Blackbolt and Sentry: Frenemies

Blackbolt and Sentry are typical blue lynx ragdoll kittens and in fact, look alike. They share the same lynx (tabby) stripes – vertical tufts of grey on the face, and patches of grey fur everywhere. They started living together about two weeks ago.

Before that, Blackbolt enjoyed his lofty position as the master of our universe and ruled his roost with a firm paw and a fierce bite. Spoiled to silliness with all his toys and our affection, Blackbolt for the most part, seemed content with us. At six months, he’s very fluffy and chubby, with his coat starting to darken already.

However, we often wondered if BB ever felt lonely, being alone in the condo most of the day. Most cat welfare-related sites and forums recommend getting a second pet for company, but it was a decision Jat and I did not want to rush into. As I explained to Leena whenever she suggested that we get Sentry as a companion to BB, a second raggie was out of budget and if we were to get one, we would look for a female instead. Although Jat and I also toyed with the idea of getting a much cheaper, non-standard male munchkin kitten as a second pet, it was hazy at best and I didn’t feel ready just yet to try out a new breed, much less figure out how BB would respond to him.

Whatever reservations we had were put to rest about two Sundays ago when we took home Sentry (then known as Pfeiffer), a 4-month old ragdoll kitten (Blackbolt’s “nephew” apparently), and just a little younger and smaller version of him.

Thanks to the generosity of Leena and William, Blackbolt’s former parents, we have been given the rare and unexpected privilege of welcoming a second raggie into our lives. Leena and William told us that they felt that we could provide Sentry with a good home with more love and affection than he could have with them in a busy, multi-pet household, or with a prospective owner solely interested in getting him for breeding purposes.

Sentry was a month older compared to BB (he was 2 months and 3 weeks old) when we took him home. By then, Sentry already had his routines and habits, such as climbing up the bed every afternoon to sleep on or read over Williams’s shoulder. Melai, who also takes care of the other cats and kittens, was similarly attached to BB and Sentry, also had to say her goodbyes.

We chose the name Sentry in honor of another powerful comic book hero, Sentry, a fairly new character in Marvel superhero lore, but retconned – that is, dated to be a much older character with a complex history, and given awesome powers. He is in some ways, Marvel’s answer to DC’s superman, only with a dark alter ego named Void.

While we had a short list of cute kitty names, Sentry seemed consistent with Blackbolt, named after another formidable Marvel comic book character. Comic book fans have likewise debated on a hypothetical battle between Sentry and Blackbolt, so we thought it would be fun to see how two raggies will play it out.

For cats, the introduction of a new cat into the home is a delicate process. The older cat usually becomes jealous of the new one and feels that his place in the home is threatened. As a result, the older one may be more aggressive and even hostile, making the new one’s integration extremely difficult. Thus, we had to keep the two apart for a few days, letting them slowly get used to each other’s presence.

Sentry’s first few days living in a new home, I imagine, was a difficult adjustment process. He ate very little, and was very needy for affection, rubbing his legs against ours and exposing his belly for aome scratching at every opportunity. Aware of another cat in the vicinity, Sentry was clearly excited to play with BB; however, BB appeared to be less than thrilled. For days, BB watched us while we snuck in and out of Sentry’s room. He also began showing interest in his previously neglected toys, now hand-me-downs for Sentry. BB was suspicious of the visitor in the next room, and would plant himself outside the door, watching it for hours. He sniffed our clothes whenever we exited Sentry’s room, perhaps looking for traces of the new occupant.

However, it wasn’t long when BB seemed to show more interest in having a playmate. When Sentry snuck out of his room after the third day of being isolated in his room, he finally got to meet Blackbolt, who was stationed outside and waiting. After Blackbolt’s initial inspection of Sentry and vice versa, the two started playing. Soon after, we decided that the two could hang out only under supervision to make sure we could prevent any negative reactions to each other. That same day we decided, Sentry snuck out of his room while Jat was away, and Jat found him and Blackbolt together a few hours later playing together in the sala, seemingly at ease with each other.

Sentry, for now, is a bit on the thin side – compared to my porky Blackbolt that is, with soulful, puppy eyes, long limbs and the beginnings of a beautiful white ruff and fluffy tail. He has gained weight considerably already, however, and I hope he will catch up with BB soon.

