Lulu had a lot to put up with last year. She was completely unfazed as we moved house twice, in two countries, and had to get used to two new homes. Then, one evening, only four days after moving to our new house in France, we turned up with an eleven week old kitten, called Daisy.
We brought Daisy home in her own brand new cage. She meowed all the way but luckily it was only a ten minute journey. As soon as we opened the car boot Lulu rushed to see what we had brought.
For the first evening we kept them apart, Daisy outside and Lulu inside.
The first night was difficult for us all. Daisy is a barn cat and comes from a family where the cats are there to catch the mice and not allowed in the house at all. They live outdoors and in the barns.
We had put food and water bowls in the barn along with a brand new nice cosy bed for Daisy. There are three full length glass doors along the front of the house and Daisy ran from one to the other, trying to attract our attention and persuade us to let her in. Wherever we went in the house, there was a small kitten meowing at the door, pleading to be allowed inside. Lulu ran along the inside of the doors, following Daisy’s every move and giving an occasional short woof, and was so entranced she didn’t eat a thing that evening.
The sound of Daisy begging to come in didn’t do much for my appetite either, and I didn’t sleep very well, thinking about the poor, tiny little kitten, finding herself alone in the huge and draughty barn, probably missing the warmth and companionship of her mother and brother. I kept waking up and imagining I could hear her pitiful meow as she stood at the door, desperate to come inside. It seemed harsh and heartless not to let her in.
I was up early the next morning and Daisy came running to me out of the barn. It was a relief to see that she had survived the night and not run away.
We gradually introduced them to each other outdoors. Lulu was totally transfixed - almost obsessed or besotted with Daisy. She followed her everywhere, nose up against her fur and occasionally trying to pick her up in her mouth. We realised that to Lulu Daisy must have looked very much like one of her fluffy toys. The ones that Lulu learns to make them squeak by biting them, which was a worrying thought.
We decided not to leave them alone together for a few days. I was more worried that Daisy might be frightened of Lulu and run away but my fears proved ungrounded as Daisy more or less ignored Lulu, just hissing at her if she got too pushy.
Daisy spent the first few days exploring her surroundings, Lulu close behind her. Lulu followed Daisy everywhere and didn’t eat at all for three days.
Gradually Lulu began to leave her alone. Daisy would wander by and Lulu would just sniff the air as she went by, every so often chasing her across the courtyard and to the very top of the walnut tree. Lulu would stand at the bottom looking up and Daisy would look down on her, almost as if she had been teasing her.
Daisy was turning out to be a fearless, confident and utterly delightful kitten. It was so long since I had had a cat that I had quite forgotten how much fun they are to be around. We were careful to make plenty of fuss of Lulu, so that she didn’t feel neglected when we spent lots of time playing with Daisy.
I have written before about how Daisy was stolen by the neighbour and how we got her back. You can read all about it here. Once we got her back Daisy became very much an indoor cat with a cat flap to enable her to come and go as she liked. Two of us were very much happier with the arrangement – Daisy and me!
During the time that Daisy was missing Lulu spent days looking for her. For hours on end she searched the barn and all the outbuildings, looked under the furniture and up the trees. At night she stood staring out of the glass doors hoping to see her.
With the kitten safely back home they gradually settled into a routine where Lulu and Daisy more or less ignored each other. Daisy had an annoying habit of sleeping in Lulu’s bed – on her pillow no less! Lulu would stand over her, giving the occasional woof, as if willing her to get out so she could have her bed back. We bought Daisy her own little fluffy bed and tried to tempt her to use it, but most of the time she still preferred Lulu’s!
In the end they arrived at a comfortable tolerance of each other. I don’t think they will ever be great friends but they get along fine. Lulu barks if Daisy runs underneath her or trips her up but Daisy carries on regardless, just being Daisy. Getting in everybody’s way and into mischief.
They don’t actually snuggle up together but at least they’re happy to share the same sofa!