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Leopold [a.k.a. Leo, Wooley Bear, Spook, Grey Ghost, Door Stop;
formerly Eric]

Leopold was called Eric by his former owners and I kept that name until I got to know him better. Leo is a very gentle and dignified (most of the time) cat. He looks and acts like the descendent of a lion, so I decided that Leopold fit him better.

I was at work when I first heard about Leopold and Angelica when I received an e-mail message about two cats who had been together since they were kittens and were in need of a new home. Since I had lost my Kimberly the previous year due to the infirmities of old age, and she had been part of a pair (along with her brother, Timothy) I decided that it was the right thing to do to offer my home to this furry twosome.

[Monday, October 27, 2008] Knowing that they would need time to adjust to this upheaval in their lives, I first introduced them to the basement where they could hide from both me and my other cats and find the isolation I knew they would want. After a few days I moved them upstairs, initially to the bathroom, then to my bedroom, still keeping them mostly isolated from the other cats. They had the opportunity to sniff at each other under the door, and even grab at each others' paws under the door. (Angelica and Esmerelda do this often.)

It's pictures like this one with both Leopold and Angelica (Angie) that assure me that I made the right decision when I kept them together. With all the stress they've had to deal with, having a familiar face to nuzzle from time to time is very comforting to them, I'm sure.

After about two weeks, on a Monday, Leopold decided that it was OK to sleep with me in my bed. He curled up right next to me: a big, warm, furry lump (Thus his first nickname: Door Stop) that was all but immovable. Within the next couple of days, Angelica decided to join Leopold on the bed next to me, but it was clear that she was joining Leopold, not me.

[14/Nov/2008] The hostility between the established cats and the new ones is continues to moderate somewhat. I know it's going to take time.

[28/Nov/2008] Leopold stays mostly in my bedroom, but he'll come out to eat or visit the litter box at night when nobody is around to notice. Not long ago he started coming to the end of the hallway that leads from my bedroom to the kitchen in broad daylight. I was preparing food for them and turned around and saw him sitting calmly in the doorway watching the other cats eagerly circling my feet. One night I was extinguishing candles burning on the mantle when I turned around and saw him sitting on the floor just a few feet behind me. You never see or hear him come, he's just suddenly there calmly sitting and watching. It's very spooky; he's like a gray ghost

I have to say, though, that I'm really glad to see him making himself at home and settling in.

[5/Dec/2008] Now that Leopold has made himself fully at home, he's planting himself in my lap regularly. Here's a photo of him in my lap with Lucy behind him draped over my ankles on the footrest of the recliner.

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