When my first ginger shorthaired stray walked into our lives and into our hearts, we couldn’t send him away. Not that he would go away after all the food and fawning, we have been giving him. He became our Sunny, named after the Sunday that he strutted into our home and plopped himself at our feet. It was a good thing (and still is), that I am a freelancer and stay at home most of my time.
Sunny and I became unstuck companion. This is the first time I had a cat, I have always been a dog lover hence I never enjoy the companionship of a cat. Sunny, 6 months old is more like a puppy than any cats I know. He is friendly, doesn’t shy away from cuddles and loves to follow me around everywhere!
After Sunny got his first vaccination, we were in serious discussion whether to get him another kitten to play with. Internet research indicates that it is always good to introduce another feline to a young kitten to allow him to get used to another animal. In addition, I always felt I was not enough for Sunny. He is always looking out the window and meowing at other stray cats who loves to stop below our window for a short chat with him.
We decided one Saturday to pop by the animal shelter, SPCA to have a look around. I was all for a puppy and I adore the notion of a dog and a cat getting along. However, we didn’t find one suitable for the size of our apartment – all big dogs. Deciding not to make a wasted trip, we wandered into the cattery and met the most adorable wide-eyed ginger 3-month-old kitten who is starving for attention. That is how we managed to bring Matcha home with us that day. We were worried that Sunny and Matcha could not get along because it is obvious that Sunny is an alpha male (he loves bossing me around). SPCA promised us to take back Matcha if that happens.
A lot of time spent on the internet doing research and watching Jackson Galaxy’s Youtube channel. We slowly integrate the two kittens together, instead of surprising Sunny with a newcomer. We read that at this stage is extremely important and we wanted to handle with care. We sneaked in the house with Matcha and house him in the guest room. Sunny was super suspicious, sniffing around and started hissing at the guest room’s door when he heard mews coming in from the room. Using two meal times a day and for straight two days, we monitored the situation closely. My husband was around at home to help with the integration.
First meal time, we fed the two kittens 3 feet apart between the guest room door at the same time. Next meal time, we moved both of bowls closer to the door and fed them at the same time. Between the meal times, we chose a lull period where we know Sunny would be sleepy and docile after his meal to introduce Matcha in a common play area. Sunny did attempt to scratch him and hissed at the small one a couple of times, Matcha looked confused and kept hiding behind us. From our research, we understand that Sunny is trying to instill his hierarchy in the house with Matcha. We kept each playtime short, about half an hour. By the second playtime, Sunny is chasing Matcha around the play area but we are always on standby to pull them apart if the hissing became attacks.
The second day which is during their third meal time, we switched room this time. Sunny is in the guest room while Matcha is outside and we allow both of them to sniff out the other’s home ground. This time, no more closed door, but the bowls are pretty far apart. They ate facing each other. Sunny couldn’t decide to hiss or to eat.. In the end, he gave up and concentrate on eating instead. It helps that we practice meal time feeding instead of free feeding. This time playtime is a lot friendlier, no more hissing, just a lot of glaring. We can tell Matcha respect his boundaries. He would approach Sunny, with his head bow down slightly and Sunny would ignore him. By the fourth meal time, both of them is able to eat side by side, no more hissing. Sunny even allow Matcha to lick his bowl after he is done. Voilá!
For the first week, there was no more hissing or scratching (swatting) at each other but I can tell Sunny is just tolerating Matcha’s presence. The turnaround was when the second week, Matcha allowed Sunny to sniff his butt and in turn, Sunny begin to groom him all over.
Now I will be lucky if the two adorable rascals don’t gang up on me. Once late into the night, I was furiously typing away when I heard Matcha meowing in the kitchen as if it is the end of the world, I went out of my study room to investigate. Feeling weird that Matcha only wants cuddles, nothing more. I went back to my study to find Sunny on the study table, licking away the slice of fresh cream strawberry cake that I have been gorging myself in the study room! I chased Sunny out of the study room and only to come face to face Matcha on my study table, licking away the cake. That bugger sneaked into the study room when my attention was occupied with Sunny.
They are best buddies now. They play with each other all the time. They do the same things together, both nap at the same time and both comes to me for cuddles at the same time. I don’t think anyone could separate them now.
Kally runs her own Blog called MiddleMe where she helps people succeed in their chosen career through tips and advice.