CAT IN A BOX

by Janet Blue on August 26, 2012

Calico Chloe Joins Kitties Blue

 

Calico cat tries to hide under a rug

Chloe wasn’t fooling anyone when she selected this rug as a hiding place.

 

In 1993, Chloe became the first calico cat to join our household. At that time we had Skooter, Steamer, Daphne, Thelma and Louise. None of them had ever met a calico cat and neither had we. And for some unknown reason they took an instant dislike to her. This lasted throughout her lifetime. We did not share their opinion of her.

 

Calico cat hiding atop an armoire among stuffed bears.

Chloe hiding among the bears.

 

Chloe, whenever possible, would find a place to hide and take refuge. One of her favorite hiding places was atop an armoire among a collection of stuffed animals. She blended in so well and could stay so still that we could walk by and never see or suspect she was there. Even if we couldn’t find her, we were pretty certain that all the others knew exactly where she was but didn’t care to share that information. She was out of their sight and that was good enough for them.

 

Calico cat with scratches on her nose hiding in laundry hamper.

Chloe hiding in the laundry hamper after receiving some boo-boos on her nose.

 

Calico cat in a Kinko's box on bed.

Chloe finds this box a nearly perfect fit!

Lily Olivia Arrives on the Scene

In 1999 when Lily Olivia followed us home we thought she and Chloe, both calicos, would bond and have a friend in each other. But even though we already were a haven for six cats, we had not yet figured out that cats never do what their caregivers expect. (For more on that subject check out the previous post, “My Cat’s Better Than Your Cat.”) Chloe didn’t like Lily Olivia any better than the other Kitties Blue. In fact, all the others treated her even worse than they did Chloe. They hissed at her, chased her and left her with a myriad of wounds on her nose and ears. Chloe had those as well as evidenced in the above photo.

We understand that in any group situation, a hierarchy exists with the first arrival most often at the top and the last at the bottom. However, with all our past and current kitties, Chloe and Lily are the only two who have been disliked by all their housemates. And that includes those who have joined our clan after the admittance of these two. Lily Olivia is currently the oldest and the longest in residence, yet she remains near the bottom. We continue to wonder why this is the case. My best guess is that neither Chloe nor Lily fought back. They both would immediately turn and run trying to escape the otherwise inevitable boo-boos.

Attempts at Friendship

We have had a recent exception. Lisbeth has tried to make friends with Lily Olivia and has approached her nose to nose. Lily has hissed and turned away, but no fisticuffs have occurred. When Astrid has approached her, however, Lily has immediately lashed out at her with a right cross. It would seem that a calico/tortoise shell relationship doesn’t work any better than a calico/calico partnership.

 

Calico cat hiding in bakery box.

Lily Olivia takes refuge in a bakery box. At least she waited until all the cupcakes had been eaten.

Is Lily Olivia Possessed?

We do believe Lily Olivia was “bi-polar” when she came to live with us, but the constant abuse hasn’t helped with her personality. She can be as cuddly and loving as any of our other cats and then suddenly turn into a hissing and scratching monster. On one occasion, shortly after joining our cat house, she gave me a look that actually frightened me. Now, we have been given the “stink eye” by all of our cats at one time or another, but I had never seen anything like this. I was sure that Lily was possessed by the devil. I backed away slowly and let her have her space.

If we get a look from her that in any way resembles her “I am possessed” one, we know to stay clear of her.

We are truly surprised that in her 13 years Lily has never given up and abandoned us for a less-populated household. However, she does spend 90 percent of the day across the street in a chair on a neighbor’s front porch as well as in other hiding places we know nothing about. In fact, Mauricio, Misty May and MacKenzie, when he was alive, chased her across the street to get rid of her.

And she is one of the worst when it comes to staying out late or over-night. She used to get in one of the rockers on our front porch and sleep there, but now I am not sure where she hangs out when she does not report in at bedtime.

