From 2 Cats, to 3, and then back to 2 again.
Lennox and Astrid Britton
When we got Astrid at 12 weeks old, she was planned and very much wanted. I wanted a third cat for our family, and since my other two I'd had from babies before I met my husband, I felt it would be a great challenge for us as a newly married pair to bring in a little baby cat.
Astrid is a Maine coon. If you don't know much about Maine coons, I can sum them up with a few choice words; floofy, dog-like and big! I like the idea of dogs, but less the practicality, to be frank cats are less work. But Maine coons are like having the best of both worlds, so I'd always loved the idea of having a giant floof-ball in my home, so when I decided it was time for a baby kitty, Astrid is what I found.
I planned on bringing her in as a third cat. My oldest, Pixie, had needed company but had found that pretty much hated Lennox, my second oldest. Lennox did the sufficient job of being company for Pixie, but didn't really like to be around her. Lennox however, is a lap cat. She requires love and attention, and for 5 years didn't stop trying to be Pixies friend. The decision to bring in Astrid was as much for Lennox's sake as it was for mine and my husbands. We knew it wouldn't be straight forward, but we were keen to go for it anyway.
Sadly my plan for 3 cats never did come into fruition. We lost Pixie 3 weeks before we were due to take Astrid home. The devastating hole she left behind was like a chasm I felt at the time could never be filled. Pixie was my first real love, and losing her at that time made it that much more imperative for Astrid to join us.
Thinking back, had I not already made the decision to take Astrid before the loss of Pixie, I don't think I could have done it. Mentally, the idea felt like I would be trying to replace her, which of course could never have been done. But it felt, better, (for lack of a stronger word) that the decision had been made beforehand nevertheless.
When we brought Astrid home she cried in her carrier the entire journey back. She was a talker right from the get go, which was just fine by me as Lennox never could get a word in around Pixie so had become someone muted. She was brave when we introduced them, only Lennox hissed, and Astrid just pretended Lenny wasn't there. I'd say it took 2 weeks of Lennox keeping her distance/tackling Astrid and sitting on her face, before we had our first break through AND we caught it on camera!
They've been best friends ever since and honestly I couldn't have hoped for a better outcome for them both, Lenny had the sister she always wanted, and Astrid eventually grew big enough to out-tackle Lennox. I do wonder how it might have gone had Pixie still been here, I guess I'll never know.
**A free support service has been launched by Cats Protection to help grieving owners cope with the loss of their cat. To speak to a volunteer on the Paws to Listen phone line, call 0800 024 94 94. The line is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays.**