Balanced Blends
Published in

Balanced Blends

New Cat — Four Week Update

I can’t believe it’s been four weeks since the new cat moved in with us. I should probably stop calling her “new cat”, though, because the humans finally grew a brain and chose a name. But it’s ridiculous. You ready for this?

QQ.

QQ — by Christina Delzenero

They’re calling her QQ.

Why?

Her first name with her first people was Sunny, but the second people didn’t like that, so it was changed to Suzie…but the humans I live with (those’re the third people if you’re keeping track — she’s had a lot of people) feel like she’s not a Susie or a Sunny, and they wanted something more fitting. At night, they’ve been watching something on the glowing box, and there’s a human whose name is Q…I guess this human is quirky and odd, and intelligent, and inquisitive, and they feel like the new cat is all of those things, so they called her QQ. Weird thing is, she answers to it, so I guess it works?

Photo by Stefan Cosma on Unsplash

Location

The male human started taking the middle baby gate down, which was kind of a signal to QQ that hey, if she wanted, she could go exploring. The humans weren’t too concerned about this, because during the day it’s only Larry and QQ upstairs, and at night we all dog-pile onto the humans’ bed. They thought QQ could just wander around and get to know the house.

Yeah.

Turns out while QQ was fine wandering around the upstairs, she was *not* fine with the rest of us going into her room when she wasn’t there.

And how did the humans find out she was not ok with this?

She started leaving giant poop on the floor…and the bed…and in the hallway. I mean, it’s not like humans can understand us when we meow at them (ok, sometimes they can), so she told them how she was feeling in a way they couldn’t misunderstand. Hah. Poop — the universal sign of “I AM MAD AT YOU”.

Now that doesn’t mean the humans totally closed her off and started over. Oh no.

Jailbreak! — by Christina Delzenero

But they decided they needed to go a little slower.

So now her door is closed if they’re going to leave the house for awhile, like when they have to go feed other cats (because apparently feeding seven a day isn’t enough?), or when they have to buy food for themselves (because apparently they can’t eat cat food?). Otherwise, her door’s open, and when she is around the rest of us and behaves, we all get a couple cookies, which I am super ok with (especially because she won’t eat cookies when we’re around — she waits until she’s in the room with the male human and then makes him hand feed her — spoiled.)

Territory is a big deal for her, not just where she’s sleeping, but also where she eats. She’s really weird about food, and she eats *so much more* than the rest of us (probably so she can make the angry poop when she needs to), that she kinda freaks out when there’s no food around, and that’s when stuff gets kinda hissy upstairs.

QQ and Larry got into it yesterday — not super bad, no claws or blood or anything like that — but she was hissing at him a bunch because he was near the food dish, and he was super confused because well, he’s big but he isn’t too bright sometimes. So the humans decided to close her in for the night as a reset.

The female human cleans the litter boxes every morning, and when she opened the door to QQ’s room….yep. Floor poop.

So that’s a fun puzzle for all of them. The humans have to figure out how to integrate QQ when she’s all weird about food, without shutting her in her room at night so she doesn’t peacefully but stinkily dissent.

Time and Patience

Four weeks seems like a long time to get a new cat integrated into your house. But the thing is, QQ is only four years old. If all goes ok, she should live a really long time, like to 15 or 16 or 20, so that means she has at LEAST ten years ahead of her. That’s a lot of time to spend with all of us, so it’s really important the humans go slowly with her and make sure she’s comfortable and we’re comfortable with each other.

If they try to rush stuff, we’re all going to end up fighting, and that means a trip to the vet, and I am NOT ok with going to the vet, so that can’t happen.

It’s not like it isn’t frustrating, though. And a lot of the information available on how to introduce cats is for, like, two cats. Not seven cats. So the humans have to be patient.

Big Squishie and QQ sniffing — by Christina Delzenero

Smells

The pheromone plug-ins weren’t such a big hit — one of them started smelling like burning plastic and the human female panicked and unplugged them all.

But that’s ok, because QQ’s smelling a lot of the other cats, and we’re all smelling a lot of her. Some of our toys got put into her room, and some of her toys came out to our area, and nobody’s peed on anybody else’s toys. And the humans are spending enough time in the room with her that she’s getting pretty used to their smell, too.

QQ playtime — by Christina Delzenero

Flexibility

The poop-on-the-floor thing reminded the humans they have to be flexible. What worked for Mama and Larry ain’t gonna work for QQ, but they kinda suspected that to begin with. Another thing with being flexible is understanding that because QQ is like way younger than the rest of us, she wants way more playtime than we do, and the humans gotta work harder to get that need met (or there may be more floor poop!)

Another big thing is…well, you might remember I mentioned that this is the third set of humans QQ lived with. That’s the third set of *permanent* humans, people who were supposed to be her forever people — I wasn’t counting the foster humans she stayed with, or the vet clinic she was at for awhile when her first humans had to surrender her. If we count up all of those, she’s lived with at least five different groups of humans, in five different houses, and she’s only four! Our humans have to be flexible in their thinking about how to integrate a cat who really hasn’t had a lot of stability.

So yeah! Four weeks in, and it’s moving slowly, but at least it’s moving. Now I’m gonna move to the food bowl…

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store