The DMZ

 

Calico cat, white cat and ginger tabby cat sleeping near each other on king-sized bed.

Madison and Mac (on the right) were best friends, so sleeping together was a daily occurrence. But only on our bed would you find them in close proximity to Lily.

We do have one place in the house that the kitties consider to be the DMZ…our king-sized bed. I am not saying that no feline fracas has ever occurred on the bed. If one of the kitties jumps up and lands on one already present, a little fur might fly. If Lily is one of the kitties involved, she retreats to the floor of Dad Tom’s closet. Once cats and humans have gone to sleep, she will usually sneak back in bed and curl up next to me.

 

Calico cat snuggled into a green duvet.

Sometimes Lily still feels a need for refuge when she’s on the bed.

 

Watch for future posts with some more cute photos showing the kitties in some of their favorite hiding and napping places as well as one about cats in high places.

Update: When Lily Olivia passed away, Misty May began torturing Astrid. Like Lily, she has never fought back. She just “screams” and runs for her life. Misty May only has to look at her, and Astrid takes off as if shot from a cannon.

 

 

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Lucy and Xena February 1, 2023 at 6:13 pm

So it seems not just people are bullies. Too bad for the bullied.
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Mary McNeil February 1, 2023 at 4:53 pm

We’re sorry you have had unhappy experiences with calicos. We have had several, and 2 tobries and 1 tortie and they all had definite personalities, some dominant and some rather shy, but none that were ostracized or hostile. Even Peaches the torbie, who has PTSD after being stuck for three days up a tree in January – 1 day was a blizzard- is definitely not fond of the others but she still seeks pets and purrs up a storm.

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The Florida Furkids February 1, 2023 at 11:59 am

Great flashback post. Mom has never had a calico. She also wishes Noelle and Reesie got along better but hasn’t figured out how to make that happen.
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BellaDharma an BellaSita Mum February 1, 2023 at 11:14 am

Mee-yow yore Choe was so ADOORBSS Aunty Janet.
You sure have had so many Kittiess over THE yeerss!! Yore pawsum!
***nose kissess*** BellaDharma an (((hugss))) BellaSita Mum
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Leah February 1, 2023 at 10:31 am

Cute pictures and stories! We’ve had some calicoes and torties are they’re always fun, always up to something!
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Pam February 1, 2023 at 5:06 am

Love this flashback post……The most cats I’ve ever had at one time is three and they all got along with each other so well. I imagine it’s tough being an “outsider” or “newcomer” in a house with lots of kitties. Poor Chloe but it seems she found a way to make a place in the gang anyway. Lily Olivia found a refuge across the street when she needed some space – and atop the armoire was Chloe’s I think. Anyway, the stories are wonderful and the photos are sweet – especially Lily Olivia in the bakery box!

Hugs, Pam
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Meezer'sMews&TerrieristicalWoofs February 1, 2023 at 2:18 am

When we had Suki, she never fit in that well…and only the oldest kitty befriended her. The others bullied her. Even though she hissed and whapped, she always lost. Then when it was her and two youngster meezers, she sill got bullied. And I had to cage her at night after she got ill, because they would attack her when she had a seizure that I didn’t see, so I could carry her to safety. (Not epileptic seizures, but more of a spell making her fall over as if she was drunk; she had an inner ear problem.)

Sometimes it seems that there are those who get the short end of the stick. How sad for your two lady cats.
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Meredith September 20, 2012 at 10:22 am

These pictures are so awesome. Chloe with the teddy bears and Lily in the bakery box – I can’t stand the cuteness!

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Loulou February 1, 2023 at 2:46 am

Oh, we loved having the history of your millions of cats but so sorry for Chloe, such a beauty. Mama always thought that calico cats were black and yellow so were upping our knowledge! They are all so incredibly beautiful and healthy and you are wonderful to give them a home.

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Meows, purrs, hugs and MOLs are greatly appreciated. Please no hissing, spitting or scratching unless you want one of us to whap you!

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