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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Cat Hierarchies

Zoey was a surprise gift for me from Chris for my college graduation.  I have always loved orange cats and I had told Chris that.  Neither of us had experience determining the sex of cats and thought that the kitten was a female.  I am a big fan of Zooey Deschanel, so I decided to name my Zoey after her but changing the spelling slightly.  When we took Zoey to get spayed, we were surprised to receive a call telling us that Zoey actually had to be neutered.  At this point, Zoey was an adult and knew his name.  I temporarily tried calling him Joey, but it just didn't fit.  As a result, I have a male cat named Zoey that I adore.

As a kitten, Zoey would not bond with anyone but Chris's roommate's large orange adult cat named Biggs.  Zoey was Biggs's constant companion, following him everywhere and cuddling up against him whenever he slept.  Biggs was not a friendly cat, and Zoey mimicked his behavior, making it impossible to spend time with him.

When we adopted Seph, Biggs instantly hated and attacked him and Zoey reacted the same way.  Seph and Biggs fought constantly, both attempting to be the alpha male in the household.  Despite Seph being scrawny, he quickly established his alpha status and only allowed Biggs to spend time in one room.  Since Zoey was very attached to Biggs, he also remained in that room. Zoey did eventually warm up to Seph and ventured into other areas of the house.  Very soon after, Chris's roommate adopted another orange male kitten, and being new to the household, he didn't choose sides in the Biggs/Seph showdowns.  Biggs was a large cat and was extremely territorial over his food, and Seph was not okay with that behavior.  Biggs would try to steal Zoey and the new kitten's food, so Seph would guard their food dish from Biggs, allowing the kittens to eat first and then eating helping himself to their leftovers.

Seph and Zoey snuggle on their window perch.By the time Chris and I moved to a new home, Zoey easily adjusted to being Seph's cat companion and didn't seem to miss Biggs.  Seph and Zoey are not often cuddly with one another, but they respect each other's space and occasionally play together.  Seph also gets in the middle of any interactions between Kita and Zoey to maintain the peace.  However, both of our cats are people-cats and Seph is much more bonded to Chris than to Zoey, and Zoey quickly became more attached to me than to Seph.

Find out more about Zoey on his Catster Page

Click here to visit Seph's page!