the gleelore experiment


Somehow I got talked into taking this cat home. She belongs to my sister Neisha, who has plenty of cats, and at the time it seemed like a good idea for me to take this one home. Note that there was beer involved in the decision. I agreed to it on a trial basis since I wasn't sure how my own cats would react. This proved to be a good thing.

Once I got Gleelore home I shut her in my bedroom and stayed with her a while to make sure she wasn't going to completely freak out. Of course my own cats had congregated outside the door and were busily sticking their paws under it. My cats are not used to having doors closed in the house. I brought my cats, one at a time, into the room so the cats could begin to get used to each other's smells, then stayed with Gleelore that night. By the next morning I felt that it was safe to open the door and let the cats mingle.

By far the simplest relationship developed between Happy and Gleelore. Gleelore was terrified of Happy (He's pretty big) so she would hiss and spit and stand sideways whenever Happy even looked at her. Fortunately this did not last too long because once Happy decided that "that brown thing" wasn't edible he pretty much lost interest. About all he would do was sit with a slightly bemused look on his face and watch Gleelore put on her ferocious jungle cat act. Happy must have known that he could have squashed her like a bug at any time.

Buddy and Gleelore developed more of a stalker/victim relationship. Buddy would calmly follow Gleelore around, ignoring the hissing and spitting and standing sideways. When Gleelore stopped moving, Buddy would sit and stare at her. I honestly don't know if Buddy saw her as a potential playmate, or as a potential meal, or if he just found her very interesting. After a few hours Gleelore got used to having Buddy around constantly and began, as cats will do, to totally ignore him.

What killed the deal was Nugget. He has never been considered a normal cat by anyone who knows him. He's scared of his own shadow and will normally hide when anyone comes to visit. I think this is because when I first got him I went out of town and my sisters had to chase him down to give him medicine. Anyway, when Nugget gets REALLY scared he stops running. He just sort of gives up, freezing wherever he happens to be, apparently having accepted the horrible death that he's certain is coming. This is what he did when he was first introduced to Gleelore that first night, and this is what he did when I let her out into the house the next morning. He simply froze. Gleelore would do her little ferocious dance all around him and poor Nugget couldn't even work up the courage to hiss back. No amount of toys or treats could coax Nugget out of his terror-induced trance.

By the next morning I'd realized that to keep Gleelore would mean giving up Nugget, and of course I wasn't willing to do that, so I took Gleelore back to my sister's house. Gleelore seemed very happy about it, and my sister's other cats seemed relieved to have Gleelore back.