Offa has been in our lives for a little over four months now, and I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that his presence has made us happier than we’ve been in a while. It could be the fact that we now have this other person (yes, I think of and speak to Offa as if he were human) to look after and keep alive, or the fact that we get a huge kick out of watching him play with bubbles, prop himself up on the balcony to look outside, or fall asleep on his back with all four legs in the air. Whatever it is, I love having him around, and even though his morning squalling outside the bedroom door drives me insane, it’s a very sweet feeling when he climbs into my lap to be cuddled first even before he has his breakfast, and when I can hear him running to sit by the front door when he hears me coming home.
Occasionally, we’ve thought about getting another cat, so that Offa won’t be lonely when we’re both out all day at work (or all night at a club). I still want a Scottish Fold someday, but we knew that if we really do want a second cat, we would have to get one soon, before Offa gets older and ends up being jealous or territorial. However, Scottish Folds, being rarer than British Shorthairs, are that much more difficult to come by.
Then some weeks ago, we saw another Blue Brit — the exact same breed and color as Offa, but obviously older — outside the house, and as he came onto the balcony, Offa arched and stared at him. This other cat was very tame, and rubbed against Afham’s legs and sat at his feet. And the entire time, Offa just sat inside the house, on the other side of the glass doors and looked at him silently. We didn’t know who he belonged to, or if he even belonged to anyone, because the security guards said he had been roaming the neighborhood for the past couple of days.
We didn’t see the cat again until a few days ago, when he reappeared on our balcony — this time without a collar, making us think that he might have been left behind by his owners if they had moved. He rubbed against my legs and allowed me to pet him, and I seriously considered taking him in if he really had been abandoned. Again, Offa sat in the house and gaped at him, peering through the curtains to get a better look whenever the other cat walked around the balcony.
After seeing that seemingly docile scene, I thought that it really would be nice if we took the cat in as our own, and he and Offa could become friends. I was further encouraged when the girl at the Pet Safari, where we bought him, told me that when Offa was staying there before we bought him, he was very sweet-tempered and ‘nurturing’ towards the younger kittens, and I figured that since he’s been neutered, he’s probably lost the urge to fight with other cats. So I decided that if we ever saw the older Blue Brit again, I would take him to the guards and ask if he belonged to anyone, and if not, I would take him to the vet and groomers to be checked and scrubbed up.
Then yesterday, we saw him coming towards our house, and walking right up to our office window. Offa, being the nosy-parker, jumped up onto the office desk to look out the window as well. We opened the window in the hopes that the cat would actually jump in, but when he reached up and put his paws on the ledge, Offa did something we had never seen him do before: he hissed.
Now I have never heard a cat hiss before, but even I was a little taken aback by it. It wasn’t a very loud hiss, but it was definitely there, a soft, slow hiss. And all my dreams of having another cat in the house went out the window with that other cat.
So now we’re wondering how to ease Offa into a possible life with another cat. I told him that he is my first baby and that we would never love him any less or differently, but I still gave him a little pep talk about how he should be grateful that he has a roof over his head and that if we do take in a less fortunate cat then he must be kind.