Welcome back to Wednesday Links! How are you all doing?
We’ve reached May and it’s been a rainy start to spring in New England. I may have mentioned this before, but my partner and I are looking for a friend for Linus. Linus is my grumpy senior cat, who was diagnosed with a thyroid condition back in August. It’s really brought out some anxious behaviors and we think a little lady would be able to give him the company he needs when we can’t. We’re very nervous about the process, so whatever tips and tricks you may have would be much appreciated. The ideal is that they get along fine right off the bat, but that’s wishful thinking.
Let’s tap into some nostalgia with this profile on the painter of The Baby-Sitters Club covers!
Bonkers Romance is back with another Kickstarter, this one has a seafaring theme! It’s already well-exceed their goal, as is typical for Bonkers Romance projects. Congrats to the team!
The Perfect Find by Tia Williams is getting a Netflix adaptation! It releases in late June and stars Gabrielle Union.
If you need another Instagram account to follow, I want to recommend The Islamic Society of Baltimore. I loved this video of Muslim fashion for Eid and what countries the designs came from! The blue babariga from Nigeria, for me, was a show stopper. There is also a part two.
Don’t forget to share what cool or interesting things you’ve seen, read, or listened to this week! And if you have anything you think we’d like to post on a future Wednesday Links, send it my way!
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Cat personalities can be tricky. I also had a senior cat with a thyroid condition, I adopted him when he was 7 and he was pretty solitary, bonded to me (an amazing grumpy-sweet soulmate cat). When he was around 12 we took in a younger female (about 5 years, found as a stray) and she was more competitor than companion, unfortunately. I’m not sure if Linus has had buddy cats before? Or how he might do with a kitten? These factors might make a difference. Good luck, I really wish you and Linus all the best!
Last year we adopted a male kitten to keep our female cat company – she had been exhibiting some lonely behaviors. We kept them separated for the first few days and they interacted via the crack under the door. When we finally opened the door the introduction went pretty smoothly with minimal hissing. They’re best buddies now. Not a guaranteed outcome, but it does happen! Good luck with adopting and introducing a new cat!
My 12 year old self is absolutely freaking out about the prospect of owning an original BSC cover painting. I would love to have an original painting of Kristy, Claudia, Stacey, Mary Anne, Mallory and Jessi on the wall of my home office. I became a passionate reader, a book collector and a better teenager because of that series.
Cats are actually pretty solitary and territorial. Not to say they CAN’T have companions-I have 3 of my own- but it can be hard. I strongly recommend utilizing Feliway adaptors before adding another cat. It’s important to isolate new cat from established cat, ideally for… well… gold standard is actually a couple of months. For real people who have to LIVE in these homes and actually keep them separated, at least a week or two. Make sure that you have at least two of EVERYTHING-food dishes, water dishes, hiding spots, beds, 3 litter boxes (proper litter box number is one more than the number of cats you have and the boxes should never be next to each other). Make sure there are plenty of hiding spaces, especially high locations, if possible. Remember that cats are not just predators, but prey as well. High hides make them feel secure.
Cats, as I mentioned, can be very territorial, but because their body language is so nuanced, cat bullying can be as subtle as sitting in the same room as the litter box-because they try to be non confrontational, cat A may actually prevent cat B from going into the room to use said box, just by sitting there. They definitely shouldn’t have any unsupervised time together right away.
I would maybe try fostering cats first? To see if the presence of another cat is something that interests Linus, enrages him, or if he’s just neutral. Plus it may be that he can tolerate a kitten, but an adult cat with established ideas about who’s in charge is a whole different scenario.
I really recommend DECODING YOUR CAT: THE ULTIMATE EXPERTS EXPLAIN COMMON CAT BEHAVIORS AND REVEAL HOW TO PREVENT OR CHANGE UNWANTED ONES by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorist, or checking out https://catfriendly.com. which was created for cat owners by the American Association of Feline Practitioners
-Your friendly neighborhood romance reading, cat loving veterinarian
For Linus, maybe you can foster an adult cat or a litter of kittens. Basically audition the new housemate. I ended up adopting a kitten that my lonely rescue cat became obsessed with. 11 years later they still like to cuddle and groom each other.
My best recommendation is to go slow and to keep the new cat isolated at first to get them used to the new situation. As introductions are started, making sure both cats have somewhere to escape to if things get tense can also help.
It’s tough trying to find companion cats for an older feline. My cat soulmate died in 2020 and left behind her friend, N. N. is generally a pretty chill, laid back cat, and when younger had no problems being around other cats. But after 12 years of living with one other cat, and 2 years of being a solitary, she had OPINIONS about my adopting two younger cats.
