How did a whole month go by? It’s a testament to Development Director Angela’s patience that she keeps letting me write here, given how often I tell her that “A Simba update is coming!”, only to lose it in my scattered brain.
All I can say is that time flies when you’re herding cats.
And we are still herding a bit, though it’s been getting easier by the day.
Simba‘s new sisters, Peggy and Dottie, are slowly learning to accept him. Emphasis on slowly. We’ve hit a mostly “live and let live” place where, as long as nobody gets in anybody’s personal space, all is peaceful. There have even been some experiments with playing together, though the girls aren’t sure how they feel about that just yet. To his credit, Simba has been very patient and just keeps being gentle with them and trying to make friends.
He is pretty confused about Peggy’s new habit of sniffing his butt and then hissing at him when he looks at her. But, aside from the occasional irritated mrooooooowr, he doesn’t get too worked up over it.
The wonderful part about our newfound detente is that Simba is feeling confident enough to explore new spots and experiences. He’s recently developed a great affection for hanging out in the bathroom sink and checking himself out in the mirror. He’s learned the singular joy of a nice cardboard box that’s just the right size. He met trick-or-treaters for the first time and has become fascinated with delivery drivers. (He even learned that sometimes those people bring food and toys for him!)
He loves chasing after moths on the outside of the storm door. He’s discovered that his head makes a very effective battering ram when silly human things like arms or smartphones are in the way of where he wants to sit. This might not be his best new habit, I realize. But it is pretty cute to witness. (And he headbutts like a pro soccer player.)
Every day I marvel at this furry orange wonder and how far he’s come. He loves to touch his little wet nose to mine and lay on my chest and just purr and purr, and I can’t help but think how different he is now from the stressed-out, grumpy, finger-chomping, ankle-savaging cat he used to be.
And the most amazing part? We’ve been — gradually, with the consultation of the Tabby’s Place medical staff — reducing the dose on Simba’s behavioral meds. Hes currently on 1/3 the dose he was before he came home, and the only difference we see is that he’s more curious and playful. Underneath all that grump was a sweet, happy boy who just needed to be loved. And even on hard days, when his sisters aren’t sure about him and he’s getting growled at everywhere he goes, he just headbutts his way into my lap and makes the best of it.
We still have a ways to go before we have a happily united colony. But every day is better than the one before it, and I’m grateful for that.
I think Simba is, too.