The house remains divided between the two tomcats, as it will until Holden completes his probationary period and finishes his medicine. It may continue a few days past that, since he's due to be fixed as soon as his respiratory infection is over. (Meanwhile, we have to make an extra effort with the litter boxes; an un-neutered tomcat can be a bit whiffy.)
Saturday afternoon, I crawled under my desk and coaxed and hauled Holden out from under the bottom section of the corner shelves. The 1920s baseboards in Roseholme Cottage are seven inches tall and I routinely build shelves so the bottom shelf is just above baseboard level. This leaves a void, closed at the front to help stabilize the shelves. (The wall side of the verticals is coped to clear the baseboard and quarter-round.)
The vertical support for deeper side of my corner shelves is made of two posts with a gap between them that turned out to be just big enough for a large tomcat to get through. A space seven inches high, a foot deep and thirty inches long makes a nice hiding spot if you're a cat.
It's difficult to get to; my big oak desk is in the way. With just one tiny entrance, you can't remove a cat that isn't a little willing to come along. Lured by treats after nearly twenty-four hours of hiding out, Holden was reluctant but not angry. Once he was out and the entrance blocked off, he made his peace with the situation rapidly and was smoothing on hands and being fussed over within half an hour.
So far, Huck has been as good as gold about the new guy. I have taken over the living room couch to sleep on and Huck sleeps on me, as he prefers. Holden hangs out in the office and hallway.
The two cats do each spend some time on opposite sides of the door between the hall and the dining room, "talking" a little. But there's no growling and neither one is camping out at the door, hoping for a fight. They aren't greatly interested in getting through the door, either. That's a good thing -- a combined 28 pounds of tomcat could probably made a credible effort if they were determined to.
Holden is long-haired and he has some matting. He does not want his tangles messed with, and will a deliver a firm but not aggressive bite by way of saying no. He's careful not to bite too hard; he just takes hold of my hand or wrist without breaking the skin but the message is clear. He may have to get a haircut once the weather has warmed up.
Holden is very talkative, at least a much so as Rannie was. If you make eye contact, you'll almost certainly get an inquiring "Prrrr-witt?" and anything that might involve feeding receives a one-cat chorus of plaintive calls and cat and food are brought together. After three days, Huck doesn't seem to mind hearing this; he was a bit worried the first day but he seems to have decided it's okay.
6 months ago