Sunday-Selfie: A Black Cat Shadow Update

The pain is real folks, the pain is real…

I’ve been MIA for quite a while now – no time to blog like I used to, but I thought it would be nice to share a brief update on Shadow for Sunday-Selfie. He’s been with us nearly 4 months now – clearly a part of our family – with the reaction of his permanent residence still receiving mixed reviews. Dan and me, that’s easy, we love the guy with his bold personality and charming ways. The other seven cats, still, not so much.

His acclimation continues to be the most difficult one I’ve ever had to deal with in my near dinosaur amount of years of living in a multi-cat household. And it’s not because he’s a bad cat, he’s not. But he’s still a kitten at 10 months now, so he’s far more active than the others would prefer. Not his fault they consider him an annoying younger brother and don’t find his “tag-your-it” games amusing.

I happen to find Shadow exceedingly handsome, irresistible, and charming. The others, not so much.

Also, not his fault he’s found himself smack in the middle of a very strong mix of alpha males – Zee and Rolz – neither of which want to share the overcrowded top rung of the hierarchy ladder as well as one very indignant female, Jazmine, who continues to hiss her displeasure with no off-switch insight.  Shadow himself is an alpha in training, although I suspect much of it is the history that came with him, so you can imagine the heightened levels of tension at times in the house which translates to loud fights, territorial spraying, and more.

Rolz with his perpetual, “you may leave now look” anytime he sees Shadow.

We weren’t quite sure when Shadow first came to us what his story was. He looked well-cared for and was neutered. His ear wasn’t tipped, a sign of TNR, so chances were good he was someone’s pet. He was very friendly and accustomed to people, but he also had an unusually high need to bite and scratch with a viciousness that could quickly draw blood from Dan and me. I truly believe he was abandoned by someone who did not have the understanding or patience to deal with his behavioral outbursts that were probably rooted in the fact he was just being an active and playful kitten and he didn’t have the proper channels to exert his energies.

Over time, we’ve gotten him to a much better place. It seemed like the human hand represented something negative for him, which also translated to him acting out in an aggressive manner with the other cats if they happened to be nearby when we were attempting to pet him, innocently becoming a scapegoat for his frustration. Naturally, that has caused some trust issues, but there has been an improvement. Petting him is much easier, especially when on his terms, and he absolutely loves to cuddle. He typically sleeps next to Dan at bed at night, and with me during the day, he’s tucked behind me, making biscuits on my back and purring away in pure bliss.

I’m no stranger to patience. It will eventually work out. Right now, he just hasn’t found the right cat to bond with and once he does, the friendships and trust will trickle in. He’s had a few peaceful moments, sharing close quarters next to Kizmet on occasion, and I’m trying every trick in the book and then some – Feliway, group playtime, group snack time, alone time, calming cat music, prayers, begging – you name it, I’ve probably tried it.

The photo isn’t the best quality, but when it comes to stealing fragile moments, you grab your iPhone and take what you can get!

In the meantime, he truly is a treasure. He’s very intelligent, loving, inquisitive, and happy. His fur is deep and thick and he’s exquisitely handsome. He’s also getting quite big as if we have a miniature panther living with us. That’s it for now – I’ll keep you posted as things progress.

Wild panther or domestic house cat? With Shadow, it’s hard to tell.


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  1. Shadow is very handsome. I hope as time goes by the others will accept him more.

  2. Holly says:

    He is gorgeous. I hope he grows into himself and finds a friend soon.

  3. Jo Singer says:

    Good morning!

    Shadow is gorgeous. I firmly believe that your patience will pay off. A few months after Dr. Hush Puppy (Sir Hubble Pinkerton’s brother) passed, we adopted a 5-month-old black kitten to keep Sir Hubble company. The kitten was named Poe, so we called him Edgar Allen Poe- which in retrospect, due to his lack of social graces and aggressive play behavior, the word “nevermore” comes to mind. Sir Hubble wanted nothing to do with Poe. Sir Hubble was 15 years old, had pancreatitis and CKD, and had no patience for the antics of a young whippersnapper. Sir Hubble finally had enough and smacked Poe upside the head- hissed and growled and walked away. I was devastated. To cut to the chase, we adopted another kitten for Poe, a 5-month-old Oriental Shorthair we named Aki. Sir Hubble, also an Oriental Shorthair accepted Poe the moment we let Aki out of his “safe” room. They started hanging out, snuggling, mutual grooming and Aki played like a wild jungle cub with Poe. Everyone was happy and Hubble even bonded with Poe. It was a great relief for all concerned. Patience does pay off.. and it’s so well worth it. Shadow is very lucky that he found you.

