We've had quite a trying time with the temporary addition of another cat to our household. The newbie, Elwood, a member of the notorious Sharks, has been as yet unable to bridge the great divide between himself and Ms. Mabel, a lifetime member of the Jets.
These two either cannot or simply will not get along. They simply refuse. Whether it's merely ideological differences, or simply a case of horrible stink we'll never know. What we have learned so far is this--we must keep these two separated at all times. Separate but mostly equal.
It hasn't been easy, but I think we have managed to achieve a delicate balance where neither cat a) comes into contact with the other, b) hates us both, or c) hates one of us all of the time.
Once we started tossing Elwood outside, things really improved. Of course, the 12 hours after putting him out for the first time were completely nerve-wracking. After keeping me up ALL NIGHT howling and carrying on (fyi, it is impossible to sleep through "the covers game" when it is being played by a 30lb cat) I decided I had taken far more than a reasonably sane person would. So, I picked him up, strained my back, and put him outside.
He didn't come back for 12 hours. You wouldn't believe the stress--I was so scared that he wouldn't come back. Griff kept walking around the block calling for him to no avail...
My mind quickly wandered to worst-case-scenarios, like how do you tell a good friend who is halfway around the world that you lost her cat? Luckily, I didn't have to find out.
Around 11:30pm, just as I was drifting off to sleep, I heard a yowling from the backyard. Elwood was back.
Since that 12 hour adventure Elwood has gone outside almost daily for an hour or two at a time. The funny thing is that he seems to appreciate inside more now than he ever did before.
The best part? Now when it's time for me to hit the sack, Mr. Woo just curls up in my armpit and goes to sleep purring.
The biggest drawback? Now Mabel hates me. She knows that Elwood sleeps with me and simply will not forgive that nightly betrayal. Sorry, Ms. Bunny Tummy. You'll have to survive until December.
[Note to KB: We tried to take pics of Elwood with this week's New Yorker, but they all came out looking pretty goofy--too goofy to post. Rest assured that he's alive and well, and awfully happy to have free run of the bedroom and backyard.]