Bandit: He Stole Her Heart from Afar

Hi there, I'm Bandit's new Mommy

Hi there. I’m Bandit’s new Mommy

bandit-in-the-ribbon

I saw Bandit on my daughter-in-law Marci’s Fuzzy Undertones blog, and, being a Crazy Cat Lady, I was hooked.

He’s 7 years old, black and white, polydactyl, and has a front leg that’s a little shorter than the other. It doesn’t seem to bother him or keep him from running or jumping or playing.

But the Furry Friends shelter was so far away! I live in Bothell, a suburb north of Seattle, and the shelter is in Vancouver, just north of Portland. So I just loved from afar.

Taz, on one of his thrones

Taz, on one of his thrones

But Bandit remained unadopted. So I schemed, with Marci’s help (who is also a volunteer at Furry Friends), and we made it happen. I would be visiting Vancouver soon, so I filled out the adoption form and was accepted! I brought the cat carrier! Bandit is a surprisingly good traveler and we chatted during our hours-long car ride to his new house.

Upon arrival at the homestead, I first went inside and closed Taz in my bedroom. (Taz. He’s 13 years old and this is his house, I am his human. He’s been with me since he was 3 months old. So another cat presuming to move in on “his territory” would be met with resistance.) I did some research and consulted with Marci, who has had experience with blended cat families. Lots of good ideas.

The most important are patience and optimism.

Bandit lives in a “saferoom,” a spare bedroom, with food and water, litter, cat tree and toys. I visit him in his room often. After a while when Taz was napping in bandit-and-snoopymy room, I closed the door and let Bandit out into the rest of the house for a couple of hours at a time. We played and bonded. We still do this at least twice a day. Mostly, he purrs and rubs and watches me do my chores. He also loves to watch the birds and squirrels in the backyard. Then saferoom and close the door and let Taz come out.

We’re not integrated, yet, but progress is being made. Bandit and Taz watch each other under the door. I’ve cracked the door, holding it securely, so they can see each other and talk. I’ve carried their scents back and forth to each other.

And a couple of times in the last week, when Taz was relaxed, I carried him into Bandit’s room and sat on the futon with him. Bandit was only 3 feet away and they spent a few minutes looking at each other. I made sure to pet Taz soothingly, and he actually purred at one point. Of course, his tail was twitching, but not fluffed. Then I retreated with Taz and closed the door.

Bandit is a sweetie. Taz is my baby. I’m a realistic Cat Lady. They don’t have to love each other. Peaceful coexistence, sharing the house and me, will be a fine outcome. I’m patient.

– Cynthia G.