Miss Thomasina.
Became a member of our house in Dec 2000

She's not the first cat of our present crew but she's been the first to have her own bedroom. I never thought we'd be able to let her have free run of the house. Oh how she would fight with the others.
I'd always wanted one of the spotted cat varieties and, as luck would have it, one showed up at the local shelter I volunteered for. Already having 4 cats, 3 dogs, 2 guinea pigs and 3 rabbits, I just wasn't quite sure that I was ready for another pet. I had also just lost my father and so just wasn't up to my old self. She was a pretty thing though.
The day finally came when I was told her time was up and she would be euthanized if I didn't take her. And so number 5 cat came to live with us. That was in November of 2000.
The Summer of 2002 was probably the first time we were able to let her run about, supervised of course, without all hell breaking loose. Previous to that, she was either on a leash when out with the other cats, or I'd scoot the other cats off to another room and keep a close eye on Thomasina. It didn't take much encouragement, I might add, to get the others to vacate the room we were going to have Thomasina in. I didn't have any doors separating us, but they were happy to stay away and Thomasina would respond to a strong correction of no, if she tried to leave for the other room.
Oh, I almost forgot, we had already tried the playpen idea. By keeping her in a playpen, it was hoped that with her out in the open like that they'd get used to one another. First, we put her in the kitty playpen in the cellar. As they have litter boxes down there, windows they like to sit in and it is just kind of a fun playroom area for them, the other cats spend quite a bit of time in the cellar. Well, after a few weeks of that, things just didn't seem to be improving and so I brought the playpen upstairs. Since they all spend more time upstairs I thought that might help. Another few weeks and it was apparent this playpen idea just wasn't working out. What I decided I needed to do, was to let Thomasina out and about in the house, so that she calmed down a bit. That's when she got her own bedroom and I started working on introductions as I mentioned above.
Here it is July 2003 and there is still not total harmony between all the cats. However, things seemed to have done an about face. It is now one of the other cats attacking Thomasina. The fights now, I'm usually able to stop anyway, before they become a tangle of two cats rolling in a ball screaming and biting and scratching one another.
So, here it is 2 1/2 years later and Thomasina finally has full run of the house. That is when we are home anyway. When we are away and at night, she still has to retire to her bedroom.

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Copyright 2003, Maureen Howard