Blackbolt, on the other hand, does not hesitate to use his size and penchant for stalking to pounce on and wrestle with Sentry. Sentry, despite his smaller size, is no pushover and compared to his chubbier aggressor, Sentry is faster and more agile thanks to his longer legs. As the more vocal Ragdoll, Sentry now and then emits a deep warning growl or a shrill meow when Blackbolt’s roughhousing is too much. Blackbolt, who gets startled quite easily, backs off and shuffles to a spot where he gets to observe Sentry, who soon forgets their tussle and starts playing with Blackbolt’s toys. However, when the two become too rowdy, Jat transforms into the Alpha Cat and advances quickly and noisily toward the pair on all fours. When Jat the Alpha Cat is around, the startled kittens scramble away in panic, with Blackbolt leading the escape.

Rolling around together, the two knock things off the table, if they’re not climbing them. Sometimes, in an assertion of dominance, one would be perched on a table, regarding the other below him with mild contempt. Sometimes there’s a commotion behind the curtains or under the sofa. Most of the time, the two are asleep in their respective favorite spots – until the next tussle.

The kittens do enjoy a truce come mealtime, and join forces especially when it comes to dinner. Coming home from work, the two are waiting by the door (Blackbolt beats him to it out of habit), excited about their chicken dinner. Sentry usually manages to escape, with Blackbolt waddling behind him. You can imagine the chase in getting them back safely inside the condo. Once inside, they then wait for me to prepare their meal. Blackbolt, who rarely meows and prefers to chirp, does not hesitate to meow for dinner while I’m in the kitchen heating up their chicken.

While eating, Blackbolt then takes advantage of the temporary peace and his size by leaving his food station to eat off of Sentry’s plate. Sentry, who is a picky eater and eats more slowly, doesn’t seem to mind. However, since we want him to gain more weight, I usually shoo Blackbolt away and unceremoniously dump him on his big fat heinie back at his food station. That doesn’t stop him from trying again, of course, and he would often pretend to be interested in something else, such as drinking water before oh so casually going back to Sentry’s spot. Sometimes I even have to lock Blackbolt up in one of the rooms just so Sentry could finish his food in peace.

For the most part, Blackbolt seems to have warmed up to his new friend. Most of the time he just lets Sentry play with his toys, biding his time until the urge to bully him arises. Other than his comical attempts to bully Sentry, Blackbolt has become more serene and mature. He can be given his vitamins through a syringe without a struggle, and he now lets us clean his ears.

On the other hand, it seems Blackbolt coached Sentry to resist human intervention, and he now makes it difficult for us to give him vitamins and clean his ears, two things he was perfectly fine with during his first few days in isolation.

However, I just recently discovered that when left alone without the other present, Blackbolt and Sentry revert to their old affectionate selves and relish their respective alone times. However, the alone time with me doesn’t last long and soon after, they want to go back to playing with each other again.

The two now spend every waking moment together, sharing food, water, toys and litter boxes, despite efforts to keep the litter boxes separate. They may not show it yet, but we suspect that the two are forming a close bond that will deepen over time.

Right now, they are both in my room, sleeping – Sentry curled up beside me on the mattress and Blackbolt on the table, resting his head on his favorite pillow. Who knows how long this truce, forged by sleep, will last?

Tomorrow night, once again, when I come home from work and open the door, I will contend with two speeding furballs racing down the hallway. The unlikely pair will be unruly while the Alpha Cat is away.

One will be sprinting as fast as his drumstick legs can take him while the other will be quicker and more graceful.

What a lovable pair they make. πŸ™‚

 

(Update: Blackbolt and Sentry have new photos –> here!)

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165 thoughts on “Blackbolt and Sentry: Frenemies

  1. BB and Sentry are both very cute :-). Looking forward to more pictures…
    And congrats on being Freshly pressed!

  2. So cute. I love it. A few years ago, I had an abnmornally large (20 something pound), obnoxiously beautiful and shiny cat. I got him a playmate who was abnormally small. “Abbot” the small guy and “Costello” the big guy were best friends…. and their names jokingly became The Alphabot and Heavy C… and anyway Costello loved him from the second he met abbott. It was heartwarming to watch Costello take Abbott in as his baby and even though C was a male cat, to this day 8 years later, he lets abbott pretend nurse off of him when he is nervous.

    Cat culture is so interesting. I’m glad that bb and Sentry are forming a bond. They sound like fun.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. I haven’t had the chance to see a ragamuffin yet but I heard that they are the sweetest kitties! What do yours look like? They have loads of different patterns right? πŸ™‚

      1. Ragamuffins are are variation of the Ragdoll. I have a flame point male and a female brown mctabby with white mittens. Both with light blue eyes. They are sweet and almost doglike in the way they follows us around our apartment or greet us at the door.

