This is about Sister, my second cat and Norie’s friend. Sister passed away December 31, 2018. This first part is about her early life, her adoption and how she adapted to her new home.
Sister was originally named Buster. Her first home was with a young woman in college, who left Buster with her mother during semesters. Her owner would come home on weekends, during holidays, spring breaks and summer. So Buster was well cared for and loved.
Things went well for their first two years together until the young woman started having an itching rash on her arms when she held Buster. Then she developed trouble breathing. Since she had developed an allergy to Buster she had to find a good, new home for Buster quickly.
The young woman placed an ad in the paper describing Buster as a sweet female, already spayed and healthy. I had been thinking about getting a second cat since I worked 12 hour night shifts and thought Norie might enjoy a playmate. After I answered the ad the young lady brought Buster and they both wanted to check us out. She wanted a good, loving home for her sweet cat.
Norie had been with me for four months. So I wasn’t sure how they would get along. We talked and I told the young lady I had studied the process of getting cats used to each other. I was willing to take Buster and give her a good home.
So Buster’s toys and belongings were brought with her. My life with two cats began. I had no idea how they would get along. But usually female cats can live in the same house and at the worst, stay in separate parts of the house and avoid each other.
Within a day or two I changed Buster’s name to Sister. I wanted a name she could adapt to easily and that sounded similar to her original name. “Sister” was perfect for her.
For the next few weeks the young woman came to see Buster to be sure she was alright. She wanted to hold Buster so she wore a long sleeve shirt and held her only briefly. I could tell she was already missing her cat.
After two or three visits Sister decided it was best to end the relationship with her first owner completely. Sister seemed to know she was in her new home and her previous owner had to go on with her life, so she ignored the lady, seemingly to make the separation easier on her.
Adapting to her new Home
I kept Sister in the small guest bathroom and visited her for a long time several times a day. This was to give Norie time to get curious and used to Sister’s scent and for Sister to get used to Norie’s scent. Sister had her food, water, familiar toys and litter box in the bathroom but definitely enjoyed my visits.
So one sunny day I put Sister in her canvas, metal framed carrier and set it in front of the glass, back door so she could safely have a different view than the bathroom and see some sunshine.
Suddenly I saw Norie run and jump against the carrier, which knocked it over on its side! She was not happy to have an intruder in her house! Sister was scared so I quickly put her back in the bathroom where I knew she would feel safe and spent some time with her to comfort and reassure her.
It took another week before I was willing to try a meeting between the two again. Since Norie had been with me already, she was definitely the queen cat.
I started by letting Sister out in my bedroom for short periods of time. Finally I left them alone, I figured they had to work some things out. Sister was very wary of Norie and spent a lot of time under my bed for a few weeks! It took a month before Norie stopped chasing Sister.
Finally several weeks later I realized that Norie wasn’t bothering Sister and seemed resigned to her presence. She was still staking her claim as the queen cat but more often than not, just wanted to play.
They actually got comfortable enough to sleep on the couch side by side, not touching though. Later they playfully chased each other. Norie could be a nuisance sometimes but Sister got to the point she could play with her but was quite capable of stopping the activity if she tired of it. I never knew when Norie was going to turn a game into a chance to “take a swipe at Sister!”
There were a few minor problems even years later. There was one thing that irritated Sister! When she was eating out of her own bowl Norie would sneak up from behind and poke Sister’s bottom with her cold wet nose! That surprise would shock Sister and make her jump to the side away from the food bowl!
Then Norie would move right in and take Sister’s spot and eat her food! Norie was quite a stinker but not malicious. Considering how things were in the beginning, things had improved greatly.
Her forever home
Sister settled into a content but distant relationship with Norie. There were no cat fights or hissing that I remember. I told her how precious and dear she was to me and that this was her forever home just to reassure her.
They were both good travelers too. Sister stayed in her carrier unless she had to go to the litter box in the back of my car. She slept a lot while we traveled as far as South Carolina.
It took a while before I felt comfortable knowing they were not going to hurt each other. But they each knew I would love them and take good care of them. They actually began to play together sometimes.