I’m a Cat Person. When Jenny & I first met, I had Katie & Gracie (Katharine Hepburn & Grace Jones, from whom I stole my pseudonym), she had Cody & Smokey; and we threw them together rather suddenly under one roof. Gracie liked Cody & Smokey just fine and they became the 3 Amigos. Whereas Katie was fussy about the other cats and laid claim to Jenny instead. But then Katie was always a “people cat,” the kind who answered the doorbell in hopes the new person would sit down and make a lap.
Years passed and so did those four cats. After our move to California four years ago, we went to the shelter and picked out another one, the fabulous Rosalind Russell, aka Roz. I wanted a lap cat. The first time we visited her, I held her, petted her, cooed sweet nothings in her very large ears. She purred and nearly fell asleep. I was so, so smitten. But we couldn’t take her that day because the shelter was under quarantine with a viral respiratory infection epidemic. I came back a few days later and visited, held her while she purred. The third time, Little Miss Roz wasn’t sick anymore. Nor did she want to sit in my lap, thank you very much. Too late, though. I was already in love.
So home we went. Four years later, Rozzie continues her independent ways. She’s very affectionate, following me from room to room, flopping over on the floor when she wants to be scratched and sweet-talked, hanging around on my desk while I work. But the only time she sits in my lap is when we’re on a road trip, because that’s the only place she feels secure in the car.
I couldn’t possibly love her more. Still, I’m considering adding another cat to our family. I’ve done a good bit of research on the proper way to bring a new cat into the home; e.g., isolating them at first and introducing them gradually, setting up two clear territories, dividing my time and attention. Pick a cat around the same age (5 years) with the same general temperament. So what’s stopping me?
It’s quite possible Rozzie doesn’t want another cat. She’s demonstrated that she’s willing to be PURRFECT on her own, notwithstanding her cat-titude about laps. This is a cat who sleeps in her own bed every night. She’s perfectly content with dry food only, tolerates the car, and licks her medicine off my finger twice a day. She never, ever makes a mistake regarding her litter box. In fact — I swear this is true — she sometimes goes to her box to throw up.
So bringing in another cat … I’m asking all of you Cat People out there for help with this momentous decision. What if it changes Rozzie’s personality and feelings of security? What if she develops bad habits? What if she retreats under the bed and decides she wants nothing to do with her new sibling? What if they fight? What if it breaks her heart?
But maybe she wants a cat!