One month ago today I made the big move to move in with my girlfriend. Had you told me I’d be doing such a thing a year ago, I’d be calling you loopy and calling the men (or women – I’m all about equality) in straitjackets to come and take you away. Yet here we are. This blog post isn’t about that part of the equation. One month in and everything is going great in that regard. This blog post is about the second part of the equation. I didn’t just move in with her, I also moved in with her cat and that part is still on a learning curve.
I first met the cat several months ago now and whenever I was here before I moved in, she had showed no jealously towards me apart from one stay where she just seemed in a permanent sulk with the situation. Apparently one night I went to take a phone call and the moment I left the room, she opened up for belly rubs and started purring away and was happy as larry. She was fine the next time I came down and then of course I moved in.
Since then she’s been generally fine but has clear moments where she is super jealous and seemingly unsure about where she fits in with the new dynamic. As I work from home, I am around the cat a lot of the time whereas my partner goes off to work during the day. When it is just us two here, the cat is far more willing to be around me. She enjoys the attention but more than that, she is clearly a homebody cat who just likes to be near people. She doesn’t like to be on them per se butsleeping with a human in the room is often her preferred choice.
For example as I’m writing this, she is curled up asleep on my bed next to my desk. The meower followed me in here after I made a sandwich and once she realised I was settling down to do some stuff on the PC, walked over to my bed happily enough, jumped up and curled up there. She often does this during the day. Yet when my partner comes home from work she often looks either confused or sad and won’t sit with us in the evening. Recently she has been moving closer by sleeping on the footstool but if we are both on the sofa, she’ll just look at us.
Last night the other half was watching Game of Thrones and I’m not a fan. So I came to my PC to watch Around the Horn and PTI online and the cat jumped up to sit on the sofa with the girlfriend to have licks and cuddles (she is a very licky cat). In our one month of living together she has yet to jump up of her own free will if we are both on the sofa and settled down. Once or twice she has jumped up and jumped down again pretty quickly. We’ve also picked her up a few times and put her on the sofa with us but she’s quickly jumped back down and just sat there on the floor staring at us.
Before I moved in, she would regularly sleep with us on the sofa, not between us but on the arm or on the far end. Since I’ve been around permanently though, this has yet to happen. She clearly has some jealously issues and it is sad to see as she has absolutely nothing to be jealous about. I won’t go as far to say that she is the centre of our world but we both consider the cat as a massive part of our little family.
This morning though we had a little breakthrough. After hanging the laundry on the line (I’m so domesticated) the cat came in and sat on the footstool opposite me where my feet where. After a couple of fake jumps to join me on the sofa, she walked along my outstretched leg and sat on my lap for around ten minutes whilst having strokes and purring away. She didn’t settle but did go to sleep next to me on the sofa. This is the first time since moving in that she’s sat on my lap or come and curled up next to me on the sofa (she has done it on the bed many times). It might not seem like a big deal but I sat there quietly smiling to myself.
In time she’ll learn that she has nothing to be jealous of with me being around 24/7. Life will be better for her not because I’m all that but because she’ll have far more human company as I’m around during the day and that my partner won’t be spending as much time away from her, so she’ll also be about more, thus giving the cat far more stability and that is something we are both sure will make her happier.
If you are in a similar situation and a cat is jealous of a new partner, I’m afraid I don’t think that there is a quick fix. Just spend time around the cat and if he/she wants attention then give it to them on their terms. I usually feed her in the evening whereas the girlfriend feeds her in the mornings, so she’s learning that I’m not just an interloper impinging on her world, I’m also the provider of food and therefore am worthwhile to her in some capacity. This is a good one as if cats think you are giving them something, they are more likely to at least tolerate you.
As you’ve read a blog post about her, here is a picture of the cat from yesterday evening and you can follow Misha’s adventures on her own Instagram page.