I deliberately tried to find cats that were described as getting along well with other cats by either their fosters or the shelter people, so at least that side of the equation would be accounted for. The pair I adopted were younger (1 and 1.5 years old), but bonded, so they have each other to wrestle with. I was originally just looking for one, older, single cat so the energy levels would be more comparable, but fate had other ideas.
I introduced them very slowly, keeping them completely separate for days and only letting them sniff and in N.’s case, hiss, at each other under the door or by cracking the door open just a tad after a few days. N. is not best friends with the new cats, but nobody is trying to kill anybody, and I have seen a few mutual grooming sessions, so I am happy with the results. Maybe with time N. will be a little more willing to bond. If not, well, she can snuggle with me, but at least she’s not bored at home by herself anymore.
Good luck with Linus!
My senior cat, who is now 12/13yo, was 6yo and my ex’s “only child” and when I met him in 2016 he’d just lost his favourite human, my ex’s ex, and was pretty over human nonsense in general.
We adopted a 6mo male kitten in 2017, and tried to phase the introduction, but SC forced it by busting into the room Middle Cat was in. It went fine, really, but thereafter he pretty much ignored MC (you could _see_ him thinking “Damn kids, get off my lawn!”) until my ex and I split and on one rainy night in 2020 they decided being friends wouldn’t make anyone explode and became inseparable. Around the same time SC discovered the wonder of sitting on laps, something he never did before. He was pretty ill in 2020 and I think the comfort of being cuddled did the trick in pulling him through.
My now-partner (SC and she adore one another, I joke that the real romance here is theirs) and I adopted an adult female about MC’s age about a year ago. While she and SC remain rather sus of each other, they can all share the couch or the bed without issues, and she’s started to cuddle with MC…to SC’s disapproval – you should see the look he gives them. But winter’s setting in here and he’s no fool, so we may see some cat-piles before the season is out.
Mixing cats is far harder than mixing dogs, but I’ve not often heard of such bad incompatibility that one has to be rehomed, and if you’re familiar with the ways of cats you should be able to head off any big issues easily enough. Even if your boy Linus doesn’t make fast friends, just having another of his people around might help!
If you need a step in between sniffing through the door and interacting, a cheap baby gate works great to let them get used to seeing each other but keeping fireworks to a minimum. Spend a little time petting one, then go straight to the other and love on them, let them adjust to smelling the other cat on you and watching you with them, then getting your attention back. Maybe don’t rule out another boy cat, especially one at least a few months past being fixed, most of the boys are as likely to get along fine as mixed-sex pairs, as long as neither are intact!
I had two older females at one point who never got along, and one was diagnosed with a thyroid condition when she started actually attacking the other one instead of just avoiding her. Per the vet’s suggestion I got one of those pheromone diffusers and it worked really well.
Adding another feline family member is always exiting. Taking it slowly and paying attention to everyone’s reaction is certainly important. My brilliant and beautiful kittens have graciously accepted various changes over the years. I believe it helps to keep your senior Cat(s) personality in mind: does he enjoy playing or cuddling most? Is he jealous? My little fluffy demoness is mostly tolerant to company, as long as she stays in charge – therefore bossy cats need not apply. Additionally I’d recommend paying a lot of a attention to Linus during the transition. I’ve actually scheduled time for both new and old Cats so everyone feels loved and secure. Start with supervised visits (lots of snacks allowed) and you’ll probably see when they are ready to be friends. Plenty of step-by-step videos in YouTube, I’d like to recommend those by Jackson Galaxy (also good for trouble shooting). Good luck!
Oh, yes. The Eid outfits. Some people go for the full-on bling, sequins galore. You can TELL it’s Eid. You can see little boys in thobes and the little girls in cultural dress – my local community’s Afghan population has grown, so they turn out the little girls in the red/green/black outfits trimmed with gold coins that chime as they move. I love the Nigerian babariga – brothers look like absolute KINGS in those. The Palestinian black robes with red tatreez embroidery are gorgeous. People wear their best clothes and give candy to the children. It’s really the best holiday, and we get TWO of them in the year!
I was going to share a link from the WGA Strike thread, but twitter removed it.
I love the Eid clothes. I follow Untermeyer Gardens IG mainly because I enjoy looking at flowers, but it’s become a very popular place for NYC area Muslims to visit on the Eid, so they also have some lovely pics. https://www.instagram.com/p/CrUFzsvugtv/