As many of you are aware we adopted a companion for Watson this week at the MSPCA. Dexter is a grey tabby cat. His coat has these amazing symmetrical spirals and circles that I’ve never seen before and yes I did name him after Michael C. Hall’s character on the Showtime series Dexter. CK likes to tell people we named him Dexter because of the fact that he has 25 toes and somehow this makes him ambidextrous (get it “Dex”). Yes, Dexter is polydactyl or more affectionately known as a Hemingway Cat. It’s pretty wild to examine his funky feet up close.
Dexter is a young cat. Unfortunately, we’re not sure how old exactly. Originally his ad stated that he was only eight months, but the vet tech at the adoption center believes he is probably somewhere between one and two years of age. It doesn’t really matter. Dexter is incredibly easygoing and loves to cuddle. He’s also giving Watson something to focus his almost OCD-like attentions on (instead of CK and I for a change). In fact, since we picked up Dexter on Tuesday CK and I have been able to sleep through the night without being woken up by Watson’s deadly 4:00 AM pounce or his demanding “pay attention to me” cries at 7:00 AM for the first time in four months. It’s a miracle!
The initial meeting between the cats was a bit chaotic. Dexter immediately tried to start grooming cute little Watson because Dexter’s a friendly guy. Watson on the other hand wanted nothing to do with this grey interloper for his mommy and daddy’s attentions and predictably started hissing and batting Dexter in the head. A scuffle ensued and we let them fight it out for a bit before separating the flying masses of fur. It was pretty obviously who had the upper hand in this scenario and it isn’t little 5 pound Mr. Kitty Pants. Not that he didn’t give it the old college try.
The first night we kept Dexter in the spare room and allowed Watson to roam free. Watson entrenched himself in front of the door and stared down Dexter via the small space between the floor and the door frame. Then they would occasionally bat at one another. It was all very tentative.
The next day Dexter started to settle in and we allowed both cats to interact with one another throughout the entire apartment. They spent the majority of the day chasing each other around at top speeds, flying over furniture in hot pursuit of the other, and then falling down panting on the rug at a “safe” distance. By the end of the afternoon they were doing so well with one another that we decided they could stay together during the night. We woke up well rested and without incident. I fully expected to find something broken or torn open but my two little guys behaved themselves admirably.
Today they graduated to the following cuddly behavior. Pretty impressive, right? Currently both cats are sleeping next to me while I type this. Each is curled up on a dining room chair on opposite sides of the table.
While CK and I are really grateful to witness this huge personality change in Watson we both sort of miss the cute guy’s attention a bit. He seems to have completely altered his preoccupation with our lives and is now deeply entrenched in Dexter. Hopefully our baby kitten will manage to get back a bit of balance in his affections soon. In the meantime we truly are enjoying Dexter. It’s nice to see a grown-up cat in action. Whereas raising a kitten is like going to war, having an adult cat is truly a companionable experience more in line with going to a garden party.