For some time now, I have been feeling the pull to cat energy. Since my cats transitioned a few years ago, I have just had Molly, a miniature schnauzer, with me. While she’s a sweet dog, I missed having a cat around.
While visiting my son in Ontario recently, my daughter-in-law and I had a conversation about cats, which was triggered by the two new kittens in their household. She suggested Kijiji. In looking on the site, I saw a large, mature, marmalade cat named Simba seeking a new home. Following a strong impulse, I sent a text to the contact person. He had been asking for an animal free home for Simba, as the cat was aggressive and didn’t get along with other animals. I ignored that and asked if I could visit Simba when I returned to the city. A reply came and a date for visitation was set.
I arrived at the appointed hour to an old apartment block. In his basement apartment, the windows were high and unreachable, letting in little light. Simba greeted me with lavish head bumps and loud purring. His caregiver and I chatted, and I confessed to having Molly. Despite this, we agreed I would pick up the cat in a couple of days, allowing me time to purchase cat supplies. If things didn’t work out between the cat and Molly, I would return him to his present caregiver. I went home, meditated and channeled on Simba and Molly to see if I could have a peaceful household with them both living with me. I was assured that a harmonious household was not only attainable, but would be easier to establish because Simba was not aggressive, but afraid.
The day I picked Simba up, his caregiver had spent several hours moving and the cat was anxious from all that activity. When I called him, he came straight to me and I moved him quickly into the carrier for transportation. Once home, I placed him in a room with water and litter, but no food. All the rooms in my home have large windows, so lots of natural light poured in. Once I opened the carrier, Simba crept out and began to pace. He kept looking fearfully at the windows. I talked with him for a while, then left him alone for the rest of the day. The following morning, he greeted me at the door and was settled down sufficiently to want food. And so, the integration began.
His name, Simba, would not stay in my head. I kept struggling to remember it and, finally, when I looked at him I heard the name Bernie as clear as can be. I called him Bernie, he looked directly at me with a “Yes?” and his name changed, as simple as that.
Over the next two weeks, he and Molly sniffed each other under the door, saw each other in separate rooms and became familiar with each other’s scent as Molly slept in her crate at night and Bernie roamed free. I chatted frequently with them both about not being afraid. I spoke strongly to Bernie about his not harming my sweet dog as Bernie was almost Molly’s size and could be more aggressive because of his claws.
I bought a dog harness and leash, and started to move him out into the same room as Molly from time to time. The harness and leash were for Bernie, as Molly grew up with cats and was familiar and respectful of cat boundaries. I built a cat highway up high in the living room so Bernie could move from the doorway to halfway around the room where the window and his cat tree were, without touching the ground.
Finally, after two weeks, I left Bernie in the bedroom, in his harness and leash, and walked away with the door open. Molly and I were occupied in the kitchen when I turned to see Bernie walking in. He went straight up to Molly. I cautiously intervened at about 2” apart, then reached down and took the harness and leash off Bernie. And that was that!
After almost a month, I can report that although there are still a few slightly tense moments at times as we work out the kinks of three different species occupying the same space, we are mostly a harmonious household!
Camille is a regular contributor to the Aquarian. She has communicated with animals for over 30 years, with the focus of her gift directed at strengthening communication between the animal and caregiver. As a channeller and Reiki Master, she offers healing sessions and channelled guidance to her human clients.