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Diary of a Stray Cat's Integration into a Family of Male Cats

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Jaspurr and Jenny Say "No Way!" to Being Friends
Photo of Angry Cat

Photo of Angry Cat

Photo Credit: © iStockPhoto/Anna Sematkina

Remembering that Jenny had spent her young life being tormented by male cats, and that Jaspurr was a thoroughly entrenched alpha male, I hadn't fooled myself that Jenny's integration was going to be easy.

Jenny desperately wanted to be back outside, and would spend hours crying and scratching on the bedroom slider. On nice days, I'd go out on the deck with her, keeping the slider open. As soon as she'd go back inside for a bite to eat, I'd follow her and close the door.

Meanwhile, our three boys, especially Jaspurr, were immediately aware that there was a new cat in the house, and intensely curious about her, although Jaspurr's motivation was more of the "search and destroy" nature.

A Battle Royale

One evening, as I was reading on the sofa, Asa went into the master bedroom, leaving the door slightly ajar. A few minutes later, I was startled by blood-curdling screams from Jenny. I rushed to the door to see Asa holding his hand, which was dripping blood, and Jaspurr and Jenny facing off with both cats, ears back, loudly hissing and growling. I sat Asa down on the edge of the bed, and immediately scruffed Jaspurr. He is a huge, muscular cat and it wasn't an easy task. However, after several minutes of holding him down and softly talking to him, he relaxed enough to allow me to lead him (still holding him firmly by the scruff) out of the bedroom and close the door.

I was then able to do some damage control: attend to Asa's scratches on his hand; coax Jenny out from under the bed and check for injuries (none); then seek out Jaspurr in the other room, and spend a few minutes petting him and quietly explaining to him that "Jenny is your friend. You must be nice to Jenny."

I then returned to the bedroom, and explained to Asa the cardinal rule: Never, ever get between two cats in a fight. I should have saved my breath; Asa's wounds served enough of a lesson, and it broke my heart to see him carefully avoiding Jaspurr, who had previously been his favorite cat.

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