We Adopted Yoyo

On February third, Desiree, Mom, and I went to a local animal shelter. We wanted to bring home a cat for me. We were hoping I could have a cat that gave me some of what Mr. Rogers gave me.

Yoyo was the friendliest cat we met at the shelter. As soon as I started petting him, he began purring. His purr is nice and loud. It reminds me a lot of Mr. Rogers’s purr.

The shelter staff told us Yoyo lived with a kitten, but that they had been separated. Since he had been living with a kitten, we assumed he could get used to Rain, Desiree’s cat.

We brought Yoyo home, and did everything we thought we should. We got him neutered. We got his vaccines updated. We kept him in the guest room for a couple of weeks.

Instantly, he was the kind of cat I wanted. He has always been very affectionate. He can be very playful. He is very good with the kids.

After slowly introducing Yoyo and Rain for about four weeks, we decided to let them out around each other and see what would happen. We really wanted it to work.

It wound up being a disaster. As soon as Yoyo saw Rain he hissed and charged. He wound up attacking her. Mom wound up throwing a can at him to get Yoyo off of Rain.

We looked into rehoming Yoyo, but it’s not easy rehoming an older cat. That’s especially true now that we need to disclose that he cannot easily be around other cats.

Not seeing an easy way to rehome him, we got Yoyo and Rain a cat behaviorist. On her advice, we began introducing the cats through individual inclosures that were several feet apart.

Sometimes, the sessions were encouraging. Other times they didn’t go well. Most of the time, Yoyo would focus on getting out of the inclosure.

A week ago, he finally managed to work his paw into the zipper of his inclosure and escape. Fortunately, Desiree was holding Rain. Even though Yoyo chased them and Rain did lots of growling and hissing, Desiree got her in the bedroom without any harm being done.

Today, we started both cats on Gabapentin. We are trying to calm them down. In five days we will begin the sessions again.

Hopefully, Yoyo will begin taking Fluoxetine, a form of Prozac for cats, today or tomorrow. The new plan is to use the Gabapentin while the Fluoxetine works its way into Yoyo’s system.

The long-term hope is that the medicines will help both cats relax so we can introduce them without something bad happening. The behaviorist believes that if we can have them spend 30 days together without a bad incident that both cats will learn they are safe here.

Currently, the idea of them walking freely around the house is hard to imagine. But it would be wonderful if we got there. So, we are going to try the medicines. They are our last hope. If they don’t work, we will have to find a new home for Yoyo. I would hate to have to give him away, but they need to be able to coexist for him to stay.

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