  3. Firstly, They are very pretty. Yes, whatever they are from but is a deep touch & sharing between this two. Life is wonderful and they makes you more happy than what you normally are. Congratulation. I have also pretty cats like you. But think, your cats are more pretty than me. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  4. They sure are beautiful cats and you are fortunate they’ve adopted you. Thank you for sharing the story and photographs.

  5. They are very handsome kits. It’s good to hear their integration went very well. Having two or more brings lots of fun.

  6. Kitties! I have a couple of bunnies and I wonder how they would react if they have a kitty cat friend to play with…

  7. Love your post! I’ve wanted to get ragdolls myself, but they’re hard to find where I live and I would probably have to import them, which would greatly increase the cost to get one.

  8. I had a ragdoll for 15 years. He passed away five years ago, and I still can’t replace him. They are simply the best cats ever! I can see why you didn’t want to attempt life with another breed, and am so happy you were able to get a second one. They are absolutely beautiful! I’m envious!

  9. When we introduced the new 1 year old kitten to our 6 year old cat, things did not go as smoothly as yours did. Lots and lots of hissing! While they enjoyed chasing each other, it took them a good year to tolerate sitting near one another. Sadly, I doubt they will ever cuddle. It sounds like you got a second kitty at a good time in both of their lives. They will certainly become quite the pair of beautiful cats!

  10. Ah Bless they are absolutely gorgeous we too are fortunate to be owned by a beautiful blue Ragdoll named Dylan along with a bengal an oriental blue and 3 ‘moggies’ weare about to adopt another must be mad I know but I am so mad about these feline beauties.

    Fab blog what clever little critters how lucky are you.

  11. Beau The Cephus (a Cornish Rex) sends his greetings. Sounds like great fun in your home. He enjoys reading your blog. Keep up the great work. Langston
    PS Beau wishes he had great hair like Blackbolt and Sentry.

  12. Cats certainly have their own personalities, don’t they? It sounds like you guys have done a great job introducing a new cat into your home. And who knows, maybe they will end up being inseperable friends. πŸ™‚

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  13. You have some cute kitties! Blackbolt and Sentry are adorable! They remind me of my baby Ocean back at home. Except he’s not a blue Lynx like your pretty babies!

    Great post and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    πŸ™‚

  14. It looks like you made an outstanding choice! Good luck in your happy home! They are just beautiful! And your photos are very nice too! Thanks for the nice post!

  15. Oh, what a fabulous post! I really enjoyed reading it, and pictures are adorable. Such lovely kitties!
    I have only one kitty at the moment. She knows she is the boss of this household. I think she would probably give some serious butt-whoopins to a new kitty, but she is so playful, I’d love for her to have a friend. Perhaps someday…. πŸ™‚

  16. I adore Ragdolls!!! Hubby is not a cat person tho… We are dog people (for now) so I will have to live through your blog. Sigh. Give those boys a scratch behind the ear for me πŸ™‚

  17. They are adorable. I would love to have a Ragdoll cat or two. It’s great you got BB a nice friend. Give them big hugs and treats from me. Thanks for sharing and please update us on these 2.

  18. At first I did not think I would be involved in reading about cats. I never cared for cats. It came from childhood where my Mother related to me when I was a child, how she was scratched by a cat, and received a terrible infection. This posting changed my whole preception. It is so well done with story and especially the pictures. I am the owner of two large parrots. One is actually about seventy two in human years, while the other is about twenty-eight in human years. Having such pets changed my whole beliefs about animals as pets. Especially pets that are above a dog. I now believe there is a heaven for such creatures. Thanks you for sharing this with the WordPress family.

  19. Cute Cats. So adorable.

    Mine has 8 Cats They are all stray cats.
    Actually I never intend to have one. But they are keep coming to my house. Last month I only have 2 cats, but then there come another 3 kittens, two of them run over by my neighbor’s car, but to my surprise , one evening they were 4 kittens in my yard, and you know what the other day they are another 4 kittens but 3 of them left . Nine of them with various age /sizes they live happily in my house.

  20. After three months of being without my three cats, one will finally arrive to keep me company. (I moved to CA from WI and my sisters in WI are caring for our furry felines.) I don’t how we found ourselves with three cats, but the adjustment process was certainly long and drawn out. It was especially hard when we added two dogs to the mix…but now when they think we’re not looking they will touch noses. I am weary about taking one from the others, but its interesting because when she is a lone cat, she takes on a whole new personality. For one thing, she doesn’t want to leave my side and does the sweetest things. When she is in a group of animals, she has little interest for humans. I’m also nervous about her flying cross country, but it all seems worth it…I MISS MY FRIEND! Any suggestions for getting her to feel at home without any cat companions?

