It will be no surprise to regular readers to know that we have all struggled since the death of the Princess. The Calamity Cat has really missed her sister and hates to be left alone in the house. So it wasn’t long before we started to think about adopting again.
We are experienced enough cat owners to understand that bringing new cats into our home will not compensate Calamity for the loss of her sister. Nor will it mean that we don’t miss her every day ourselves. If we chose to adopt again, no cat would ever replace the Princess who will always be part of our family. It would not be fair to any new cat to put that responsibility on to them anyway. Like us, cats have their own personalities – whoever we adopted would be themselves, not another Princess.
We discussed it long and hard. We know that we can offer cats a great home where they will be safe, loved and pampered, with a house and fire to curl up in and a large garden to explore. We know that we enjoy being part of a multi-cat household and that Calamity hates being alone. We also knew that she is advanced in years, territorial and that cats find sharing their space with others from a different social group very stressful. We went back and forth weighing the pros and cons and, in the end, decided we would go ahead.
Decision made, the next consideration was what type of cat to get. With Calamity very much at the forefront of our minds, we quickly dismissed the idea of another adult. I have always adopted adult cats (Calamity and the Princess were 8 years old when I first met them). It is important to me to rehome cats who really need it, who may struggle to find a home elsewhere and kittens are usually cute enough to attract a new owner. However, we knew Calamity would not accept another adult in her home and her needs had to come before my own preference. The thought of small kittens filled me with fear though – there are too many places to lose very young ones in our house! We settled on between 4 and 10 months old. We also decided very quickly that we wanted to home a bonded pair, who would play with each other and hopefully not torment Calamity too much.
It didn’t take long to find two beautiful 4 month old girls at our local RSPCA centre. Along with their littermates, they had been removed from a house with another 40 cats. They were not very well socialised and fearful of humans so a quiet, child-free home was essential for them and they would be fine with other cats, which was essential for us. It was a perfect match.
We waited impatiently for our home visit, which was frustratingly but unavoidably delayed at the last moment. The formalities finally complete, we visited our little ones at the centre and tried to arrange a date to bring them home. Then disaster struck. They developed a gastric bacterial infection and had to stay at the centre until they had been treated. Even worse, we could no longer visit as we couldn’t risk passing it on to the Calamity Cat.
It has been a long month, unsure of their health, unable to visit to start the vital scent-swapping with Calamity and feeling like our lives were in limbo. Eventually, last week, we got the call. “The kittens are fine. You can collect them tomorrow.”
It was exciting and terrifying in equal measures bringing our little ones home, now 5 and a half months old. They are safely in a room separate from Calamity for now and we are starting to build their trust. They are already so much braver than when they arrived and they love to play. We have family names for them but I am still working on blog names. I look forward to introducing them properly to you all very soon!