The Story of Jake has moved into Act II: Jake has a new sister.
Her name is Bella, and she’s a stray cat that joined our family this weekend. We hadn’t expected that, and certainly hadn’t planned on it, but she seemed to have other ideas.
We went down to Nigel’s brother’s house on Saturday, bringing our caravan—and Jake—with us. In late March, a stray cat showed up at their house. She had been injured, which, while healing over, apparently looked pretty bad back then.
They called the SPCA, who determined that Bella wasn't micochipped. They suggested that she may have been thrown out of a car window. Perhaps (we have other ideas of possible scenarios), but she didn’t seem traumatised by whatever happened. In fact, she was quite affectionate to everyone.
However, Bella’s presence was traumatising their own cats, who refused to come into the house. When we arrived, Bella saw Jake, and didn’t move. She didn’t react, she didn’t get up and prepare to run away, she just stayed where she was, unfazed. It’s the first time I’ve seen a cat and dog meet for the first time and not see the cat hiss.
Jake wasn’t fazed by Bella, either. He was quite interested in getting to know her and maybe make friends.
That night, we were in the caravan and Jake wouldn’t settle. Nigel opened the door and Bella jumped in, purring loudly. Jake was somewhat unnerved—big-eyed and alert, but he didn’t attempt to go after Bella. After we put Bella back outside, Jake still didn’t settle; Bella decided to sleep under the caravan, we found out later.
The next morning, when Jake and Bella met up with each other, Bella rubbed up against Jake on one side, then the other.
So, after discussing it with the family, especially our young nieces (who gave Bella her name), it was decided that Bella would come home with us. In retrospect, it seemed to be her decision, actually. So we brought her with us and within a couple hours of us arriving home, all four of us were lying on the bed together. Jake was a little uncomfortable about this, but he’s become more used to the idea of having a cat sister since then.
Today, Bella went outside several times, napped on my lap twice, ate healthily and lounged extensively. Jake sometimes followed her, sometimes took little notice. When Bella was napping on my lap the first time today, Jake napped in the chair next to us. It was a nice way to spend a little of the afternoon.
Next week I’m taking Bella to the vet to get her fully checked out, and I should know more about her then (like roughly how old she is). In the meantime, we’re happy to welcome Bella to the family.
Update 13 April: Last night, Jake was better about having Bella sleeping nearby. Much of the night he was sleeping right next to me, which he didn't do Sunday night.