Valentine’s Day is Friday, so love is in the air, right?
I’m used to how Magic and Seren get along–or at least, respect each other. Sure, it took Seren a few years to learn to tolerate the Magical-Dawg, and it took hard-headed Magic the same length of time to stop testing her “boss-icity.”
Now a new clueless fur-kid has joined the family. Adopting a cat has thrown both pets for a loop. And they’re not the only ones having to adjust. Oh, I’m in love all right, and Magic is smitten and the kitten is gloating and Seren is hissed off. And MY schedule’s in tatters and likely will remain so for the foreseeable future.
Balancing the needs and demands of Karma with what the resident pets have come to expect takes skill and patience. Probably it’s good for me. I need to be more flexible but in reality I’m much more like Seren-Kitty and love routine.
Magic, on the other paw, enjoys having something new and exciting to break up the day, so he’s enjoying kitten antics. When Magic first arrived, we had to set waste baskets on countertops to keep him from grazing the soiled tissues and shredding or scattering other “fun” edibles from the trash.
Countertops don’t stop Karma. It’s actually sort of fun trying to guess what new trouble he’ll find. When I lecture about cat personalities I like to describe the broad types as “Shrinking Violet” and “Christopher Columbus” cats. Before now, I thought of Seren as the Border Collie of cats, always busy and finding things to do.
Karma trumped her antics. He steals the dog’s toys. And he has the gumption to invite Magic to play and then flop on his back and paw-smack the dog’s paws to get a rise out of him. Oh please help me…My to-do list has become the to-don’t list, or maybe the “Deal-With-Karma-Then-To-Do List.”
No doubt about it, Seren comes first and then Magic. It’s not that I have favorites, it comes down to individual critter needs. Simply put, Seren’s old and takes coddling. Magic is potentially lethal–even if he is a teddy bear behind that ferocious 91-pound body–and he was here first.
Pet world is not a democracy. People make mistakes trying to treat their fur kids equally. Karma needs to understand his place in the household not just to keep the peace with the other pets, but to protect him–and them.
Karma is like the Nermal character in Garfield.But cute will wear off as he becomes a mature, handsome fellow. Adult pets like Magic and Seren do often seem to recognize baby-behaviors and make allowances. Once Karma is grown up, everyone needs to respect each other, though, because I want this fur-gang to be together and get along for years to come.
Adopting a Cat: THE NEW REALITY
Karma touched my heart in a very different way than the other two. While Seren is prim and proper, Magic is a play-focused bruiser. Karma is all juvenile delinquent but so dang cute you can’t stay mad at him. My three furry stooges each bring me joy in a very different way and I find myself laughing more watching their interaction and growing relationship.
I’d forgotten just how active youngsters can be. Seren used to chew up paper from my fax machine and answer the phone, and at least he’s not learned to do that yet.
Karma weighs a bit over eight pounds and really makes the stairway thunder when he tornadoes up and down with the “zoomies.” He’s discovered the joys of attacking the roll of toilet paper. And he’s a bottomless pit eager to munch anything that smells like food–even Seren’s kidney diet (she is NOT amused) and including Magic’s kibble (he’s been tolerant, surprisingly so.) I need to get a picture of Karma STANDING in the dog’s water bowl while drinking.
WHAT’S WORK GOT TO DO WITH IT?
At this point, I can’t leave the three alone together. Supervision is a must, but I can’t work and run interference with the furry crew at the same time. So my schedule had to change.
Now I spend the night with Karma and Magic. After we wake up and take care of the business of Karma-Kitten’s food, potty and exercise, the rest of the morning belongs to Seren and Magic. I read the paper and we all eat breakfast, before I start the work day–and Karma spends time alone in “his” room. Break time during the day for Magical-Dawg is another good time to check on Karma and allow some free-run playtime. Usually Seren continues to sleep. And then back to work for another few hours before shutting down work for the evening and riding herd on ALL the pets out at once.
Eventually my schedule will change again, once all three have accepted (or at least learned to tolerate) the new reality. For now, we’re taking it very slow. Seren’s a bit more active these days, watching for that “evil interloper” and (dare I suggest?) enjoying the opportunity to school the new kid.
Personally, I’m having a ball. 🙂
How have you handled introductions of new pets in your home? Did the resident critters fall head over heels in love–or hate? Do tell!
I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book giveaways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!
Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!