New Cat in the house

So keep in mind, there was not a lot of thought as to how were going to deal with Cha-san. This is a cat that has lived its life outside. Can he live in a house? Will it drive him nuts? I bought a really large dog cage in case he could not handle being indoors. Eventually we decided he should stay in my office until we see how he reacts. When we got him, he was exhausted. Completely shaved and shivering. We had an extra cat bed and put it out. We also carpeted my office with puppy pads in case he did not know how to use a cat liter box… he didn’t. He stayed in the cage at first, but after a few hours, he ventured out and discovered the cat bed. Guess he never seen one before but it was instant love for him! He immediately curled into the bed, and my wife covered him with a blanket. He was asleep in minuets. This is still his favorite place. Perhaps 23 hours of the day. (Picture)

With exception to getting water and food, as well as being spoon fed, he never left the bed, meaning we had to clean it three times a day. Sigh.. However, after the 3rd day, he figured out the litter box.. Kinda. He would keep stepping in his mess after he made it, so still twice daily cleaning. However, he was still weak, so we were able to move him around to fix his bed up. Soon he remembered we were one of the people who would feed him. He also connected that we were the ones fixing up the bed he so loved. So much, the unthinkable happened. We could pet him! And he purred!

The bird must leave the nest

I guess a week went by and he recovered quickly. Started to explore the room, got better at the litter box, and did not need to be spoon fed anymore. However, my office is not that big, so we had to move things out to make room for him. He still does not leave the office, but we need to get him to walk more. The first sacrifice was moving the cat tree. Both my wife and I work in my office which is the brightest room in the morning. So the cats like to be here with us. Now the cat tree is in the small dining area in the middle of the house. I kept a guest bed in the office, both for guests, and when I nap. That’s gone too. Have to build shelves to store the bed parts. We needed to make the space as large as we could so we could put his food/water, and litter box away from his bed. All that is left is my desk, so at least I can still work there. (Picture)

Eventually, slowly, he started to venture out of the office. Normally quick explorations of the house and then right back to the safety of his bed. At night we still keep the door closed because the other cats are afraid of him, and we are not sure how he will react to the other cats. At some point though, he meet Mochi our white 11year old female. At first Mochi gave him lots of space or would just run out of the house. However, she started to figure out as long as she was not on the floor, he could not reach her. It was at this time we decided, we need to leave the door open at night. Cha-san like to be active at night, like most cats and being stuck in a small room at night was starting to get to him. Even found him growing and biting his tail. We have to give him more space.

Time to meet the family

The dynamics between Mochi and Cha-san were pretty interesting. Mochi, whom was also feral for the first 3 years of her life, was VERY cautious about this this new cat. This was not the first new cat for her though. A little more than a year ago, we got Kenzo. That went more smoothly since Ken grew up with other cats and dogs and was still only a year old. Ken knew to roll over and show his belly when he first meet Mochi, so the adoption time was quite short. Not quite with Cha-san. Cha-san’s first encounter with Mochi was to try to intimidate her by looking straight at her and walking very slowly directly towards her. Each time she would blink and run away. The odd thing is though, after the encounter, Cha-san would return to the office and howl. My guess is he wanted Mochi to know this is his territory now.

Encounters with Kenzo were even shorter. Kenzo was becoming an outdoor cat and has been getting bullied by a cat that lives a block away, so he has enough on his mind and simply did not want to deal with a new cat. So he comes home, eats, leaves. At one point after seeing Kenzo run off, he went to the living room and howled. Guess he felt he could expand his territory.

Just recently though, perhaps 3 nights back, Mochi stopped running from Cha-san. Hissed when he got too close. However, she would meow and hiss, so I’m guessing she is saying ‘hey pal, I do not want any trouble, but Imma dune a run’in.’ This time Cha-san backed down and headed back to the office … and howled. Now seems they are ok with each other. Mochi still keeps off the ground, but does not seem to care about Cha-san so much now that she made her point. Cha-san sees that she will not attach him, so he is a little less cautious. Now just need to Kenzo and Cha-san to come to terms.

No office, no sleep

As all this is going on, the outside drama of Kenzo and the neighborhood Himalayan, called Lovey, became louder, more often, and typically after 1am. So we have run out of the house with a spray water bottle to break up the fight and chase off Lovey-chan. Seems Ken also decided he was dune-a -run’in from his own front yard and started to put up a fight. But he still was not winning. 🙁

Add to this, leaving the office door open so Cha-san can explore the house at night. Typically something would happen and he would howl and I would have to come downstairs and escort him back to the office. Last time, 3.30am, I had enough. He was howling downstairs and I got up, turned on the light at the top of the stairs and said; “Cha-san. Knock it off and go to bed.” Well what do you know. That worked. 🙂

Well two nights back seems Kenzo finally won a fight with Lovey in the backyard. Still had to get up at 1.30am to break it up, but at least progress. Also today he came into the office, looked at Cha-san and simply left. Again he does not want to deal with him, but perhaps he is getting some confidence. Also, Ken slept in the house yesterday. A change. I expect more fights, more howling, and more times I hear some loud noises and have to come downstairs to see what is going on. All between 1m and 7am. Sigh. Not to mention now Mochi is getting back to normal, meaning she wakes us up at 7 to get more breakfast. Until Ken can keep Lovey at bay, and when I do not need to worry about Ken attacking (in self defense) Cha-san attempts to dominate him, this will keep up.

So where are we then with all this?

Life in the cat bed

Well, Cha-san is mostly recovered. We can pet him and he feels free to walk around the house when he wants. Still only sleeps/naps in the office, but yesterday he discovered the space heater my wife uses when working at the kitchen table and hung out for 30+ min. His hair is growing back and kidneys seem to be ok for now. On special food from the vet. Hopefully he will learn to be comfortable with living inside a house in time. Remember, 16years of being outside only. I know there will be adjustment issues for a long time. Perhaps we can get him used to a cat walker and be able to take him out when his hair is grown back and the weather is nicer.

Mochi seems to be ok with Cha-san, does not follow and play with him like she does with Ken, but he is pretty old so understandable; so Kenzo is more fun for Mochi.

Ken, well Ken has his own neko drama to deal with. We will see what happens in the near future.

Me, well last week happen to be a VERY busy week, so I was already low on sleep. The multiple post midnight neko wake-up events are starting to wear on me. Hopefully things will settle down.

But this is our neko life now. The adventure continues.

More update: Cha-san has started to sleep at my wife’s feet under the dinning room table where the space heater is. A kind of Kotatsu of sorts.

Have not heard any fighting the last two nights. Fingers crossed. Last night I slept 7 hours with no interruptions. First time in a month.

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