  21. They’re adoreable. I have an 11-lb. pekingese and would love to bring a cat into my home, but I’m afraid of the integration and acclamation of the two animals. It’s the only thing keeping me from adopting a kitty. My peke is docile and sweet and would likely sniff the kitty out of curiosity, but she’s certainly not malicious and menacing. I’m glad that your cats have adapted well.

  22. Utterly adorable pictures of your kittens and I love the names! Thanks for this charming blog and I look forward to reading more about your two furry comic book heroes in the future.

  23. Greetings and lots of affection from my cats Jolawi and Kitty who tried to make friends with Blackbolt and Sentry on my Laptop screen. Fabulous blog and thanks for sharing.

  24. I was in a similar situation; after maybe 5 years, I finally got a second dog and it ended up being possibly the best decision I have ever made in my whole life. I think there is a need that we, as a different species, just can not fulfill for our animals and going two by two works great for them.

  25. So cute! We may have a multiple-cat household soon-our unspayed indoor cat got out a couple weeks ago & found herself a boyfriend! We had to put our 2 1/2 year old calico down in October and we miss her so much; it will be nice to have more than one cat again!:) Congrats on getting Freshly Pressed!

  26. Loved your article!!! We used to have a ragdoll but unfortunately she died of a heart problem a couple of years ago. Still miss her loads and very sad memories of when she died (v sudden) and your article certainly helps to remind how much we would love to have one (or indeed, two!) again! Thanks for sharing!

  27. Oh what precious babies! I have two pound kitties myself, one of which just had her first (and only) litter.

    Our oldest, Chaska, was somewhat depressed when we moved into a new apartment about a year ago, so we brought home Cricket to give her a companion. At the time Chaska was a little over a year old so she wasn’t too excited about the 2 month old kitten now sharing her territory. But she took Cricket under her wing and taught her the ways of the house. Mainly where the food was hidden and how to knock it down just right to spill across the floor.

  28. What a great post! We have one cat, Katy, who is an only kitty. We desperately want to get another one but when we had to put Katy in the cattery for just a couple of days even the vet said she’d probably better on her own. She was such a tanty thrower. But I read your story and wonder, if we did it properly – keep them separate, intro slowly it may work…..

  29. Nice post, sister mine! My little ‘nephews’ are so cute – can’t wait to meet them in person! I wonder what cat manuals would say about cat behaviour, but think BB will continue to dominate and you probably can’t expect them to share or play nice if it’s not in their nature. Even your human nephews are only just getting to share & play nice & brotherly now that they’re both older.

  30. Having owned eights cats at one time, and no, I wasn’t one of those odd cat ladies, just a sympathetic cat lover who kept adopting sibling sets, I enjoyed your posting. You might want to swing by and check out my post tribute to Dr Seuss and other literary cats. Being petless now, I really miss the presence of pet companionship, yet, I do relish not having the worry if gone for the day or longer. It’s a tricky balance, isn’t it–companionship versus responsibility.
    Happy Pages,
    CricketMuse

  31. So fluffy! Totally adorable blog, loved reading about these two making friends and keeping each other company. Think the internet just exploded due to extreme cuteness. Thank you for sharing this with us πŸ˜€

  32. “Frenemies” is probably the most accurate discernment about the relationship between two felines. I have 2 females, and their interactions are not always the friendliest…but they always play nice when they know I’m lookin’.

  33. Your kitties are adorable–we also have a pair of young girls and a very old guy who was here for 15 or 16 years when they showed up. In spite of his shock, dismay and bad manners with the babies, he started to hunt again, bringing them 2 or 3 injured rodents and things a day to play with and releasing them huffily in front of the kittens. Our smaller kitten never relented in trying to get to know him, despite his big nasty teeth and claws, and everyone slowly became friends. Your story really resonated–cats have the most amazing personalities! Best wishes with your lovely, fluffy family!

  34. I’m not big on cats; I’m a dog lover. But I have to confess that after reading this and looking at the pictures, I am in love. They are so adorable that I can’t stand it. So cute. Really makes me rethink my stance on cats.

