Having just put Trouble in his room again for stalking Lady (because we know how that will end), I’m concerned he’s emerging as the villain in this story and wanted to make clear that he’s actually a sweet and well-behaved cat.
In the beginning, we were worried because he has peed on things in the past to express unhappiness, but even though he has spent long hours locked in a small room alone and is obviously unhappy about sharing the house with another cat, we haven’t had any difficulties on that front. In addition, Trouble rarely scratches furniture, jumps on counters, bites, or bats. Even when he misbehaves, simply telling him “no” or blowing gently in his face is enough to get him to stop.
Early on, he discovered an empty basket in our front hall (empty because I was slow to move hats, mittens, and scarves to their new home) and decided to make this his time-out spot. The few times we’ve raised our voices to him, he has banished himself to this basket or gone up to his room on his own. When he does this, we just give him his space and let him rejoin us when he’s ready. Lady has never felt the need to go into Caitlin’s bedroom, so it is the one place in the house that is truly his own, and he seems happiest there, surrounded by his person’s things and his person’s smells.
Trouble is the kind of cat that makes the strongest argument for keeping cats indoors and allowing them to live a longer, disease-free life out of harm’s way. In the morning, his first perch is in one of our front windows. They overlook a busy sidewalk and almost always have a nice breeze blowing through them. He’s very interested in Lady’s comings and goings, so he also spends a great deal of time at the back door, but mostly he moves around the house to different windows, perches, blankets, chairs, and other ideal nap spots throughout the day.
Before he and Lady got into an actual fight, he’d cuddle with us now and then, and even sleep in our bed. When he cuddles, he has an odd habit of kneading the open air in front of him with one paw. He also lifts one paw slightly when hungry, as though he has read the famous fable, and we are more likely to care for him and give him food if we think his paw is hurt.
But he hasn’t been cuddling at all since we started separating them and, of course, he spends every night shut into his own room. He hasn’t become hostile toward us in any way, but there’s no question he’s confused about why we don’t want him getting rid of that other cat. Never mind that she was here first.
Trouble is an easy companion. We’re just hoping he doesn’t try to get rid of us once Lady leaves!