Everyone eats together now.
Harris and Toffee treat the Lion politely but distantly if they aren't in the mood to chase and play. Possum is also detached; he has yet to give him a welcoming head washing, which I find somewhat telling. Wendy hisses but mostly ignores him. It's as if everyone is waiting to hear what we decide.
Possum listens to Lion's thoughts about books.
We'd given ourselves a deadline of last night to make up our minds. We were in agreement, until sometime yesterday afternoon, that five simply feels like too many. Our apartment is small; until we finally move to a bigger place, we've been warned to expect territory battles as two (or three) young male cats jockeying for positions in our feline hierarchy. Wendy seems to have chosen the lowest position, but Possum is Top Cat, and one or more of the boys might try to overthrow him. (We remember Snalbert campaigning to be Top Cat after Wendy and Possum arrived. He went around ritually biting us and the cats for weeks. He'd sneak up when we were minding our own business, and suddenly park his fangs in one of our arms. Then he'd sit, staring at us as we'd struggle to detach ourselves, hollering, "Okay, you win, you're Top Cat!" We want no more of that, thank you.)
"Do you see a kitten, Harris?" "No, Possum, I don't see any kitten. Do you?"
Five cats are also expensive: our cat food bills are already outrageous; I think we spend as much on the cats each month as on groceries. Also, we are noticing that the others, especially Harris, aren't getting all the attention from us they'd like these days. We spend too much time with a purring kitten in our lap, or giving him extra play time.
So, as you can see, we've given this a lot of thought, and the reasons are stacking up against keeping the D.G. But...
A friend of mine (who's had up to six rescued cats) wrote to me that our decision should "reflect the degree of happiness" the kitten gives us. When we look at it that way, he's a keeper. He brings us joy — he's sweet, loving, innocent, cute, playful, wide-eyed, all those kitten things. He's also fairly quiet, not crazy-active or destructive like many kittens are. So he's kind of right for us, it's just that the timing is wrong. So we — well, one of us, anyway — is back on the fence, wondering how sad and wrong it might feel if we hand him off to Robin one of these days. So the Lion will remain our Doubtful Guest for a little longer.