We decided that it was much too quiet in our house, so we adopted a new cat Sean was the one who found him. He was intrigued by his quiet demeanor and gentle attitude.
We named him Taco. He is not a kitten but as soon as we brought him home, we realized that he tricked us with his relaxed attitude at the humane society. I guess it was depression from being locked in a small cage, rather than his normal temperament. It makes sense now, of course! Doesn’t he just look so sweet and innocent..?
We have really come to adore this little “maniac” as Ruby calls him. She loves him more than anything because he tolerates her hugs, brushing and “dress-up” games and is always by our side. I was worried that I would regret getting another cat two months after we lost JoeBoo. I was worried that I’d be disappointed. I was worried that I’d feel guilty. I worried that I was trying to replace JoeBoo.
I was soon pleasantly surprised to discover that I was falling in love with crazy Taco.
Guinness really likes him too. Introducing the two cats was a very gradual procedure though. The worst thing you can do when bringing a new cat into your house is to just throw them together and hope for the best. This will work for some cats, but not as a general rule.
We kept Guinny and Taco separated for a full week. They were able to sniff each other under the basement door and see each other through the glass doors in Sean’s office. We swapped them out so that each cat spent time in the room the other had just been in. This way they could explore each others scents, including the used litterbox.
The first meeting between them took place under direct supervision. A few hisses were exchanged, and this is totally normal, but if it had escalated to growling, swatting or a full out fight, it would have meant they weren’t ready.
I also used a product called Feliway, in diffuser form to help ease the transition. This is an anxiety-reducing feline facial pheromone. It is an excellent product used to alleviate stress in cats and I recommend it for many things other than introducing a new cat into a household. It is also great for litterbox anxiety (and urine marking), new baby in the house, inter-cat aggression, travel stress, etc.
This is not an advertisement for Feliway though! There are other good products out there. If I had needed something extra to reduce stress in Guinness and ease the transition, I would have tried a product called Zylkene. It is a colostrum protein that has been shown to have a rapid calming effect and is effective in both cats and dogs.
After a patient week from all of us, Guinness and Taco are now friends. Granted, Taco does get on his nerves sometimes. This isn’t too surprising given Taco is a rambunctious one year old and Guinny is a lazy ten year old. However, they are making it work and we could be happier…
Plus, now I have a new “baking buddy”, thanks to Taco’s obsession with food. It’s probably that stray cat mentality, where they never quite know where their next meal is coming from. He will pretty much eat anything. I caught him running away with Ruby’s grilled cheese sandwich the other day. Of course, she thought it was hilarious!
I made some muffins today that I haven’t made for a long time. Ruby ate a lot of these when she was younger and they had to be non-dairy because of her eczema. I had some over-ripe bananas and lots of fresh strawberries and decided to make these delicious treats:
These muffins are not overpoweringly sweet and I love the flavour of banana and strawberry. I have used both coconut oil and canola oil in these muffins and they both work great. I also used 3/4 cup all-purpose flour and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, because I ran out of all-purpose flour this time Maybe it made them just a tad healthier, but then I added a simple glaze to make them sweeter! They are a great breakfast and they freeze really well. Luckily, Taco didn’t snag one of these!
Vegan Strawberry Banana Muffins
1 1/2 C chopped fresh strawberries
1/4 C plus 1/2 C sugar
1 C very ripe mashed banana (about 2 small)
1/3 C vegetable or coconut oil
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C flour
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 350F and line a muffin tin with liners.
In a small bowl, combine strawberries and 1/4 cup sugar. Lightly mash and set aside.
Whisk together the banana, oil, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, 1/2 cup sugar, and flour in a large bowl. Add in the strawberry mixture and vinegar and whisk until just combined.
Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups. They should be about 3/4 full. Bake on center rack for about 20 minutes. Muffins will be puffed and slightly golden, and a cake tester inserted into the middle will come out clean.
Remove from oven and cool for about 5 minutes. Remove muffins from pan and allow to finish cooling on a rack.
Feel free to add a bit of extra sweetness with a water/icing sugar glaze or milk/icing sugar glaze once the muffins are cooled. ENJOY!