    Val
    http:valentinedefrancis.wordpress.com

  35. Ah, cute kitties! I have two cats, as well, and introduced them just a few months ago with many of the same issues. I love the term “frenemies!” Haha, that is so accurate πŸ™‚

  36. Your cats are so beautiful! I, too, love watching the relationships that develop between my cats- I foster many kittens through a local shelter and love to see my cat, Bonna, develop her own frenemy relationship with them while they try to cuddle with her and play with her tail.
    I wish I could photograph them! I see your having a portrait session soon with a friend! Can’t wait to see it!
    I’m starting up my own pet photography business, and am currently building my portfolio of beauties! I’m not seeing your location, but if you happen to live near Philadelphia, PA (which would be way too awesome!), then please let me know!

  37. From the owner of the Gentleman Tom Cat, welcome to the Press. Good to have another cat lover aboard. Your little angels are adorable. Looking forward to seeing more of them. Hope you visit us sometime soon.

  38. Love your cats. Love all cats. Unfortunately my two are not friends. Both are stray cats, one a tabby and the other a small version of a Norwegian Forest Cat. The older one is female, and she doesn’t want to be friends. The younger one likes to play tricks on her, just to have a tussle.

  39. I’m allergic to cats so I can’t have one – so I really enjoyed reading your article about living with two of the beasties and getting them used to each other. You’re doing what I wish I could do. Great photos! Thank you for posting.

  40. Cute πŸ™‚ I had cats that were frenemies, too. Well, I guess they were mostly enemies. Even though they hated each other most of the time, I think they enjoyed each other’s company. Thanks for sharing

  41. it is wonderful and hapy cats i had cats with home and now i have dog the cats are very cute and we are funny and i love photos with cats and amazing and that is so accurate
    gorgeous photos are cute

  42. Two ragdolls, what fun! We tried to get a playmate for our cat, but she was older and set in her ways, and it didn’t end up working out. Starting young like this is probably the only way.

    Your kitties are stunning, very cute and very beautiful! Thanks for sharing! πŸ˜€

  43. We really enjoyed this post! What sweet kitties. We run a blog about pets, but there are four cats that get most of the attention on the blog and we could definitely identify with some of your story. Looking forward to reading more about Blackbolt & Sentry!

  44. If only my cats would cooperate. At the year mark of our newest addition our vet suggested if they’re not friendly then the newb probably should be placed in a new home. Hopefully we don’t have to travel down that road as our newb is precious.

  45. We have a 3 year old ragdoll and I love her to pieces. Loved your post. We have been wanting to introduce another ragdoll to the family, but I am not sure how sassy would adapt. She is typical raggie personality, but I think she thinks she is the queen. Glad to see it worked out so well for you. Yours are beautiful!

  46. I read this blog because I know nothing about blue lynx, and enjoyed the writing here. I now own two of these cats, a mother and son that I got by accident. We live in the mountains and last fall during an early snow, while hiking, I found the mother dumped with five kittens. Four had all ready died but I was able to carry home and save the mother and the surviving kitten. I thought they were beautiful, but it wasn’t until I took them to the vet and the people there were commenting on how beautiful they were and what kind of cats they were, that I realized I had found a bigger treasure than I initially thought. No idea why someone would have dumped them, though this happens often unfortunately. But now I have two beautiful cats growing fat and sleek and happy in my cabin. Seeing these photos reinforces how lucky I feel to have found my woodland treasure.

  47. Great to see a cat post on freshly pressed – congratulations!

    Your cats are absolutely beautiful, and I’m sure they’ll bond over time. In our case, it took Gureyo (age approx. 1 year at the time) less than 36 hours to conclude that Jaco (age 4 mos. when we adopted him to keep Gureyo company) would be much more fun to play with than to hiss at, and the two bonded practically instantly. Jaco became the world’s best Dad-cat ever, and immediately welcomed the two β€œkids” (Laxmi and Pink) when we rescued them into the family, and has lovingly tended to them ever since. They are also bonded to Gureyo, but much like me, she’s more of a career woman-type than a mom-type πŸ˜‰

  48. tooooo cute!!
    i know exactly how you feel, i have three cats, and i got them one after the other.. yuki, the oldest (supreme king in his mind) and the only male was not very happy when we introduced him to baby cookie after about a year… but he accepted her in two days, and they love eachother very much!
    when we introduced crazy loki, the two “big ones” were terrified of the little monster, and it took them a week to fully accept her! then again, her growling and gremlin-y sounds didn’t encourage a peace treaty either πŸ˜€

  49. I absolutely enjoyed the tale of your handsome boys ‘Blackbolt’ & ‘Sentry’. I think they are onto a very good start and will definitely become very close mates. Loved the pics πŸ™‚

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