A few photos, as things develop between the new and old cats-- two tribes making our home less than relaxing as they try to sort out their positions. Three black cats and an orange one.
Raven and Blackie Sept. 9, 2016I have lived with cats my entire life, from as far back as I can remember anyway. Mostly it's gone smoothly with the cats that don't like each other just avoiding the other with a few fanning the air with paws and hissing. What happened this summer is different with four cats.
Their history here is pretty simple. Blackie, about ten years old, has been with us about ten years but guessing his age, as he came as a stray. Raven we got from a cat rescue program in Salem from an ad we saw on Craig's List when I was looking for a cat to replace the one we had just lost. She's currently three years old. She and Blackie play together and love each other. From the time she arrived, they've gotten along great.
wildlife cam-- winter 2016
For some years, we saw an orange cat around the farm. We didn't name him, regarding him as feral. Early this summer, we began to see he was looking less fit and worried that if we didn't adopt him, he wouldn't live through another winter. So we got him to come to us, had him neutered, tested, vaccinated, and called him Tigger as he responded to that name.He does not have total access to the house-- although he'd like it as when he's in, he has to be watched to avoid spraying or being drawn into a fight with the others.
While working it out with Tigger, we were aware another feral cat was around, black with a white chest and much younger with her ear notched indicating she had been spayed. It took a trap to get her to come into the house, but finding she used the dirt box, we took her into the veterinarian also for shots (she acted quite wild in the office-- not easy to control and growling all the way). Our grandson suggested we call her Babe and so far the name has stuck.
So here we are, after two months, trying to get these four cats to get along without fights. After a few cat attacks (Raven does not like Babe), we bought feel good diffusers, which are supposed to help with the civilizing process and get them to relax. We also are trying cat tranquilizers as they are in an attack and run situation with the two females (shouldn't the females get along better than this but they are both the hardest to handle). Raven has turned into a bully-- a side of her personality we'd never seen. She more or less gets along with Tigger but Babe is an interloper, who she drives to hide in the bedroom. Currently, Babe sleeps with us but during the day has to avoid the living room area. Raven had decided she didn't want to sleep with us before Babe arrived but Blackie generally does. Babe likes to cuddle with him, but he's less impressed.
The following photos are from our wildlife cam. Babe had been getting out of the supposedly cat fenced yard, and the cam was set up to let us see how-- although so far she's proven smarter or quicker than the cam can catch. Because we saw part of one escape, we know she gets to the roof of the greenhouse, then to the house roof, down the other side to the roof over the kitchen entry and firewood and then down. How she gets to the roof has been the mystery.
In the following cam photos of the black cats the final act was not captured-- it happened too fast with Ranch Boss yelling and bringing the water bottle into the fray.
Raven was again the instigator, with Babe running from possible annihilation or whatever she fears Raven would do if she caught her. She hasn't caught her; so that's undecided on our human level if not on the cats'.
First photo is Babe relaxing in the sun... next one, Raven is approaching and then Blackie joins in but for uncertain reasons. He tends to try to break up trouble. The bad part is so does Tigger, which then leads to the two males hissing and swatting at each other.
Tigger was not involved in that interaction and would like to be a house cat, but he has one habit that still must be resolved-- spraying to mark his territory. That is not okay. Telling a cat what to do has its frustrations. I won't say they don't know what we are saying. I will say, they don't care.