• StevenF

Adjusting to The New Roommate

Updated: Apr 12

Well, those of you who are here for the cat updates, this post should be up your alley.

Franki is making himself at home. He now has free reign of the house as our other cats do (well, except for Chappy, who's mainly confined to her room these days). Franki has no qualms about going wherever he wants.

We think now that he can't be too old. The vet estimated three years, but we think he is younger—maybe one or two. He acts very much like a kitten or very young cat.

He has an enormous amount of energy and is very curious. He's also still skittish and will often hide under things—sofas, beds, chairs, etc.—if he gets startled or feels threatened. He is easily startled. I'm sure this is a byproduct from his life on the streets.

But he is certainly getting comfortable with both us and the cats. I usually find him on my side of the bed when I get home.

He generally is not afraid of the girls. That's another reason we think he might be young: he just seems so innocent and naive. He just walks by them and looks on them curiously while they growl and hiss at him.

The girls, needless to say, are not thrilled that he is here, especially Grizzabella. I really thought Blondie would be more agitated by Franki than Grizzy would be. But alas, Grizzy is jealous of Franki and annoyed by him.

I'm actually concerned because Grizzy and Blondie, who have not gotten on well together since Grizzy's arrival, seem to be bonding in some sort of bizarre way.

I can almost hear their secret conversations behind our backs:

Blondie: "All right, look. You know I've never liked you, but I know you don't like the new guy, and neither do I. The only way we're going to get rid of him is if we work together. What do you say?"

Grizzabella: "We have to make it look like an accident. Or what if he just 'ran away?" Permanently. Make sure he's never found again?"

Meanwhile, Franki is walking around in ignorant bliss while this unholy alliance is taking place.

Makes me nervous.

In all seriousness, though, everybody is adjusting. We have been able to leave Franki, Grizzy, and Blondie out together while we are at work, and the girls, though displeased, are tolerating him.

Franki is a big boy. Very heavy, but not deadweight like the girls can be. But he's a hefty fellow who sometimes doesn't know the power of his own weight. I was playing with him with a laser pointer and his body weight would make him skid. It was funny, but I also hoped he wouldn't hurt himself.

I tried to get Grizzy involved with the laser pointer. Both cats played with it separately but wouldn't play together. Well, Franki might've. It was more about trying to get Grizzabella to play with him.

Franki has the cutest cry. It's almost a non-cry. Very muted and subtle, although he can get going when he wants to.

We notice he's getting better about eating less at a time. He realizes he doesn't have to scarf it all down in one setting. I think the terrible stench of his gas has lessened. He certainly knows where all the litter boxes in the house are, though, and fortunately uses them well.

He likes to follow me in the bathroom. He'll often camp out when Isaias and I are in there.

I think the hardest thing for me is that Grizzy, who is my little shadow, feels threatened by Franki. He just goes wherever he wants, but if he is in the vicinity, Grizzy sulks in a corner and won't come near me. This is particularly sad because normally she sleeps with me but hasn't done so the last couple of days because he is around. I hold her and pet her a lot to remind her she's my girl.

Blondie will sometimes sleep on the bed still, but she certainly isn't thrilled by Franki's presence. The other day she hopped on the bed where he had recently been and kind of sniffed around in disgust.

In the meantime, Chappy is in her room. She's really been acting out lately, not even because of Franki, who she's only seen once, but because Chappy just has anxiety in general. Her room makes her feel safe, and she likes being in there.

I think she wishes we were always in there with her. We sometimes take turns sleeping with her, which she likes. It's hard sometimes balancing all these cats. And we let her out, usually supervised, for exercise.

Last night she was so cute. She had her paw on my arm and was just purring so loud.

Anyway, that's our situation since Franki moved in. Going well, although not ideal.

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