He adores affection, he soaks it up with great gusto. When I walk in the yard, he runs over to me, expecting to be picked up. If I don't stop and love on him, he tries to herd me to him by darting in front of my feet so I have to stop or change directions. Being held, hanging out in my lap, nose bops, head butts... and then there are the never ending purrs... He loves it all. He's still a bit on edge and can be spooked by a loud noise in the yard, but I'm guessing that's just part of life for an outdoor cat, always watching out that they don't get eaten by some predator.
No question that Oliver has really worked his way into my heart, I love him dearly.
Taking care of all the outside kitties has really given me opportunities to be challenged in difficult areas of my life. I have experienced personal growth and feel once again that I am facing a new opportunity to grow.
Each day that goes my Oliver gets less and less content being an outside kitty, he so much wants to come inside and experience the 24 hours comforts of inside living. When I come in the back door, he tries to rush the door. I have had to cover up my upstairs windows because he climbs up on the roof, parks outside the second story windows and watches us while crying. This drives Buddy insane and he becomes violent trying to tear through the window.
I wish I could invite Oliver inside to join the clan of inside kitties, however, Buddy seems to be sworn enemies with Oliver. It seems even the slightest thought of Oliver gets Buddy going all out. The other problem is the emerging whiz-wars. Oliver likes to mark his space with a little dab of spray. Buddy now follows suit.
Oliver keeps trying to find new ways to get inside. His latest stunt involves high jumping onto the small window ledge of the first floor window. He parks there and watches us through the window while crying loudly. He prefers to do this at night. Again, Buddy goes ballistic trying to get at the intruder kitty. Anyone near Buddy gets the brunt of his redirected rage.
Theo visiting with Oliver through the window.
Something needs to change. When summer comes, I'll need to open the windows and with the current situation, that won't work. I'm not inclined to board up my windows nor put heavy bars on them. I've read somewhere that Prozac can help a kitty not get so worked up when they see foreign cats in their yard. Maybe it might reduce aggression toward meeting a new cat. I'm not overly fond of the idea of drugging Buddy with psychotropic meds.
What? We're just visiting. I just learned there's a new hot tabby in town...
Another option is to try to find Oliver a forever home, and I'm wondering if this is the next challenge I must face. I've always marveled at people who can foster cats - to attach to them and then be able to let go. I tend to get over attached and then never want to let go.
I've started the conversation with my rescue connection, Nancy, about possibly finding Oliver a forever home. She thinks it could happen, so now I must truly consider what it will take for me to give him up. In my mind I think this would be the best option, for him to find a forever home where he can be the only cat and rule the house. He also needs a lot of human attention, and having five cats already, I barely have enough time to give each one the love, play and attention they desire. Even though my head knows this is probably best for everyone, my heart bucks at the idea as giving him up, kind of feels like giving up a piece of my heart.
Oliver's positive relationship with his family also gives me reason to pause when considering relocating him. He really enjoys hanging out and playing with his family and his family seems to enjoy him. I'm sure they would manage without him and he could settle into a new human family just fine but I still think about such things.
I still have some time to figure something out. If anyone has any ideas of how to help Buddy and Oliver become friends, I would love to hear them.