I have a new cat living with us. I don’t know if it is permanent yet, that depends if the owners come forward. I have a new cat and this has upset the equilibrium in the house.
All the other animals are reacting in different ways to this change.
One of the cats who has lived her whole life with cats appearing in her home for visits, then losing her owner and coming to me is the most sanguine about it. She is calm, doing what she does and has decided not to be put out. She isn’t overjoyed but is making the most of the extra food.
Another, a spitfire character on her most jolly days, could honestly be described in an understated way as “pissed off” She swears at the interloper every time she is confronted with him. But its words not action.
The dog, who was with me when we found him starving and begging for help, is bemused. In once sense he helped bring the creature here. He half wants to play, he can sense the other cat’s diffidence and he isn’t pleased with the attention that had formerly been lavished on him being diverted to this cat. He is getting over it though and as his routines are not upset by the new arrival that much, he will come to terms soon.
The new cat is surprisingly serene. Starving and horribly matted and now partially shaved perhaps he has better things to worry about now than pet politics. He takes a dogs nose right in his face,or up his bottom or pressing down on his back for a reaction to play with a quiet dignity. His reaction at the moment is one of a survivor, making the best he can. He appears to have a sweet temperament. Time will tell if this first impression is who he is.
Then there is me and the visiting bipeds. If this cat is to stay, things are going to have to change. Feeding arrangements for one, how that happens and when. Toileting arrangements too. This cat can’t go out for a while he is far too thin and will not have enough fur for a while. Also if he is to stay he needs to know this place well. The other cats have freedom of movement, I am going to have to control that for a while. Things that just worked in the house, happened by accident will have to be consciously thought out. It won’t be easy and seamless.
Everyone is affected.
One small change, an addition to the system and everything else in the system has to adjust. Whether they want to or not.
If the visit is short lived it is a temporary adjustment. If it is permanent, a new set of rhythms shall emerge and later it will feel normal and permanent.
Which of course it will be, it will feel like stasis. That will be an illusion of course but one we all like to live with.
Until the next change.