It did not take long for Max to settle in, and what a difference his presence has had on Hannah! Although still very cautious, Hannah now regularly ventures out from her hiding place to observe my interactions with Max. This last week I was actually able to approach her with a spoonful of baby food.
Both cats are now spending time both inside and outside the barn. Although things are generally going well, I‘m seeing a disturbing amount of friction between Max and Hannah. On several occasions when I‘ve been paying attention to Max, Max has lunged at Hannah. On each of these occasions, poor Hannah has only been trying to be in the vicinity of me and Max.
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Max, a very affectionate kitty with a sweet, upbeat disposition, constantly follows me around the property, rubbing up against my legs and purring loudly. The consummate “supervisor”, he is always within 20 feet of whatever outdoor project is going on.
Although the circumstances from which Max was rescued suggested that he was accustomed to being out on his own, it turns out that he doesn‘t much like being a barn cat. Max spends most of his time on the porch of the house, wanting to come inside. There have been several nights when I have heard him crying outside my bedroom window.
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Max‘s aggression toward Hannah is increasing. Three days ago, while I was out in the barn feeding the cats, Max reeled around and nailed Hannah to the floor, after which Hannah shot up to the hay loft with Max in pursuit. The most blood-curdling cat fight ensued. The next day, Hannah was nowhere to be seen. I am afraid that Max may have run her off.
After discussing these events with my colleagues at the shelter, I made the difficult decision to take Max back to the Sanctuary. Max clearly is not a barn cat. He wants and needs an indoor-outdoor home where he can be somebody‘s own special companion. His obvious desire for his own special relationship with a person–and his aggressiveness toward perceived intruders–is likely to prevent him from ever becoming part of a colony.