  4. meowmeowmans says:

    Shadow is so handsome. Thank you for being so patient, Deb and Dan. We have our paws crossed that everything works out soon.

  5. Shadow is so handsome! It takes time and if you’re like me, I am impatient for kitties to bond – but they are great at teaching patience at their own speed, that’s for sure!

  6. Maybe it’s my background in clinical psychology – but I’m truly fascinated with feline social structure and the way it readjusts with the addition or subtraction of a member. Humans are much easier to figure out! I found Bear outside and it did not go well for him and Kitty. That 8 month period was one of the most miserable of my life. Bear was 8-16 months and Kitty was 15 and done with his nonsense – make that ANY nonsense. From my observations when I met him outside (he seemed terrified of the other ferals out there – I fed him a couple times and when they got curious, he took off) – I never would’ve guessed he’s an alpha cat. But adopting Ellie confirmed it. Thankfully, she’s got a bit more patience and can give as good as she gets. She doesn’t really seem to mind that he’s the alpha. I’m kind of surprised at Jazmine’s reaction – unless she doesn’t like him getting close to you. Quite honestly, if you managed to get your current crew to live together, my money’s on you. Shadow is such a blessing – and in time, the other cats hopefully will see that as well. A little young at heart can be good for them too 🙂

  7. jmuhj says:

    Jo Singer’s post (Hey, @Jo Singer! Long time no hear!) is wonderful. Time, patience and perseverance often work wonders in multi-cat families as you well know. Shadow is gorgeously handsome (black cats are my favorites, aesthetically speaking) and the facts of his being young, and new, obviously make for some adjustments having to be made in the furmily. Four months isn’t long when dealing with new family members. Our beloved Sammi was “purrsona non grata” for around a year before everyone accepted him (or maybe just decided that the guy wasn’t looking like going away, so they’d better make the best of his presence). New family members, and adoptions, are for life here, so there was no question of re-homing 14-year-old, former “only cat” Sammi. Eventually our alpha male, house panther extraordinaire Calo, and Sammi could often be found curled up together. 😉

  8. Brian Frum says:

    He really is a sweetie dude and I’m sure you all will get it worked out.

  9. Andrea Dorn says:

    Time and patience. Both help you a lot. He is quite the beauty. Using the Feliway will help. I’ve noticed a big difference since I started using the diffusers. We still have breakthrough incidents but usually only during a full moon. It’s all in the personalities. Good work so far. And beautiful photos as usual.

  10. Even sibling cats don’t get along, but toleration is the best we hope for.
    Good luck!

  11. Ellen Pilch says:

    God Bless you for being so patient and giving this cutie a home. XO

  12. Timmy Tomcat says:

    Thanks so much for the update as it is always good to hear from other MC homes on how things are going and what is being done. We learn from each other most on those days we know it all already. He is one fine Panfur

  13. Shadow is such a handsome house panther. We purr that all works out.

  14. Mary McNeil says:

    So good to have word from you on what’s going on. Purrs to you and your crew. We have our share of housepanthers.

  15. Catwoods says:

    Shadow is such a beauty! Many hopes that he and the other cats will smooth things out over time.

  16. alice Jena says:

    Great Blog. Shadow looks like a Bombay! Why not? I have four dear cats that also include a “little” brother that annoys them when the elderly one (other three) want to sleep….He is a mixed rescue Siamese & Burmese ! Love my cats so much..

  17. da tabbies o trout towne says:

    dood….ewe iz inn deed a most hansum houz panther…, mackerull am still
    feral/wild N eye haz been heer in de land oh trout bout 16 months now….eye
    can understand wear YUR comin frum, de big katoona can understand wear
    yur SIBLINGZ bee comin frum 😉 ♥♥

  18. Shadow is a gorgeous black panther. We’re sure that your patience will be rewarded, and we’re glad he found such a great forever home with you. Purrs