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16 December 2008 @ 09:55 pm
Handsome Tom continues to be a bit of a worry. I'm fretting over his adjustment and I'm fretting over the girls' adjustments. There's always someone just slightly off their food (no fat kitty jokes here, thanks), though part of that has been due to illness/pain/general emo tendencies.

Tom is a beautiful cat, and he's a charmer. Every place I take him, be it the vet's offices or the kennel, he wins them over. Honestly. If I see someone from Orchard Grove Veterinary Office when I'm out and about, their first question is always about HT. The woman at the kennel went on for a good three or four minutes about what a lovely, exquisitely mannered and adorably playful kitty Tom is. And, apparently, he was an absolute dream when they bathed him. Still, he's a bit of a handful at home. He never, never attacks any of the girls. He's not an aggressive boy at all. In fact, in the past few days I've found him pushed away from his food bowl, sitting and watching as Jilly noms with a will. It's just that he's so freakin' playful. He wants to bounce around and race as fast as he can, and he wants the girls to do that, too. I can ameliorate this somewhat by playing with him as much as possible. Recently, he's learned that things moving underneath the bedding are fair game for pouncing (and when a nearly fifteen pound, solidly muscled cat arrows his energy down into one tiny spot (ie, your foot), it'll wake you out of a sound sleep.

Today, Handsome Tom experienced a whole new kind of fun: gift wrapping! Now, I've had cats all of my life. I've had them chase after ribbons or crumpled bits of paper. Tom, however, wanted in on every level. I rolled out a spool of paper; he batted the cardboard tube. I cut along the length of wrap; he chased the scissors. I folded paper around a pair of socks; he pounced at the folds. When I turned away from a box to get some ribbon, he was sitting atop that box when I turned back. No stray ribbon was left unchased. No tags were left unchewed. It got to the point where, if I knew I had to tie a bow or cut a bit of paper, I'd crumple up a scrap and send him running after it as I executed my task with superhuman speed. But he had a lovely time. About an hour in, he fell asleep atop the wrapping paper box, his paw tucked over his nose. Adorable.

And speaking of HT adorable, last night he heaved himself up from his fluffy cushion at the foot of our bed, came up between Don and I, and wriggled beneath the covers between us. He lay there for a few minutes, then turned himself around so his head came out underneath the covers - just like ours - and snuggled up against my spine. He stayed there, chin on paws, for a good forty-five minutes, purring all the while. I make note of this because however much I stew and worry over whether I did the right thing in bringing Tom inside, there are moments that tell me my choice was right. He's safe. He's warm. He's fed and loved. There is always a lap or a bit of string to chase or a warm fire by which to get all melty.

Better or worse, he's our boy now. And -by Shan's Mercy! - all may yet be very well.
I feel: chipperchipper
Adrienne C.adrienne429 on December 17th, 2008 03:55 am (UTC)
I'm a dork

I was being very weepy at that part about the covers.
Janet: Cats - Stephanie Pui-Man Lawgoodnite_gracee on December 17th, 2008 10:49 am (UTC)
You probably already know this, but I've found that when assimilating a new cat into a home, the entire process takes 6 months to a year - but usually, no more. Cats are not big on having their routine or hierarchy disrupted.

The easiest assimilation was Morgana (with us a year now!) to Topaz (who had been our only cat for 3 years prior to Morgana's arrival!) What actually made it easy is Topaz is FIV positive and Morgana came from the shelter with MANY health issues, so we had to keep her locked in one room for over a month. Keeping them apart, it seems, sharpened their natural curiosity and when the door finally opened the reaction I got was more "Oh! It's you!"

Good luck, though!
harpiegirl4: Aragorn 2harpiegirl4 on December 17th, 2008 12:52 pm (UTC)
I'm glad that your kitty is bringing you so much joy! :)
(no subject) - trongersoll on December 17th, 2008 01:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Jaredcrimsontom on December 17th, 2008 05:03 pm (UTC)
You've been a cat owner longer than I so this might be pointless, but I do know from my experience with my last two and now my current boys, that some transisitons take days while others take months and personality issues change every few months.

Since I took Sterling to the vet to get checked for a urinary tract infection, he's been exceedingly loving...this was 3 or more weeks ago. He too - like HT - has taken to sleeping in the bed now curled up right next to me. He'll "spoon" and will give affectionate love bites all night. HE used to be personable, but would rather sleep on our dresser or at the foot of the bed. Great change...ain't cats grand???
Ratesjul: candle/birthdayratesjul on December 17th, 2008 06:46 pm (UTC)
*grins* That's so cute!

You should write "Wrapped by Handsome Tom" on the gift tags ;)

Oh, and, many happy returns...

*really should reread Secret Country sometime soon*
Aifacat: Purr...aifacat on December 17th, 2008 06:49 pm (UTC)
Hee - I like that idea for the gift tags!
Aifacataifacat on December 17th, 2008 06:53 pm (UTC)
Well, it sounds like the transition is going well if the girls are taking a stand with their food and he's letting them!

I was fairly lucky with Zoe and Remy, since Zoe was the grownup when Remy came into the house. Mind you, they still have their disagreements - for instance the other day he was either trying to displace her, snuggle with her or play with her (it was behind me on the couch) and OH, the hiss/growl combo that came forth from my sweet girl, lol.

Yeah, he backed off. With a confused look on his face, but he did.

'Course, other times, I'll find them snuggled together on the couch with Zoe licking his whole head.

I miss having kitties sleep in my room, though, but with Remy, sleep would not happen for me at all.