After we had our brief time with Miss Stray, managing to return her to her owners, it left us with a bit of a feline shaped gap in our household. So after a family meeting, a vote of 4 in favour 1 against, we started researching add ons to our Mad Cat Lady starter kit. The local cat rescues were bursting at the seams with all manner of felines, so I did a bit of internet research, on introducing a new cat into an established cat’s household. The general consensus seemed to be younger, smaller and opposite sex. Now Sherlock is quite a well quilted version, of your average cat, friends meeting him for the first time have tended to gasp “Bloody Hell he’s huge” often, so it wasn’t going to be too difficult to find one smaller than him. As Sherlock had just had his first birthday, then we needed to look for a young cat or kitten and as he’s a stunningly handsome Tom, it seemed obvious to go for a female.
Now I have always wanted a ginger cat, for years I’ve wanted one, even as a child when my cruel parents denied me this one wish ( among many!) So as an adult, when I finally get my first ever cat, he somehow turns out to be a hefty grey/black tabby, with a hobby of dog wrestling and a habit of nicking the post. This time however, I was getting a ginger cat. So when one of the local rescues had on their website, a beautiful, ginger female kitten in need of a home, it was fate. I rang up and after a long chat about our household being suitable etc, the cat lady said ‘yes’ to the gorgeous adorable ginger kitten, but she felt she had an even more suitable match to our household, if we would like to meet him.
William was a 7 month old male kitten, needed feeding up as he’d come from a very neglected background. He had injuries from where he had been attacked by older cats, was very needy of human attention but lovely. I wanted to be strong, yet shallow and choose a cat because of its colouring and because of my feline fantasy. But instead, I came off the phone having agreed to go and visit William at the foster home. Oh how husband mocked me, said I should have said ‘No’, that I’ll end up taking the cat I hadn’t really wanted.
The cat lady had a houseful of cats and a garden shed full as well. They were over run with rescue cats at the moment, William had been one of twenty eight cats taken in as part of a neglect case. He was tiny, Sherlock at 12 weeks wasn’t even that small, the vet thought William was at least 7 months old. He was a very active, purry kitten, so pleased to have some attention, as we stroked and made a fuss of him. I knew as soon as I saw him I couldn’t say no, so into our home came Mycroft, or Farty kitten as he’s known, as we’ve had a bit of an issue with dietary changes and fear farting.
The sight of Collie could resulting in an obnoxious aroma emanating from him, sudden noise, a twitch of a curtain, somebody entering a room, laughing too loud at the tv, all of these things were a trigger for his wind issues. Even the poor vet got to suffer Mr Whiffy, as soon as the needle went in for his first vaccinations, a cloud of deadly vapour engulfed us, so the vet knew exactly what I was on about, in regard to the flatulence problem. Yet the real source of danger to him in the house, he was desperate to meet.
Sherlock wasn’t too impressed by the new addition to the house. Introductions were very gradual, with Mycroft spending his first 2 weeks having the run of 2 rooms that Sherlock wasn’t allowed in. Collie was allowed access and it took Mycroft a long time to realise that she wasn’t a threat to him. She on the other hand, spent ages trying to get him to play and was really perplexed when he didn’t want to wrestle.
We did lots of scent swapping on blankets and bedding between the 2 cats, they spent ages watching each other through the dining room door. Paws sliding under doors to exchange the paw of doom, not always with friendly intentions. The first time they were in a room together, we placed Mycroft in a box with wire mesh at the front, so that they could see and sniff each other, but offered a level of protection in case things turned nasty.
Introductions all went much better than I could have hoped, Mycroft follows Sherlock’s lead like some adoring fan. Sherlock is still top dog, as it were, so he’s happy, the levels of worship and adoration, we his underlings give him hasn’t altered. He’s discovered the advantages of an extra food bowl to raid, in his quest to become duvet boy. They get on fantastically, playing together, snuggling up together, Sherlock even grooms him.
The flatulence problems have thankfully improved over time. We’ve certainly managed to feed him up and he no longer resembles a bag of furry bones. We are very very careful of his dietary needs, no cheap stuff for this feline or we suffer the consequences. He’s grown in confidence and we have very few incidence of ‘The Stench of Fear’ these days. He has certainly got over his fear of Collie, he often snuggles down with her in the afternoon, for the official pet afternoon nap time. The sight of Dr Watson, Sherlock and Mycroft snoozing on the sofa at mid day is a regular feature here.
He is the most adorable cat, he hasn’t read the chapter on cat aloofness, as he always tries to be with someone, seeking out human companionship all day long if he can. He loves to ride around on your shoulders, part wrapped about the neck, like a living scarf. The rescue lady was right, he fits right into our family perfectly. I’ve turned into a mad cat lady and I don’t even care, maybe I should get another cat, perhaps ginger this time.