Another story that I'd love to hear is how you came to acquire Laz."
So, an answer... I was searching for a young male orange/white cat because I am convinced by experience that they are friendly, peaceful, healthy, and calming. I looked at shelter cats online, but they were always brothers that had to go together. And that wasn't what I thought I needed. I wanted ONE do be a calming influence in the house with Ayla and Iza being hissy at each other.
I was sent a link to a single orange/white male kitten on 'Craig's List'. I emailed the owner. She said she already had a family interested in him. And she was only letting him go because he was a Christmas gift but discovered she was allergic to cats.
Well, you can't get what you don't ask for. I discussed my retirement and cat-attention. I invited her attention to my blog. I mentioned my desire for an orange/white male cat. I mentioned the great food I provided. I talked about the previous cats and I talked about laptime. I mentioned the high fence around the entire back yard and the mice available for a cat to hunt. I talked about tossing toys and treats. Etc.
In short, I convinced the lady I was a better home for her cat than the family she had promised him too. But I still had to visit to convince her I was a good cat-person.
When I visited her condo, she called Marley down from upstairs. He actually responded, coming halfway down the stairs and looking at me, a stranger.
I sat on the floor with legs crossed, and he came right over and curled up. He purred... I sure didn't expect THAT! But it sure convinced the lady that he liked me and that I was good with cats.
That was what convinced the lady I was the right person for Marley. He sat right down in my lap even though I was a stranger to him.
There was a cost. Marley had cost the gifter $135 at a shelter and she wanted that for a replacement gift. I paid it and took Marley home. I've never regretted it.
Marley was such an adorable kitten...
The lady followed the blog briefly. She wasn't really a cat-person, so she stopped after a few weeks. I did make sure to speak nicely of her. Technically, I suspect she was required to return Marley to the Shelter, so I tried to disconnect him with her and me. I was worried some shelter official would come and take him.
I asked her his name and she said I could call him anything I wanted, but I was curious. He sure did respond to his name when she called him and that is a good start. I asked about the name. She was a Bob Marley fan, so "Marley". OK, if his name was "Bazooka" or something like that, I would have changed his name. I have some naming habits from characters of books. But I thought "Marley" was a pretty good name and I kept it. If I had kept to my 'Clan Of The Cave Bear' book series naming habit, he would be "Jondalar". But "Marley" seemed to fit him.
Now, about Laz...
I wanted a Tonkinese female to replace Iza. I found a breeder in Baltimore who bred Tonkies, but they were really vague about "when and color" (Tonkies furs can be anywhere from (Burmese to Siamase). Though they did say I would be a perfect cat-daddy for one. But they appeared and disappeared sometimes and I worried about that.
So I asked the breeder of Ayla and Iza if she knew of a Tonkie source. She didn't, but mentioned she had a "half-siamese male" on her hands from a hard first home and might I be interested in him?"
I'm a sucker for a sad story. And the picture she sent was awesome... I agreed to buy.
Laz was originally in a home with 2 pit bulls and 2 grabby children. When he was returned to the breeder (who did not actually breed him and some mystery exists for me about that), he was mostly traumatized. She kept him for months to try to re-socialize him. That was "iffy". So, when I contacted her about a Tonkinese female, she had no source but she did have him. I don't think he even had a name. She said there had been some interest in him, but she wasn't sure about how well he could adapt. When I contacted her, she knew me from previous adoptions and decided I was his best chance. She was probably right.
Well, with book characters in mind, I was thinking 2 Tonkie female kittens from Heinlein's sci-fi books about Lazarus Long. The character had 2 female clones named Lapis Lazuli and Lorelei Lee.
Well not having both, I decided that the new half-siamese male with the gorgeous blue eyes could be "Lapis Lazuli" for the color and I would save Lorelei Lee for a Tonkie female "to come" later.
Laz is doing his best to adjust to a new home. He isn't an easy one. He doesn't seem to get "Laz" as a name. He doesn't seem to understand "dinnertime" as a sound meaning food. He doesn't get "come". My words make little sense to him.
But I can tell he is trying to get used to his Forever Home. And it IS his Forever Home "good bad or indifferent". You couldn't get him away from me without serious force. I'm persistent. He wants attention and I give it. He just flops down in front of me and hopes... I give scritchies. He is beginning to invite chin rubs. He isn't fully socialized, but he is trying, so I won't give up on him.
Let's say he is half-socialized. He would probably be happier in a one-cat home, but he isn't going to have that. But he IS starting to relate to Marley (wrassling and Wow a head-grooming recently). He chases Ayla around sometimes, but less than at first. I have been a bit firm about him not doing that (hand-claps nothing more).
He invites my attention more than he did at first. Well, that is normal, but he does seem to understand that I'm a good thing in his life. He nestles up against me at night more recently. He is twitchy, but he feels some comfort sleeping next to me at night now.
I see Laz and Ayla close to each other more too. Ayla is still concerned about him, but things are getting better. Next year, all this may be of no matter. Or some. We will see.
There is still a desire to get another Tonkie female. But until Laz is calm around other cats and fully one of The Mews, I dare not bring a kitten into the house. I would bring an adult in (like Iza) because "she" could handle Laz even now. But I'm cautious.
Laz has had enough stress in his life and adjusting is hard. He is improving, but I don't want to bring another cat into his life (as much as I want a Tonkie female) until he is fully calm and social. Laz is here now and deserves the best calming I can provide. My desire for another Tonkie female is secondary to his need for a certainty of acceptance and trust in me.
Damn I wish Iza was still here. She would have been a perfect partner for Laz...