Nimar was our beautiful overlord, the Emperor. This weekend, a new King has joined the household. I am absolutely delighted to have an F1 in my life again, and, honestly, I am still trying to process that whole concept. I do, however, want to talk about the differences in our first few days with Nimar vs. the first few with Malik.
We picked up both Nimar and Malik from the breeders' homes in Ohio. Nimar was more than twice the age of Malik when we got him. And he was a bit wild-shy around strangers (perhaps even the breeder). She had to chase him all over the house to catch him when we got there, and she tried to trim his nails before we took him and he was having absolutely none of that. He rode in the crate the whole way home expressing his indignance of the situation.
When we arrived at Malik's breeder's house, he was bouncing around the living room. He would not immediately come to us, but within mere minutes his curiosity got the better of him and he investigated the new people. We even got to pick him up! We all watched him play while Teresa, the owner of the cattery, filled us in on his diet and habits and talked about his siblings (who also had just gone to their new homes). Then we packed up his little spotted self and headed for the car.
He did fight like a little demon in the crate for the first ten minutes. Loud chirps, alligator rolls, thrashing about. And then he was so kitten-tired (that is an extreme form of tired that just makes you fall over asleep) that he curled up with his new wooly mammoth and fell asleep for a few hours.
After that, I let him out of the crate, put the harness on him (the small Hyendry harness we had left from Siada and Layla) and offered him food and water and a potty (none of which interested him). He was, however, excited to explore the vehicle and was very content to sleep on my lap for the duration of the ride.
At home, he readily explored his new space. He would be jumpy with a sudden move or noise, but also readily accepted us as his people. He would rub on our legs, chirp to be put on our laps (where he would climb up to perch on shoulders). If he did not want to be held he was, of course, a ball of wriggling claws and fierce noises, but when he is ready to cuddle, he enjoys being close to us.
By contrast, my beloved Nimar spent most of day one behind the toilet. We had to coax him out with toys, and lure him to us with feather wands. You could not pick him up at all, and it was a couple days of very hard work to get him to let us really pet him. Once he decided we were ok, he eventually stopped being skittish and gave up the headbutts at every opportunity. I understand this is not at all uncommon behavior with early generation cats, but brining Malik into our lives is much like bringing in Siada and Layla who clearly wanted to be close to people, to cuddle, and to be annoyingly right-in-your-face from the start.
I think that perhaps this is due to a mix of really good personality and good socialization on behalf of the breeders we worked with this time around. The experience they have working with hybrid (and wild) cats really shows.
Savannah Caretaker who is honored to do the job.