Monday, July 25, 2005

Do not underestimate the cats

Last month, Lunchboy and I had dinner with my good friend L and during the meal we got to talking about introductions—how important or unimportant they are, how they can be uncomfortable, the role they play in life and relationships.

There’s the friend introductions, the parental introductions and maybe, if you’re lucky, the grandparental introductions.

But one thing everyone forgets to take into account are the pet introductions. If you’re a pet parent, having your baby meet your SO’s baby is a BIG DEAL. I mean, what do you do if they don’t hit it off? It’s not like you can sit them down and say, “Just give him/her a chance. They’re a good person, I promise.”

Well, if you’re me you can still say that, but there’s no guarantee that your pet will understand. If I recall correctly, Scully listened and then decided it was time to have a snack. You could fit her attention span inside a pistachio nut.

Since my lovely roommate is having her horde of drunken friends over to our place on Saturday night, Lunchboy was kind enough to offer a safe haven for both me and my put-upon kitty. But we thought it would be smart to introduce Scully to his two cats before having a full-on feline pajama party. We did a ton of research on how to introduce cats without inducing hissing, spitting, wall-climbing fits of wigging out, but somehow all our research fell by the wayside. Instead of keeping them separated, we just plopped Scully’s carrier in the middle of his living room, unzipped the front and hoped for the best.

For future reference, NOT a good plan of attack.

Scully has moved around so much and met so many strange cats in her travel adventures that almost nothing phases her anymore. Lunchboy’s cats are sisters and they’ve never met another cat before. At first they were nonchalant, but once they figured out that another feline had materialized in the midst of their territory, they proceeded to flip out in gold medal-winning fashion. Griffin crouched low to the ground and shadowed Scully as she explored the house, growling and hissing whenever Scully came too close. Cringer started meowing and hissing as soon as Scully went into the bedroom, and still hasn’t stopped. Eventually, Scully flopped on the living room floor and took it easy. She didn’t go after Griffin & Cringer’s food or water, and she stayed out of the bedroom after Cringer let her know that wasn’t cool. She was a champ.

I took Scully home after about a half hour, but Lunchboy’s cats are still upset. Griffin is back to her friendly, curious self but Cringer is still traumatized. Whenever Griffin comes hear her, she starts hissing and growling and then she hides under the bed. It’s like she doesn’t recognize her sister anymore. Lunchboy is beside himself. Needless to say, we scrapped the overnight kitty stay.

On a more pleasant note, I took LB to meet my parents last night. We were all tired after a long weekend, but it went well. The evening seemed fairly tension-free. We ate a lovely dinner of grilled swordfish and steak on my parent’s back porch, and watched the resident blue heron poke around the pond behind the house. After the kitty introduction, everything else feels easy. How fucked up is that?

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