The haughty behaviour, quasi-evil traits, weird sense of humour and psychopathic sentiments were all irresistible, even to a child initially wanting a 'cute' fluffy bunny. And I shouldn't have worried; I didn't miss out on the rabbits... As a formidable feline hunter living in the countryside, he regularly managed to bring back roughed-up rabbits, mauled moles and numerous shrews that he didn't even bother to nibble before devouring (don't ask me how I know...). Yet despite his murderous tendencies, Ben was a great friend to me, even if not always very well behaved, and was certainly a devoted companion. He was also the first to religiously home in on any visitor that declared that they 'didn't like cats', not to mention those with allergies, and was, of course, always ready to give any self-confessed 'cat-lover' a very wide berth. He lived through almost all my teenage years, and finally died during my first year at university, kindly doing so when I was home and able to say goodbye to him, with all the fondness and due respect he truly deserved.
Fast forward almost 11 years, to when I found the essence of Benjamin in my second Siamese cat, Pedro. The kooky, quirky traits, perverse behaviour, wanton disrespect of others, the drive to be positioned in the middle of any activity thus causing maximum disruption, the evident joy to be gleaned from sleeping in any warm place, regardless of any other consideration were all manifest in Pedro, multiplied and intensified because he was for the most part, a 'house cat'.
|A generation down; Pedro|
Fast forward two years, subtract vast sums of money and finally greet Krasnogorsk Felix, the Siberian cat from the depths of the Loire region. Despite all my hopes, both children had truly awful allergic responses to our new furry friend, and for at least two months life was full of hankies and anti-histamines (inefficient). I despaired, and wondered how I could have been so stupid to take such a risk on every single level. However, little by little the situation improved considerably; Oggie became hypo-allergenic and/or the children less reactive.
There followed several weeks of intensive study of cat psychology, numerous videos watched for practical advice to accompany the minutes, hours, days and weeks of keeping the cats separated, yet together. But finally...
So, if the introduction doesn't go well, take as much time as you possibly can to get both cats used to each others' presence. Don't ever let the cats 'fight it out' alone. Only let them spend time together under strict supervision, preferably with food and toys to distract them should one cat get aggressive. Having a greedy hostile cat is definitely a bonus at this point. Trim the claws of the hostile cat, but not those of the other cat; a useful self-defense weapon, if needed. When you do decide to extend the introductions, keep the cats shut in the room with you, making sure that there are escape routes available (space under furniture). Let the cats spit and spar a little, but only if it doesn't appear too hostile on both sides, and preferably allowing them to use strategic vantage points - furniture and cat castles.
Should all of this process take longer than you anticipated, watch the videos of the genius cat b
behaviourist, Jackson Galaxy, on YouTube to find hope and inspiration... My Cat from Hell.