Two cats is better than one cat (if you’re lucky)

Let me tell you about my cats

Max, a large silvery-grey cat, looks on at us lovingly.
That magnificent beast.

My boyfriend and I are lucky enough to have two cats, and the two-ness of that statement is a recent thing. Max has been our buddy for over four years, and adopting him was a dream come true. He’s friendly, chilled out, really silly, and super fluffy. When we introduced him to our new floating home, it took him a whopping 24 hours to get used to it, and he’ll spend hours sitting on the deck, staring at the water like a wistful sailor. Here are some quick Max facts:

  1. He loves bananas. The day before Max came home was the last day I was able to eat a banana in peace.
  2. He’s probably a Viking. We don’t know his true genetic makeup, but I’m sure he’s got a lot of Norwegian Forest Cat in him.
  3. I once saw him gobble up an entire (abandoned) spiderweb. So he’s not perfect.

It became obvious that Max was lonely. After careful consideration, we brought home a Hershey. Here are my favourite Hershey facts:

Hershey, a small bicolor Siamese cat, gives us a concerned glance.
“What?!”
  1. She loves Hawkins Cheezies, so we have a lot in common.
  2. If she had a catchphrase, I think it would just be “What?!”.
  3. She likes to bite my hair, right at the scalp, and pull as hard as she can, and that’s her version of “good morning”. She’s a bit of a freak.

How to force two cats to love each other

Thanks to our impeccable taste in adopted kitties, solid advice from the internet, determination and tons of luck, we made it through a few weeks with two very good catfriends. The BC SPCA has some solid tips for introducing a new cat to your existing cat (http://www.spca.bc.ca/pet-care/care-behaviour/cats/introducing-your-new-cat-to.html), and we followed them as closely as we could. The only advice I could add to this consists of two words:

Size difference.

We knew we had a huge cat on our hands, and we specifically looked for a small cat to be his pal. This wasn’t some selfish aesthetic desire; Max has been bullied by medium cats, and he’s played well with small cats before, so we thought a tiny feliney would be less of a threat and more to his taste.

Before becoming a multicat household, I daydreamed about two cats cuddling, following each other around, grooming each other. What I didn’t expect was literal copycat behaviour.

Two cats curled up in identical positions.
Both cats in circle formation, tails tucked neatly under chins, pretending to sleep. They are the same cat, and yet they are so different.

I catch them doing this all the time. The fact that Hershey is less than half the size of Max makes this whole thing impossibly funny to me. But don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of cuddling, and grooming, and wrestling.

I can’t say that everyone should get two cats, or that it’ll be this easy – I know a few fightin’ fluffsters out there. But it was definitely the best kitty decision we’ve made.

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