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September 26th, 2018 [1 Comment]

Tara Talk guest post: Leaping the language barrier

by | Category: Tabby's Place

Have you ever wished you spoke Cat?

I have for a long time, but never so much as lately.

I wish I could ask Simba what scares him, and know that he understands when I tell him I love him.

I wish I could tell his new — and thus far not terribly hospitable — sisters that he’s a good fella once you give him a chance, and that his being here doesn’t mean I love them any less.

But I don’t speak Cat, and cats only understand the Human that suits them. “Treats” is loud and clear; “no”, not so much — so I can only do my best and hope they understand.

Simba, for his part, is mostly doing wonderfully. He still has his moments of grumpiness, and he’s still very jumpy about sudden noises (he dislikes motorcycles immensely). He also has what I can only describe as occasional night terrors. But most of the time, he’s a happy boy who is thrilled to have so much space to roam and so many of my hair ties to steal. He’s become curious, and social, and playful…and seeing him blossom has been a daily joy.

Simba would love to play with Peggy and Dottie, the sisters he inherited with this home. Peggy and Dottie are unfortunately less enthusiastic. At least once a day, Simba tries to join a game of chase or shows an impressive butt wiggle, only to be met with hisses and growls. And as he slumps and retreats back to my side, my heart breaks for him.

How do I tell him to be patient? That two short months ago, they were terrified to even share his space, and now they sneak up to sniff him while he sleeps? That he’s doing so well, and if he keeps trying, they’ll come around? How do I tell them that they’re being classic Mean Girls (“You can’t sit with us!”), and that they need to give the new guy a chance?

Juggling three melodramatic feline egos is difficult enough without a language barrier.

I don’t mean to sound gloomy. The truth is that I have three healthy, wonderful cats filled with personality, and that there hasn’t been a single fight that’s gone beyond a light bop on the nose — and that is honestly a miracle.

Simba rolls around being silly, and plays with a world of new toys, and sleeps on warm fuzzy blankets, and has learned to love the wet food he soundly rejected within the Tabby’s Place walls. Peggy and Dottie have returned to their daily routines after going to great lengths to avoid the Very Scary New Cat, and every day the number of hisses and growls goes down.

But I worry. Because I am their human guardian, and I want them to be the happiest, most spoiled little cats in the world. (Which is probably what got me into this situation in the first place.)

I think we’re well on our way. Someday, I will look back on all my worries and laugh, amazed that I ever doubted we would be one big, happy family. In the meantime, I do my best to communicate to my three stubborn little souls that everything will be OK…and then I remind myself of the same thing.

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One Response to “Tara Talk guest post: Leaping the language barrier”

  1. flicka says:

    Tara! Thank you for this update and for sharing this life changing journey with us. You are wonderful and brave and oh so admirable. We have to hold out our love and hope to you – hang in there – we know you will. These wonderful cats and your wonderful family deserve peace and harmony and love. Hopefully soon. Surely someday. Many of us have some experience with such a situation – with various outcomes, as I am sure you know. Please, please, please may your three kitties soon become the happiest, most spoiled little cats in the world.

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