A neighbor came to my door in Vermont about a month ago with a cat in her arms that had showed up at her place. She thought the cat might be ours. It wasn’t, but the neighbor seemed unable to deal with the situation, so I offered to take the cat and try to find its owner. Lynne and Zoe, our beloved tortoise shell cat, were at our apartment in New York at the time.
The hungry stray was clean and healthy looking and obviously accustomed to being with people. I tacked notices about her on bulletin boards at the post office and nearby stores and posted her picture and description on some animal rescue websites. Two people responded, but the lost cats they described were not this one. Meanwhile, I was growing besotted with this bold little cat, and it seemed to me that a feline companion might be good for our Zoe.
We kept the two cats away from each other pending the new one’s blood tests for FIV and feline leukemia. When the tests came back negative, we named her Cady (after Elizabeth Cady Stanton) and had her spayed, inoculated, and microchipped for identification. After allowing her a few days to heal from the surgery, we started introducing her to Zoe.
I was wrong about that companion business. The unrelenting territorial conflict between these cats goes way beyond the week or so of growling, hissing, and spitting that we expected. Cady, who is half Zoe’s size, has charged her at every opportunity and covered the carpet with tufts of Zoe’s fur. Zoe, heretofore a happy cat who wanted to be wherever we are, now spends most of her time hiding under a bed, out of reach; she barely touches her food. Our daily introduction sessions, with Cady on a leash, have moved them no closer to a truce. We have reluctantly decided that we need to find Cady a home that she doesn’t have to share with other pets.
The vet says Cady is about 10 months old and very healthy, with no worms, fleas, or ear mites. She doesn’t scratch the furniture, and she travels well in the car. She is wonderfully affectionate and has a roaring purr; even as I write this, she is stretched across my lap. It breaks my heart to give her up, but if anyone with no other cats or dogs is looking for a feline companion, Cady is as good as it gets.