Tuesday, September 30, 2008

the magic cat

Anyone have any ideas about cat psychology?

There is a white cat that has been coming around lately. At first we called it the Magic Cat because it cast a spell on our cat. Our cat HATES and tries to destroy all other cats. He hisses and yowls, chases them and will go into biting, clawing combat with them if necessary. But this white cat came around and none of that happened. They were just hanging out together. The white cat can even come right up to our cat’s face and they sniff each other.

We were excited for our cat to have a friend and thought that maybe this new cat would teach our antisocial and possibly mentally disturbed cat how to play cat games. Our cat grew up on the mean streets of La Jolla so he has some trust issues.

The first time the white cat came into our kitchen, I started to feed them both treats. I dropped a bunch on the floor by accident and when the white cat tried to eat a treat that was near our cat, our cat hissed and swatted at him. No big deal. That's just communication in cat world. The white cat scurried away but stayed in the kitchen. They both happily continued to eat treats.

The white cat has come around a few more days. But now our cat has gotten very timid and passive. We feed him wet food every night when we come home from work. The white cat was around last night. We put the wet food in the bowl and our cat started eating. The white cat started to approach him and I expected another swat from our cat. But our cat just timidly walked away and let the white cat start to eat his wet food. So we put the white cat outside and let our cat finish his wet food.

Later, they were both in the backyard, just hanging. I came out with a bag of treats and usually when I shake the bag of treats, our cat comes running. This time, with the white cat around, our cat just hung back and wouldn't come close enough for me to give him any treats. He wouldn't even eat the treats that I tossed near him. Later I found our cat in the front of our house and he came right up to me. I carried him inside and he did his normal evening activities. We don't let the white cat stay in our house at night.

This morning our cat ate some dry food and then the white cat came meowing at our back door. So I let him in and he ate some dry food too. Our cat seemed like he really did not want to be there with the white cat. The white cat is outgoing and curious and walks around all parts of the house, checking things out. Our cat jumped on the dining room table and the white cat jumped on the dining room chairs under the table. Our cat's paw was hanging off the table and the white cat batted at it - trying to play. Our cat doesn't know how to play and jumped a little and pulled his paw in.

Our cat doesn't seem extremely stressed - he will relax and lay around with the white cat there. He has just become very timid and doesn't seem like his normal self.

This has only been happening for a few days and Josh and I haven't yet tried to find out who owns the white cat. We should do that soon because if he belongs to someone else, we need to stop feeding him. (We couldn't help feeding him. He is so cute and we were FASCINATED by his magical effect on our cat.)

So is our cat forever going to be a wimp? He doesn't even come sit on our laps at night as much as he used to. Or is this just a transition and he will get over it? Any ideas?

Next weekend we'll also be adding the big black dog to the mix. That should be interesting.


Mom said...

Hi Kathy,

I think with the trust issues you said your cat has he is showing passive aggressive behavior. The aggression did not get him what he was looking for so he has retreated which is probably a coping mechanism. He is not really threatened by the other cat because he has shown no aggression. Your observation that he needs to learn to play is true. If you introduce the dog they will either band together and attack the dog of hide.

Dr. Mom

Bethany said...

Great insight from Dr Mom!
Hi Mrs Leddy!