are keeping them both! I’m glad you don’t have to feel bad about it.

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s • December 3, 2008 at 10:30 pm

yay you’re keeping your cat!

hopefully it won’t be west side story after the catx0rs get to know each other better.

woohoo!

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Rose • December 3, 2008 at 10:41 pm

I had a Maine Coon cat named Felix who was about 5 years old when we adopted a rescue kitten, George. George loved Felix, but Felix hated George, would growl and hiss if he came near, although it rarely got physical. I think it was probably about a year (George wasn’t a kitten anymore) before I would occassionaly find them curled up together, washing eachother, etc. What was odd was that Felix still got annoyed at ME when George was around. If I was petting Felix and George walked into the room, Felix would growl at me and take off in a huff, but ten minutes later they’d be companionably sharing a cat bed. Weird. Felix died a couple of years ago, so George is an “only cat” now.

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Pam • December 4, 2008 at 7:55 am

We have a cat, Sally. One day we brought home a dog, Angelo. Sally was not happy. Sally was so not happy she essentially stayed in the laundry basket and hissed and scratched when she saw Angelo. One day I started brushing them both with the same brush (mostly because it was the only pet brush I could find). Soon they tolerated each other more – Sally came out of the laundry basket, Angelo stopped acting like he’d never seen a cat before.

Now they’re fine together – that took a while, but the initial not killing each other part didn’t take that long. May peace reign in your kingdom.

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deviledhoney • December 4, 2008 at 8:38 am

hi,

i have been lurking for a while and just thought i would tell you that my cats do not cuddle and rarely are in the same room together. they have been this way forever. i hope and think it will happen for you too. one thing that really helped was me getting a second litter box. i hate having 2 but they seem to be much more chill now. good luck!

thanks DH

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becklette • December 4, 2008 at 10:00 am

oh, hooray! i have TWICE introduced a new cat into the household (well, three times, if you count when i first got a cat) and both times, it took a solid six months before they tolerated each other. and more before they kinda liked each other. first, we took in my father-in-law’s 10 year old n when our girl, a, was almost a year old. he died ten months later of a heart condition and she mourned. but (surprise) when we brought home a new kitten, g, she was not pleased. that was the first week of december 2007 and last night, when he laid down on the same side of our double bed as she was on, she only gave him a dirty look and we practically applauded her good-girlness.

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Jennifer • December 4, 2008 at 10:38 am

ha ha, I got that book too when my two cats were trying to kill each other. I think it had some pretty good information as far as explaining to you what they are thinking and all. I hope it works out for you, I think most cats can learn to peacibly co-exist, even if they don’t morph into BFFs! Fighting isn’t as bad IMO as marking and spraying. THAT is some bad $Hit.

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Jen • December 4, 2008 at 12:17 pm

@PastaQueen – Kittens are immune to catnip. When he gets older, he’ll be a nipaholic too.

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Agnes • December 4, 2008 at 2:22 pm

Although your kitties may never be friends, I think they “may” eventually coexist together. I have a cat (an old one) that hates the other two cats when the new ones joined us they fought like maniacs! It’s been 4 years and unfortunately the old one has taken up permanent residence in my bedroom. Luckily I have a bathroom in there so her literbox is in there. It’s not an ideal situation. She never leaves and they never come in otherwise fur flies. It’s the most extreme situation I’ve ever experienced. Usually cats can get along a little better than that. Good luck to you and your guys!

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Cynthia • December 5, 2008 at 10:33 pm

I’d say give it more time… they may never LIKE each other, but they might well learn to TOLERATE each other’s presence.

It really can take a year or more sometimes before two cats can manage to co-exist relatively peacefully.

If it helps… my old cat Gray (now deceased) had to be introduced to the cat already resident on the property. Gray, being younger, tried to play with Junior by knocking him over… which didn’t go over well at all with Junior! I did my best to play with both of them at the same time… and kind of lure them closer to one another. Which would alarm them and they’d hiss and jump apart. But after about a year, they ended up being buddies who wrestled with each other and hung out together.

Good luck!

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Liz Remus • December 23, 2008 at 11:49 am

I know I am a little on this entry but I thought I’d type out my two cents anyhow.

I heard when introducing a new cat the trick is to bring in an older cat. When you bring in a younger cat it affects the pre-existing cats territory but an older cat doesn’t for some reason.

I hope all is well with your kitties now.

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PastaQueen • December 23, 2008 at 1:08 pm

@Liz Remus – Yeah, but if you follow that logic eventually you just have a bunch of dead cats.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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