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In Taz's case, it also happened to be a male thing, and only evidence he's ever given that he's an adult. He still looks and acts and vocalizes like a kitten, no doubt because his "mother" was a dog.
But Pumpkin never threatened back. He ignored hissing and moved away from attacks. Given his lack of aggression, I decided to just let him stay inside, Siamese be damned.
A month or so later, something strange happened. Taz started lying beside Pumpkin instead of lying beside Witchie. Oh, Witchie's face showed her outrage. Taz showed nothing but guilt. After a time, Taz started playing with Pumpkin. They became best buddies. I don't believe Taz was ever forgiven for that. Witchie can hold a grudge for years. She still hasn't forgiven me for bringing home uncivilized Bebe. (Half dachshund, half doberman, all moron.)
Once or twice, Taz and Pumpkin slept side by side on my chest between two dogs. My sons were same size, since Taz was runt of litter and Pumpkin was probably underfed as a baby. Before learning to hunt, of course.
I didn't show him litter box, by way. He found it himself. If he clawed something he wasn't supposed to, I scolded him once, verbally, and he never did it again. Again, gratitude thing. "Show me rules and I'll follow them; I'm just happy to be here."
Daddy had a problem with rats in his barn, so I told him he could borrow Pumpkin as long as he didn't shoot him. (Daddy doesn't like cats.) Nobody fed Pumpkin while he lived in barn, but every time I went to visit, he was lying on floor with a swollen belly. I took him home a week later, because he was going stir-crazy without human contact. Meanwhile, Daddy had no more rats.
Before I left barn, I held Pumpkin up to to my horse's face. He sniffed and sniffed, quite fascinated. Then head moved, and he realized that big thing was alive. It scared hell out of him. I rushed him home. He always loved riding in truck. A day with Taz and dogs, and he was restored to his good old Pumpkin self.
I think I had Pumpkin for a year. In a manner of speaking, as no one truly owns a cat, especially not an independent fellow like Pumpkin.
Pumpkin vanished for a few days, then came home looking skinny and with a stomach swollen as if he'd swallowed a tennis ball. A trip to vet confirmed worst -- intestinal blockage -- and I made hard decision. I borrowed Daddy's rifle and ended his pain myself. It was a sad day.
For several weeks after that, Taz kept looking at door, waiting for his best friend Pumpkin to come inside. Finally I adopted another male from Humane Society, but that's another story.
Michael publishes a free weekly newsletter, WHO MOVED MY RICE?, which is dedicated to proving that you can't eat grits with chopsticks. http://www.chinarice.org