I just wanted to let you all know that Benjamin has recovered from his respiratory problem and has been invited to integrate into the rest of the household menagerie. The integration went more smoothly than any I've ever witnessed or heard of. Ben just marched out into the rest of the house, sauntered around sniffing various things, and literally ran up to our old dog Moose and nuzzled him. It was amazing! There's been a small amount of growling, hissing, and swatting coming from our more dominant cat, Oliver, toward Ben. But I think Ollie will soon calm down once he realizes that Ben isn't a threat to his good gig here.
The animals all eat together in the kitchen now, twice a day. It's four cats and the dog, so there's a lot of enthusiastic crunching and slurping at feeding time!
As I type this email, Ben is snoozing on my desk, under a toasty lamp, amid my piles of papers. Yesterday, he slept in Moose's dog bed in my office--with Moose also in the bed. I couldn't ask for better office mates! Ben is a ferocious snuggler and makes sweet little peeping noises while he sleeps.
I've also managed to comb all the mats out of Ben's chest hair. He is doing more grooming himself, and his coat is starting to look nicer. And, he's putting on a small amount of weight. It will be nice to see him fill out a little. With some heft and a fluffed up coat, he'll cut quite the handsome figure!
Thanks again for taking such good care of Ben while he was with you at the shelter. We are so grateful and delighted to have him in our lives! Ben is so much like our lost beloved Charlie in some ways that he provides much-needed comfort during this sad time of missing Charlie. Yet Ben is decidedly his own person and utterly lovable for his unique qualities and quirks. One especially charming thing about Ben is that he likes to drape himself around the back of my shoulders and be carried around and shown things. All the while, his back legs are hanging straight down over the front of my shoulder and down my chest. I clutch his two back feet in one hand to help keep him balanced.
He's a total sweetie!