So the little new girl, Scooter, got to join her three new brothers out in the rest of the apartment today. We’d been penning the three boys up in the computer room & letting Scooter roam around, and putting Scoot under a laundry basket out with us, to get her and them acclimated to each other. Works pretty well. Given they’re cats, it went fairly well. The boys followed her around, touched noses, watched her with wide eyes; she hissed a bit, but spent a lot of time nervously exploring. But no fighting, no snarling.
Puck (our middle cat, big fluffy absorbent ginger) just stayed on the couch, stretched out with his eyes half-closed; Frodo (the youngest boy) stayed up on the window sill, watching her, jumped down, touched noses, walked away. Robin, the big grouch, spent all his time following her around, tail down, in that intimidating “big bad cat” stance he has, and Scooter just eeled past him and around him — she’s lighter, smaller, and faster, and Robin’s old & fat. We let her back in the bedroom after about a half-hour, and the next time we opened the door, she wanted out. So…good sign!
She’s the most skittish cat we’ve ever had. I’m starting to suspect the poor baby was abused. She acts like she wants to be petted, but she skits away for a few seconds until she finally gets close enough for you to rub her head or scratch under her chin, then she moves in close & rubs up against you – it’s almost like she’s spending a few seconds deciding if you’re going to hurt her or not (it was that way when we first encountered her outside, too — she came running up to us, meowing plaintively, but wouldn’t get close enough for several seconds, just circled at arm’s reach, then when me & Brett just stood there or crouched down making comforting noises, she’d finally come in to rub at us and cuddle).
Make *any* move that’s a bit too sudden, even if it’s just getting to your feet, and she jumps away fast, then skits for a few seconds, then settles back or darts back under the bed. She’ll hide under the bed all day; she waits right behind the door for us to open it, stops, looks at us for a second, then darts back under the bed. About the only time she’s not so skittish is at night — she hops right up on the bed, curls up at our feet, or on the pillow, or at our sides, curls up & goes to sleep.
And she won’t PLAY. Doesn’t follow the laser-pointer (okay, not all cats do — Puck won’t, either), but won’t go for the feather dangle-thing, or chase after a tossed catnip-mouse (even Robin goes for that), or a dragged leather cord or even the old standby, the paper bag. She’s too well-behaved; I realize that most folks would probably rejoice at that, but it’s not normal for a kitten that age. And that’s got me more worried than the skittishness.
I’m hoping she’ll settle down after a month or so, when she finally figures out that we’re just gonna give her lots of cuddles & tuna-treats. And oh, my, yes, she loves tuna. We’re giving her vet-ordered vitamins mixed with a tablespoon of canned tuna, and she’d lick a whole in the plate, if we let her.