Background on PurgyPurgy is a small female cat born in Aug '96. She looks very much like a Russian Blue except that she has gold eyes. Purgy was born "wild", her mother apparently an abandoned house cat. The mother cat was killed by a car when the litter was about four months old and a lady in the neighborhood took in the kittens. Homes had been found for all but Purgy and one sister, when I decided to bring Purgy home for a "trial" weekend. She was almost 6 months old at the time.
The IntroductionTrust me.... nothing ever goes as planned! The original intention was to do the prerequisite "doggie greeting", let Neko outside to poke around, and introduce Purgy to Mongo and the house. It was one of those rare occasions that hubby actually beat me home, so... before I could finish saying hello to Neko, hubby was messing with the carrier to see what the kitty looked like. Then both Mongo & Neko were sticking their noses in the way trying to see what going on. You can imagine the result! Instead of the hoped for curious "what is this place?", I ended up with a growling, spitting, ball of claws!
We put Neko outside but all he wanted was to be back in the house. Barking, wooing, banging the door. In the meantime, we let Purgy out of the carrier. Mongo's attitude was a distainful "So YOU brought a freaked out cat into the house? Well, whatever...". Neko had calmed down by now, but renewed the "I MUST COME IN!" frenzy when he saw her in the living room. This sent Purgy scurrying back into the kitchen.
I decided to take Neko for his walk and burn off some of his energy. It was a looong walk and definitely burned off much of mine! While we were gone, hubby fed the cats and Purgy was exploring the house undisturbed. Upon our return, I fed Neko. Purgy was nowhere in sight and Neko had apparently forgotten her in the face of food. I should have had a few minutes before I had to worry again, right? Well, Neko ate just enough to take the edge off his stomache and found her before I did...
He caught her in the middle of the room looking for a safe hiding spot. She did her best "Halloween Cat" impression. The more she hissed, spit, growled, and slapped.... the more he danced around her barking, woowooing, and growling. Now I KNOW his play growl from his REAL growl, but I'm sure all she saw was the "dance of the demented demon dog"!
As a result, she spent the night in a closed shower stuffed with towels, litter box, pillow & food. The bathroom door was shut as a double protective measure. Neko spent the rest of the night hunting the kitchen and living room for strange cats... The next morning I moved her to the utility room where Mongo eats. She discovered the washer and spent the next three days behind it, coming out to eat & use the "box" only when the door was shut or Neko not around. Occasionally we would hear her batting around the toys I left for her in the room.
The washer/dryer as a hiding place came to an end the first time we did laundry. Forced to explore in "dog territory" she hid behind a folded up exercise pen for most of the day, then moved to beneath a nearby dresser. That evening she was moved back to the utility room to eat & spend the night.
Purgy Discovers the Spare BedroomThe next day I took Neko to work with me and we did not return until late that evening. Feeding time without the dog gave her the courage to explore again. This time she managed to make it to the back of the house & the spare bedroom. As this room is more a spare storage area than a bedroom, there are plenty of cat-type hiding places. Purgy decided to make this her new home.
I moved all her toys into the room and would often go back to play with her. Sometimes I would shut Neko out (which hurt his feelings) and other times I would make him lie on the floor next to me and just watch. She got used to Neko being in the room rather quickly and would play on the floor only a few feet from him as long as he was (relatively) quiet. A few times I got her to play with his toes or tail, but I had to watch Neko carefully for any signs of over excitement. I would also brush, pet, and do light obedience work (sit/down/stay) with Neko while Purgy watched. A treat in the hand is (sometimes) worth more than a cat on a box!
Purgy also learned Neko's bedtime and napping schedule in only a few days. At night she explores the house freely as she can see better in the dark than he can. Although originally shy about slinking down the hall, she did so to eat & use the "box". She has now expanded "her" territory to the entire back half of the house and shares the living room with Neko (but to a lesser degree). She now feels comfortable enough to sleep on a chair or out in the open, regardless of where Neko is.
Cat's Rule, Dog's Drool....The first time Purgy backed Neko down was in the utility room. They were in a standoff.... Neko was stuck in the corner and Purgy didn't want to turn her back on him in the doorway. As he made a dash past her for the kitchen, she hissed & slapped at him. Neko went into a "high-speed high-step" as she popped his legs and things have never been quite the same since.
The "best" time she backed Neko down was in the kitchen. As she left the utillity room, she came at Neko hissing and spitting. He had backed up about three feet when she suddenly made a right turn and raced out of the kitchen. Neko was left spinning his toes on the tiles. By the time he had any traction and made it to the kitchen door, I could see Purgy casually turning the corner into the bedroom down the hall!
I have seen Neko walk up to Purgy while she is on the floor and gently push her over with his nose. Sometimes he will pat at her with his paw trying to get her to play. If he gets no reaction with the "patting", he will "nosepoke" her in the stomach. After the second or third poke, she becomes irritated and it's back to the "hiss & spit" routine. She has also jumped him from behind when he is sleeping, only to race off and hide before he can get his bearings.
Variation on a theme: Sometimes the floor "paw pat" works with hilarious results. More than once I have seen Neko roll Purgy over with his paw, only to have her latch on to his leg with all her feet. He will stand there unsure of what to do next, shaking the "trapped" leg in the air trying to dislodge her from it. One of these days I'll have to buy a video camera!
In one of he latest cat & dog "games", Purgy will hop up on something which puts her at the level of Neko's face. Neko will poke at her with his nose until she gets ticked off and hisses. Then he will turn his head so she won't get his nose, squint his closest eye so she can't hurt it, and proceed to stick his face in hers while she pounds the "crap" out of his muzzle! Go figure...? (Like a big kid picking on a smaller one until it gets "hitting" mad... then holding off the small one at arms length, laughing at those ineffective punches.) At any rate, Neko never gets mad that Purgy slaps him, huffs at me when I break it up and Purgy holds her claws in while pounding at his nose!
This is not to say that Purgy does not have claws or know how to use them.... One night, as I had just turned off all the lights in the house (on my way to bed) I heard a loud hiss and a "YIKE"! Then I heard the distinctive "thud" of Neko flopping on the entryway tiles. Turning the lights back on, I found Neko "huffing" and rubbing his nose on the floor.... Purgy casually sitting in a doorway many feet away cleaning her paws.
Purgy UpdatedPurgy adapted to the family rather well in a short period of time. On occasion she & Neko can be caught sleeping in the "open" within feet of each other or sitting side by side survaying their "backyard domain". She does pester Neko quite a bit and starts most of the chases. A few times I have caught her (GADS!) rubbing up against his legs... admittedly, this has been at feeding time and I'm sure they were both "preoccupied" waiting for their food!
She has also come to "terms" with Mongo "the ancient one"... although he generally tries to ignore her. Many times I have caught them curled into one big ball on the sofa. This lasts as long as Purgy is willing to nap... when she wakes up it's pester Mongo time, he huffs and moves to the othe sofa. Of course cats NEVER admit such things, but I think he is glad to have her companionship.