about whom the (arguably) somewhat crazy decision was made
This is Emily Adelyn Nakamura, Izzy's and Maisie's new sister! She just came home today.
I met her a couple of weeks ago at the animal shelter. She's a dainty, five-and-a-half-pound seal point snowshoe Himalayan mix and was one of several animals brought to the MSPCA from an exotic cat hoarding case. Fortunately, she seems to have come through her ordeal well and was nurtured back to good health by the shelter staff and veterinary team.
I've encountered lots of endearing cats while volunteering, but Emily's the first one since Maisie about whom the thought popped into my head, Maybe I should adopt her. And as you may remember, it was Maisie who found me and not the other way around, and my mom who planted the idea of taking her home.
I've never been into fancy cats or dreamed I'd ever adopt one, but I thought from the start that Emily is simply beautiful. I came to appreciate that while timid with new people, she's gentle but spunky. She seems to adore being with other kitties: she's been living in one of the "colony rooms," rooms outfitted with built-in cat walks, screened-in patios, and space for several cats to coexist happily, and I've repeatedly discovered her snuggled in a box or bed with another kitty. These qualities made me think she'd likely be a good companion for Maisie, whom I worry gets lonely sometimes (given that Izzy and she are decidedly not friends).
Once the adoption idea came to me, maybe two days ago, it wouldn't go away, and I found myself mentally scripting conversations in which I persuaded my landlady, Maria, to let me adopt a third cat. Finally, I concluded that perhaps I should start listening to the voices in my head, and I went back to visit Emily yesterday morning before work. I decided to go for it.
A sweet staff member had me fill out the adoption form and agreed to hold Emily until five o'clock. Nervous and excited, I called Maria a few hours later and explained the situation . . . and she said yes! She thought briefly about checking with her dad (who is the official owner of my apartment) but then declared that she'd make the call and saw no problem with it. She noted that I seem to take very good care of Izzy and Maisie and that they'd never caused any problems. And she mentioned that some relative - an aunt? - used to have 15(!) cats, and another has four or five, and I realized that by comparison, three probably didn't even seem so extreme. Also in my favor was the fact that Maria herself loves cats.
I went back to the shelter yesterday afternoon to finish the adoption process, and after her spay surgery this morning, Emily came home this afternoon. I lined the cat tent with a soft blanket for her, anticipating that she'd want an enclosed place to hang out at first, and she dove in and remained inside for the first hour or so. Since then, however, she's been cautiously exploring and has eaten dinner and used her litter box.
When Maisie discovered her, I could practically read her thoughts: OMG! There's another cat in the living room! And it's not that hostile gray tabby girl who's always out to get me.
Maisie approached her tentatively from beneath the arm chair and slowly, slowly inched forward to peer inside the tent, then slowly, slowly retreated, creeping backward. She's repeated this sequence periodically during the evening as if to double-check that yes, there really is a new cat in the apartment.
She and Emily are understandably wary of each other. Emily has uttered a few soft warning growls. Maisie, for the first time I've ever witnessed, actually hissed once, but it was a Maisie version of a hiss, at a distance, so soft it was barely audible, and lasting maybe half a second. Given that Maisie is laidback and inquisitive, and that Emily seems to love other kitties once she knows them, I'm pretty optimistic that ultimately they will get along and hopefully even enjoy each other's company.
As for Izzy . . . I'm planning to keep her from coming face-to-face with Emily for as long as possible! I'm certain each would be terrified of the other. Isabel's already aware that something's going on, of course, but so far doesn't seem too concerned.
I know my friend, Daisy, will proclaim that I've crossed the line of cat owner sanity, which she says falls between two and three cats. Probably, others agree. But I'm too delighted with Emily to mind too much, and doubt my crazy cat person status was much in doubt, anyhow!
(first two photos from Emily's Petfinder profile)