Three Weeks With My New Cats, Tounsi and Safran [en]

[fr] Photos et nouvelles de mes nouveaux chats, Tounsi et Safran. Ils sortent depuis vendredi, allez voir les photos!

Gosh, three weeks already. I thought I was going to update you more regularly (well, if you’re subscribed to me on Facebook, you will have got many photographic updates — see also on Flickr) but time just flew by.

Where to start? Well, first, they have names. They had shelter names when I adopted them, of course: El Tunis and Brando. Now they have their real names: Tounsi and Safran.

Tounsi all set to go out Safran all set to go out

Here they are at eclau, ready to go outside. They don’t normally wear collars, but I got some elastic ones that are easy to slip on and off and made some name tags for them. They’ll wear them when they go out while they get acquainted with their new territory and the humans which inhabit it. This was after their first day out, back home (they have their “spots” on the couch:


They have pretty different characters.

Tounsi is not that interested in humans to begin with, but he loves being petted and cuddled. He’s the dominant one of the two, independant, and a hunter. I have banned catnip mice from the flat (this video will show you why). He has round eyes, his lips are always slightly parted (and that’s when he doesn’t forget to close his mouth!), and his elbows stick out a bit — added to the fact he is very alert and tends to trot around to whatever interesting is going on, it gives him a bit of a comical look. He’s very soft, and always very hungry (he’s lost a bit of his paunch since I have him, but it’s been a struggle for me to figure out how to feed them).

Safran is very very cute. He looks like a cuddly soft toy. He’s a flirt: he always comes up to new humans, and if you crouch down, he’ll put his front paws on your knee or even on your shoulder and give you kitty-kisses in the ear (or lick it!). Very cute. But beware! He’s in fact quite shy, and his tolerance for petting is quickly reached. He lets you know that with teeth and claws (more often the former). That means that it’s fine to pet and cuddle him (carefully!) when he comes to you, but he’s better left alone if he’s napping in a corner. Same goes with carrying: when in the mood, he’ll try and climb on your shoulders and settle there, but if you pick him up to carry him you’ll be greeted with bites, hisses and growls (depending on the situation). I sense some learned helplessness here: he doesn’t even struggle to jump down (even when he’s free to just hop down!) but hisses and bites.

They are both splendidly litter-trained (not a single accident, fingers crossed!), and have mostly given up on trying to eat my plants and shred my tatamis and yucca with their claws since I got them kitty grass and a proper scratching post (this is only their third day with access to the outside). Look at the equipment:

New Cats 44.jpg

We do everything together

(Litter box in bathtub: less litter all over the bathroom and flat, and I clean my bathtub every day — it’s never been so clean!)

New Cats 223.jpg

The first week with Tounsi and Safran was not that easy. Not their fault, but I had a very hard time naming them, I didn’t love them yet (I’m starting to), and I had a sudden backlash of grief (expected) about Bagha. The fact that Tounsi looks and behaves more like Bagha than I initially thought was particularly painful. I mean, look at these two photos, and tell me if they don’t remind you of somebody:

Tounsi Channeling Bagha

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Well, the hardest is past, they have been introduced to eclau and are starting to feel comfortable there, and they’ve been going outside (supervised most of the time) since Friday. I’m so happy for them! As for me, I’m starting to settle down and get used to having them around. I’m even starting to like them!

Head over to the rest of the photos.

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