There are parallel worlds in Andrea’s home – one inhabited by herself and her son, and another ruled by their cats. “I allow them to be cats but there are some things they do that I just don’t understand,” she says.
Andrea adopted Doc to be a companion for her first cat, David Jones. She often observed David playing with his stuffed cat and surmised that he might have been lonely. Andrea approached Annex Cat Rescue in search of a younger cat who could easily be introduced into the home. She fell in love with the Maine Coon and his unique markings. Andrea believes that Doc was previously a stray because of his skittish behaviour.
When she first brought Doc (now renamed Noah) home, she wanted to be sure that both cats got off on the right “paw”. As per the foster’s advice, she was careful to keep Noah in a separate room so both cats could smell each other’s scent before meeting. David was very curious and eager to meet his new playmate.
Despite Andrea’s best efforts, Noah was able to escape from his room and hid in the basement. She contacted his foster for advice. Since there was evidence that he was still eating and using his litter box, Andrea was told not to worry and to give Noah time.
She set out a blanket for him in the basement and would come downstairs to play with him using a toy that he went crazy for. Slowly, Noah began to come upstairs to socialize. He would come up to play, but would then retreat to the basement. “I needed to walk slowly when I was near him or he would be startled and run back downstairs.”
Over time, the cats have established their own set of rules and routine. “David keeps Noah in line,” says Andrea. When Noah is meowing, a stern look from David is all it takes to quiet him down. When it is dinner time, Noah will get impatient with Andrea as she is preparing salmon. David will swat at him to tell him to stop. However, David will often share his food with Noah who eats quicker.
The cats have also divided the space between themselves. Andrea had purchased two cat condos, assuming they would share. Instead, they have decided between the two of them which one got which condo. “I guess they don’t want to enjoy them together, but they’re able to work these things out.”
Andrea is expected to abide by their rules as well. “They will interrupt my exercise if I’m taking too long.” This happens especially if exercise is taking away from cuddle and play time. “They’ve definitely trained me,” she jokes.
Her life has been enriched by watching Noah progress from the frightened cat that hid in the basement to a lively companion for her and David. She is so glad that she is a part of their world. “It’s so nice to come home to them; they help me unwind from my day.”
— Jillian Kaster