I Have A New Cat!

I think it’s been obvious for a while now that my enthusiasm for blogging comes and goes. Lately, it’s been in a “goes” phase for longer than usual. But, I do have one piece of personal news that I feel compelled to share with all of you. Have you guessed what it is? (The title might have given things away.)

Meet Spider:

He’s awfully cute, don’t you think? I guess you can call him a rescue, in the sense that I rescued him from a colleague who suddenly has a two-year old and infant twins. Apparently Spider was very unhappy with all the noise and chaos, and my colleague felt it was best to rehome him. And that’s where I came in!

Spider’s not too happy in this picture. It was taken two days after I picked him up, and he was still very sad and freaked out. He walked out of the carrier, hid behind the futon, and has mostly been there ever since. Spider is twelve years old, and it’s probably a bit harder for an older cat to make this kind of transition than it is for a younger cat. I wasn’t too worried, though, since he was eating and using the litter box. I would leave treats for him at various places around the room, and when I came back to check on him a few hours later they would all be gone. Apparently he moves around when I am not around.

We’re now on day six, and we have made considerable progress.

Okay, so he’s still behind the futon. But moments before this picture was taken, I was petting him vigorously, and — are you sitting down? — he was purring! Score! He even showed me his belly at one point, which I interpret as a gesture of trust. And then there’s this:

He’s currently licking the last of the treat residue from my hand. This is new, since previously he would not eat out of my hand.

So, we’re getting there, and I think in another day or two he will stop hiding behind the futon. But that’s just the beginning, since I still have to introduce him to his new big sister, Emily:

I fear there might be some fireworks. On the other hand, since they’re both fairly timid cats, they might just spend all their time hiding from one another. The initial signs are actually promising. Spider is currently living in a large room in my basement. I let Emily into the room, just to see what would happen. They made eye contact under the futon. Emily clearly looked nonplussed, and got down into her crouch, but there was no hissing or growling from either cat. Then Emily left on her own after about a minute. Stay tuned!


  1. #1 Shecky R
    August 21, 2013

    Me-thinks you needz to offer him a cheezburger…

  2. #2 Larry Olson
    August 21, 2013

    Hey dear. Listen, if you can separate them behind a sliding glass door. Let them grow accustomed to each little by little. Associate the meeting by giving each cat a treat. Take it slow and they will be co-conspirators. I saw this on Jackson Galaxy’s show.

    By the way, he is adorable. I see the chemistry already and remember, cats fall in love too. They get jealous. So it is a bitter sweet time

    I just reread and said you already introduced them in a way, but to make it better just do what I suggested.

  3. #3 Larry Olson
    August 21, 2013

    You have to wonder what cats are thinking as they are sitting there. My cat waiting two years to nail a bird and when she got out, she almost did with feathers flying, I know that bird did not have a flight plan if you know what i mean.

  4. #4 John Pieret
    August 21, 2013

    Having had extensive experience introducing new cats to old (I and my late wife were orphan magnets, having picked up at least 5 castoffs that had to be integrated) the best thing to do is to keep the newcomer in a room where it can feel safe with a place to hide (the futon is good). Spend time with the newcomer without trying to force it out from its hidey-hole but just getting used to your presence. The present owner of the house should be allowed to be outside the door of the newcomer’s room, so that they can get use to the scent of each other. After a week or so, leave the door open for a while and let them negotiate their own meeting but be prepared to isolate them again if the the negotiations go badly. When you are not there or are sleeping, isolate them so there is no knock down, drag out. A week or two more and things should work out. It sounds like you’ve made a good start.

  5. #5 Charles Sullivan
    August 22, 2013

    Jesus frackin Mary, and Joseph! Where you been, squire? We been jonesing up in here without you. Cat? That’s it? We thought you were dead. For crying out loud. Let me give Jerry Coyne a call, he’ll be all over this. Why don’t you throw in some squirrels on a windowsill playing chess while you’re at it?

    This is how I show appreciation for your blog, okay? You got a problem with that?

  6. #6 eric
    August 22, 2013

    Seems like its going fine. I haven’t had John Pieret’s experience, but from my more limted experience as well as that of friends and family, new male-old female tends to go the smoothest of the four possible pairings.

  7. #7 Kevin Dowd
    August 22, 2013

    Jason maybe you can rouse yourself to contemplate the ways of the Lord…

    “An employee at a Creation museum has been hit by lightning as he tried to close one of the attractions at the Kentucky museum.”

    it seems that zip lines were a feature in ancient times…


  8. #8 jane
    August 22, 2013

    Poor old guy! He’s a handsome cat. Is it unfair of me to think that the sort of people who would name a cat Spider are also the same sort who would dump their cat when they start having babies? Maybe you could rename him.

  9. #9 Larry Olson
    August 22, 2013

    Maybe it is that old wives tale that cats suck the breath out of babies.. lol,

  10. #10 Mike
    Austin, TX
    August 23, 2013

    Whilst browsing the internet at the early hours, I find my former Math Professor!


    I used to scribble out geometry diagrams in your calculus 1 class. I convinced myself that I had figured out how to translate a point in 3D space. I guess I liked figuring out those things in an un-smart way (i.e. I didn’t like reading textbooks).

    You thought I was an awful student. You would tell us stories of the sci-fi channel and a particular movie you adored called “Hypercube” where a series of friends are stuck trying to escape a cube.

  11. #11 kiwi
    August 23, 2013

    I am so glad that Spider is settling in. Here’s the story behind his name. In New Zealand (where I was born) a root-beer float is made with coke rather than root-beer and is called a ‘spider’. Spider the cat’s coloring is the same as that of the foam on the drink.

  12. #12 Dan McPeek
    August 24, 2013

    I used to hide behind the futon all the time. Unfortunately I was married and 40 years old. Now I’m older, divorced and just drink beer.

    Oh, and Jerry Coyne sends kisses; for the new cat, of course.

  13. #13 james
    August 26, 2013

    Very useful information. Hope to notice more articles soon!

  14. #14 jane
    August 26, 2013

    kiwi – Thanks for the explanation. Does that kind of name actually sell product in New Zealand? How about a nice glass of spider?

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