So, I should probably talk about our new cat, Artemis.
She literally came out of the woodwork when we were on our nightly walk. I heard a mewing sound and stopped, as I know a lot of the neighborhood cats like to visit when I see them. This one heard us talking and started mewing furiously, as if to say wait, wait! So we waited and she jumped over a tall fence to greet us, purring and climbing into our arms. I don’t usually let strays get too close but this was a different matter. Assuming she probably belonged to someone, we hesitated and deliberated for awhile. She was clearly young and attention starved, and there seemed to be something going on with her ears. But when the owner of the property she came from happened to drive by and ask if she was ours (and what was she doing in his yard?!) we knew. It was time to take her home.
After getting her checked out at the vet and addressing a few of her health issues (her ears were actually sunburned raw) it was time to get her settled. As you know, we have our fully indoor cat Nikita. We also have a half indoor/half outdoor cat living here as well, but with the sanctuary of being outside part of the time she’s spared a bit of the indignity of sharing her space with a new kitten. Nikita, on the other hand…
Getting the two of them together was interesting. I expected hostility from Nikita but what she offered was a distant curiosity instead. Artemis, however, was distinctly displeased to have other cats in the house and put up an angry fight for awhile, stealing food when she could. But shortly after that, these two became buddies, sisters, and co-conspirators.
So what we have now, with Artemis several months old and well initiated into the household ecosystem, is two very clever and calculating trouble starters.
Nikita has always been clever. She’s the kind of cat who observes your minute body movements for signs of discomfort and then maximizes the behavior that causes them. It’s like she’s psychic or something. If I let her into a room, she’ll somehow sense that there is an area I don’t want her to be in and go straight for it when she’s not getting what she wants (attention, to be let into another part of the house, etc.) She uses your own weaknesses against you. If there is a chair, a pile of papers, a spot you don’t want her to be, there she’ll be if you so much as turn your back on her. She runs underfoot, escapes, opens fully closed doors (how?!), and expects total ownership of every place she can get to. I’d feel less aggravated if I didn’t know I was being flat out manipulated by the smartest cat I’ve ever known. That was, until…
The Turd Burglar:
Her behaviors didn’t come out all at once. When we first brought her home, she was snuggly, cuddly, sweet, and a total purr-machine. A few months into her home and we’re seeing her true nature expose itself.
This one likes to pull cat turds out of the boxes and bat them around the house like the rest of her toys. Hers, Nikita’s, doesn’t matter. If it gets deposited it’s her new bat-ball. She also has a fondness for lodging herself behind the toilet or redistributing used personal items.
Her other hobby is playing hockey with her eating dish. She’ll pick it up, kick it around the room, and watch all the food go with it. When this isn’t enough, she’ll wander into Nikita’s area and knock over her entire food bowl despite the carpeted floor it sits on and it being what I thought was a sturdily constructed heavy bowl. Both cats’ food, spilled and tossed all over. Nikita is polite about it, but she does signal our attention to the fact that she can no longer eat her food with her bowl upturned and trapping it into the floor. We’ve had to be pretty clever in how we reduce Artemis’ ability to engage in all these behaviors but as always more keep cropping up.
Weird thing is that this cat is either in someone’s arms, on someone’s chest, or in someone’s bed at all times. I have no idea how she finds the time or the desire to act out in the ways that she does, but she finds it.
Both of these cats are pretty much around each other all the time now. Where one is sleeping, the other will be sleeping nearby. They play and bat at each other and it’s great that Nikita has someone who is interested in matching her energy level. If only they didn’t draw blood.