Michael and I are cat people through and through. Since we met, we’ve sunk significantly deeper into the cat mom and cat dad roles. It’s probably annoying, horrifying or endearing to those around us. At any rate, we knew one day we’d merge not only our love of cats but our feline friends themselves. And I’ll be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to that moment.
Why? Because my cat Zara – despite her beauty and her natural instinct for knowing when is precisely the right time to curl up next to me – is a cranky little beast. Everyone knows this. Everyone knows that she only likes me and my parents, will tolerate my two aunts and Michael (only recently) and will growl, hiss and flatten her ears at all other humans. It’s just how she is, and everyone accepts it and goes about their lives.
But Michael’s Mukki, dear sweet China cat sunflower, is the opposite. If Mukki was a person, he’d be your best friend. He’d invite you inside, hand you a beer and ask you to join his game of Mousetrap. He’s a chill dude, and everyone loves him.
So the idea of having Little Miss Sociopath and Mr. Personality meet was terrifying to me. Like really terrifying. And this was only exacerbated by the fact that Zara in her nine years on earth, hasn’t met another cat (outside of her littermates). So here’s a total crank that has roamed this planet for almost a decade without seeing feline life, and then one day – BAM! – there’s a creature that looks just like her (but orange) sitting in her cat bed. What. The. What. Can you see that going smoothly? I didn’t either.
So we took the advice of the Wisconsin Humane Society and dozens of episodes of My Cat from Hell and decided to introduce them nice and slow. Yeah, that’s right. After four days of swapping them in and out of bedrooms and listening to them yowl we said screw it and let them see one another. It wasn’t great. Mukki was a gentleman and ate his food as Zara hissed for five straight minutes.
Now, three months in, I am finally finally beginning to see some progress. After months of hissing every time Mukki entered the same room and growling when he climbed her scratching post, Zara is starting to chill out a bit. She is still not interesting in snuggling or sniffing or being very nice, but there are days where she’s OK with sharing the recliner with Mukki and me (of course begrudgingly if you asked her).
So we’re doing alright. I’m hoping by Christmas they’ll actually make some sort of physical contact that is not a swat or an unsolicited sniff. I’m hoping for a family Christmas card, you guys. Wish Michael, me and the kitties luck!