About 6 weeks ago, we were 'adopted' by a routinely absent neighbours very young cat. He was left outside to fend totally for himself all week and decided our porch was a perfect place to live safely. Little did he know he'd landed in 'cat heaven' at the time. We started to put out food and water, then a bed rejected by our 'girls' and quickly bonded with him, thanks to his very sweet affectionate personality.
The next time the neighbour was home we discussed 'kitty' as he was known by all of us, and it was agreed we would look after him, as we could offer him a safer reliable home. The Hubster had got in the habit of calling him 'Little Buddy' and gradually it just stuck and he responded to "Buddy' when we called him.
So for 3 weeks he lived on the porch, we fed him (he was scarily thin at first) and he was happy with us, but then he got very sick. It started off as weepy eyes and a bad cough, and worsened over 4 days until he was only partially opening his eyes and had a high fever. So we again spoke to the neighbour out of courtesy and for prior health information, who by then viewed him as ours and we took him to the vet.
He had a chronic respiratory infection, plus pink eye, was 2lbs underweight and was kept in hospital, he wouldn't have made it if he'd still be fending for himself. The vet also tested him for all the nasty feline diseases, he was clear and so she gave him his shots and neutered him. She decided he is around 9-11 months old. Since then he has pink eye again and the vet thinks he may not have developed fully in the internal nasal area due to poor diet as a kitten. Needless to say, we already have a healthy monetary investment in him.
By the time we brought him home we were bonded, and so what started off as definitely only an outdoor cat, became an indoor cat. He needed nursing back to health for another 10 days and during this time we kept him seperate from the girls, just letting them see him from afar and regularly swapping them into each others areas to get to know scents. When we were able to let him outside, he was quickly accepted by Sukie and Cal-Jo who were previously used to him being in the garden with them.
However Bon Bon (who is an indoor cat from choice) is taking longer to accept him in 'her' territory. He has been in the house in his 'safe area' for 3 weeks, with nightly supervised visitation into their area, and the above and below pic's are the closest we have got so far. If they move around each other slowly we do okay, but the moment Buddy moves fast, she chases him down and tries to pounce on him and a hissing and yowling match commences. She outweighs him by 4lbs, so understandably he tends to rollover submissively, but he is starting to act like he might stand up to her which is what's needed.
I keep their claws clipped so there is a low risk of injury and we constantly stay with them. A week ago the pictures here would have been impossible to imagine, as they growled and hissed if even in the same area. So we have come a long way, but it's obviously going to take longer with them both being young.
Now we have noticed Sukie is starting to act protectively towards him when Bon Bon is around, and Bon Bon has a healthy respect for Sukie's dominant 'elder' position in the feline heirarchy.
As you can see below, Buddy has a clear message for Bon Bon, because he knows she cannot win this battle, as he has won our hearts.
I've always said I'd end up as a batty old lady with many cats, but 4 is definitely our limit. The problem however is, the Hubster is an even softer touch than I am where cats are concerned.