I took in a homeless Siamese cat. He had been hanging around my house in the Dallas-Forth Worth area on and off for a little while. He wore a collar, but I still thought he may have been lost or abandoned. So I scooped him and packed him into a carrier. After hauling him to the vet and finding out he wasn’t microchipped, I brought him back home and housed him in my spare bedroom. I went around the neighborhood and posted notices that I had him. I was torn between the hope someone would claim him and the possibility I might be able to keep him.
See, I have two other cats, and my husband (who lives in a different state right now for career reasons) also has two cats. The two sets have never met, but eventually, we will all live together and (we hope) get along. Four cats seems like plenty to someone who never had more than two before.
The day after I took him in, I got a call. A neighbor lady had been feeding him. Turns out he had been living on the street for at least a year that she knew of. He just showed up one day. He was super friendly, purring when petted, rolling on his back even to get tummy pets. He was clean, handsome, and apparently full Siamese. The neighbor and I talked for a while. She didn’t want to bring him inside because of her elderly cat. She didn’t know whether the Siamese was a boy or girl, fixed or not. She hadn’t taken the cat to the vet. After thinking about it for a second or two, I impulsively said I would take him.
So I had him checked out. Clean bill of health, already neutered, and now his shots are up to date. I named him Teddy. He is a complete lap cat. I have never had a cat that was so content just to curl up with you at any given time — for hours. He lived in my guest room for a couple of weeks. All the cats had a chance to sniff at each other under the door. I started letting him out on supervised explorations, and all seemed to go fairly well, though there was definite hissing, spitting, and growling from my two other cats when Teddy got too close. He, on the other hand, pretty much ignored them. It seemed like things would work.
Eventually, I got brave enough to leave him out while I was gone. This lasted about a month — until I came home one day and found an open wound on my girl kitty, SweetPea. There was no doubt it was Teddy. The other two had been together since kittens, and while not cuddle buddies or anything, they more than tolerated each other.
I was devastated. Teddy went into the bedroom for a major timeout. SweetPea was scooped up and put in a carrier for a vet trip. This should never have happened. At the vet, SweetPea got a staple in her side and antibiotic shots. She healed well, though I can still feel the scar when I pet her.
I’ve tried two more times to have the cats together. I’ve even used a harness and leash on Teddy to control him. But for some reason, jealousy or a need for domination, he goes into full attack mode, especially when he sees SweetPea. We are not talking hisses and growls. This is a full-on physical attack. It’s scary and I panic, because Teddy becomes absolutely infuriated when you interfere with his attack and will turn on you. I’ve received my share of bites and scratches.
I’ve done research online, I’ve spent two hours on the phone with an cat behaviorist, I’ve tried holistic remedies, I’ve consulted with two different vets (trying prescription medication), and I’ve attempted behavior modification. (Teddy just looks at me contemptuously when I try that.) Nothing changes. Yet otherwise, he is just as loving and cuddly as ever.
It’s been more than six months. Teddy lives in my spare bedroom. I’ve installed a screen door so that he can see what’s going on in most of the house. He has everything a cat could want, except to be able to cuddle with his human whenever he desires. For a cat who was roaming free for so long, he does seem content to stay indoors, though he loves to watch out his windows.
I feel guilty keeping him, but his behavior indicates he’s not ready to live with the other cats. We have play time and cuddle time every day. Almost every night he wakes up about midnight or so and starts talking, so I get up and go lay on the bed in his room for a bit and he’ll go back to sleep.
Teddy will live in the spare room until I can find him a new home or until he finally learns that he cannot attack the others. I’ve been told this could be possible, but it may take months. I’m not counting on it to happen. I’ve posted fliers in several places, sent e-mail to many co-workers, and put his info on a Siamese Rescue website. No one has contacted me.
This is a smart, talkative, loving, cuddly, handsome, playful, well behaved (most of the time) cat. He is a great companion animal. There is no way I can take him to a shelter and leave him, even a no-kill place. My heart won’t allow it. For now he is loved, well fed, healthy, and safe. But I keep hoping I’ll find someone who’s interested in this wonderful, complex, intelligent cat.
In the meantime, I’m trying to figure out how I can keep the three stray siblings — two marmies and one tabby/marmie mix — that I’ve recently been feeding…
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