Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Introducing Charlie Kelly

My new ball of fur has been all over Instagram and Snapchat (kmaliecarpenter), but I don't think I formally introduced her on the blog. 

This is Charlie, a four and a half month old Maine Coon kitten that joined our household in June. We've had her for about a month and a half and she's growing like a weed (a toe-biting, never-sleeping, seemingly-caffeinated weed). We decided to add a kitten to our one-cat household when Archer was showing signs of distress. He spent most of his time crying at the window sills and staring into my eyes pleading with me to make life more interesting for him. We figured that he was lonely. A cat that has to sit at home all day and sit around all night can't be thrilled with two, very busy human companions.

Though Archer was a Humane Society rescue on his last few days before euthanasia, we wanted a specific breed of cat for our second addition. Specifically, we needed to pick a cat's temperament - friendly, good with dogs and children (for the future), and one that could get along with another cat. I didn't feel confident that we could take a chance on another shelter cat, though I absolutely advocate adoption of cats (Archer was a great example. Seriously. Do it.). I spent a lot of time trying to rescue a Maine Coon in the Northwest, but apparently those are also in high-demand and there were none available for about a year while we looked. We finally got on a wait list with a very reputable local breeder, visited her cattery, met her cats, and then lucked out (after waiting about 6 months) with a litter in March. 

We did a slow introduction between she and Archer (well, Ben was out of town, so I did the introduction). I used the feline pheromone spray around their respective areas to calm Archer as the territorial resident cat, we kept them in separate rooms, swapped items, introduced them through food. And after about a week of intermittent hissing and puffy tails, Archer and Charlie started to play. Now? They're best friends and Archer spends a significant portion of his day accumulating hairballs by grooming her. 

The most awesome side effect of this new family member? Archer's meowing, yowling, and upset behavior is gone. He has a new job and it's licking this new kitten until it's soaking wet. 

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