I don't know if many people remember my post from August, when we adopted Forte at 7 months. Forte is generally a very laid-back and accepting cat--he has a great personality. When we first got him, we gradually introduced him to our two resident cats (they were then 10 months old), following the suggestions of the great people here. It took a month, but eventually he and Allegro, our orange boy, became best buddies. They still have a great relationship, and are often playing, cuddling and grooming.
We knew that Coda was going to be the tough one. She got along great with her brother Allegro (and she still does--the two of them are closer than ever), but she has quite a bit of an attitude when it comes to most other cats. So we specifically went looking for a cat that got along with every other cat he met. We found Forte through Petfinder--he was in a rescue in Kentucky. They weren't lying--Forte is incredibly sweet and relaxed and adaptable.
We thought we'd have to give him back, though (the rescue gives every adopter an automatic 4-week "foster period" before the adoption is finalized, and they were willing to give us a longer period of time with Forte). Coda was hissing every time she saw Forte, but after two months, we got to a point where she only hissed if he touched her or got up in her face, and eventually they were able to lay on the sofa or a chair together (although Coda never was the one to join Forte--he always jumped up to join her).
We thought he had learned to leave her alone--she doesn't like to play much. We also thought that things would get better as the weather grew colder--we hoped Coda would be more likely to want to snuggle up to Forte.
But things haven't gotten better. They've gotten worse. We've been seeing more of it lately because we've been at home more (due to having work off for the holidays). Coda hasn't been in our laps in weeks- she disappears upstairs during the day. She is still very cuddly and playful with Allegro, and ignores Forte. She doesn't act afraid of him --she turns her back on him, relaxed pose, doesn't run from him, etc.--until he starts attacking her in play. When Allegro pounces on her to play, she is just fine. But when Forte does it, she hisses and growls. That part has stayed the same since when we first got Forte.
What we saw tonight that when she hissed, he wouldn't leave her alone. He kept trying to chase her and pounce on her. She kept growling and hissing and running away from him, and he kept tackling her until she started SHRIEKING, and he STILL wouldn't leave her alone! He wasn't making any noise at all, but she wouldn't stop shrieking until we used the squirt bottle on Forte. I then put Forte in the bathroom alone for a few minutes to hopefully calm Coda down. Coda stayed in hiding for a few minutes and then walked around like normal. Forte was crying piteously, and when I opened the door to let him out, Coda was just 5 feet away, looking at him, alert but not looking afraid or stressed out. She stood her ground while he walked up to her, sniffed, and walked away calmly.
It's just so weird- they're both fine when he leaves her alone, but as soon as he gets it into his head to bother her or play with her, she freaks out and he JUST WON'T STOP. He used to stop, but now he's not. Why???
On top of all that, even though I haven't gotten hives since that one time when Forte first came home, I got sick immediately after bringing him home (I assumed it was just seasonal allergies) that eventually became asthmatic bronchitis (I've never had asthma), and I am still having to take 3-6 Benadryl pills a day to keep from constantly having an allergic reaction--scratchiness at the back of my throat, runny nose, constant sneezing, itchy eyes. I also have to take Mucinex every day because at night I'm still wheezing when I breathe. I am going to have to get an allergy test and hopefully get a shot that will help with this, since I'm just now accepting (when my doctor and my aunt, who is a nurse, both suggested that I may be allergic) that I have cat allergies, and that they were triggered as soon as Forte came home (it seems like he has the higher concentration of the allergen in his saliva, which is consistent with studies that suggest that the concentration is higher in black male cats).
I refuse to give Forte up--he is literally the sweetest cat ever, and he goes limp in my lap for hours, purring. However, even though I madly love him, a significant part of me regrets ever adopting him--between his clashes with Coda, my poor health over the past four months, and the fact that he was/is infested with worms (he's being treated for it, along with my other cats since he probably passed it to them).
Any new ideas? I just want my sweet Coda girl back. She was always more independent than Allegro, but I used to get snuggles from her at least 3-4 times a week--and now, she totally avoids us unless it's time for noms. It's really breaking my heart.
Thanks in advance.