Be afraid…be very afraid.
The night before last we saw another side of Shiva…a wicked crazy one. I don't know if the storm put her on edge, or if the approaching solar eclipse cross wired her brain. Her tail was twitching (a sign I am quickly learning to pay close attention to) and her eyes were wild. I made the mistake of trying to pick her up, and she attempted to bite me- twice. Not sink-in-the-teeth biting, but shots-over-the-bow warning bites. I got the message.
I love all animals, but have always been mainly a dog person. My dogs have been gentle and loving with me and our family without exception. My cat Kasey was very dog-like, calm and gentle. I assumed (always dangerous) that Shiva would be just like them, immediately fitting into our unfailingly loving and peaceful home. Well, she will, but I need to give her time to settle in and truly feel safe and at ease here. I also need to remember that she is not Kasey- she is going to have her own personality, especially sparkly because she is a Tortoiseshell. I have come to understand that they tend to be a bit, how shall I say…cray-cray.
A new flushing toilet obsession…we're closing the lids.
After the 'incident', Dan gave her some treats and played with her using her favorite toy- a long stick with a squeaking mouse and feathers. He told me to think about bonding with her over play and treats instead of insisting on holding her. I also have to realize that Sophie still freaks her out a bit, and Sophie is always by my side- not conducive to warm and cuddly cat time, for sure. I began to cry out of frustration with myself and the cat, and from missing the relationship I had with Kasey. Those lessons this cat will teach me keep becoming more clear. I have to accept her on her terms…patience.
Whacked out on catnip after her crazy episode…
I am so very patient in many areas of my life, but not so much when it comes to difficult relationships. I shy away from conflict- always have. My heart and mind crave peace at all times, even as my mind realizes that is not a realistic expectation. I know peace will happen soon in our home, but I'm going to work on my end to let go of trying to control Shiva's comfort level as she settles in with us. I went to bed determined to let Shiva come to me when she was ready, to become more attuned to her physical signs of stress.
At 2am, I awoke abruptly as Shiva jumped on my chest. She was purring and kneading, happy to have me stroke her. She slept across me for the rest of the night, and I woke up to this:
Staring at the ceiling fan…another obsession.
Since the incident, Shiva has been sweet and loving. However, I have also given her space, which I will continue to do. I know she is the right fit for us, and she and Sophie continue to get closer and closer to their own acceptance of each other every day. Her personality is coming through more and more, and she is bringing much-needed laughter into our home. Mom always said, "Things worth having are worth working for." Shiva is definitely worth it- she is already family.