This may be a bit long, but please bear with me : I sorely need some advice here.
We have two cats, Callie and Flower. Callie is 16 months, Maine Coon mix and was adopted at 6 months old from the Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago. She's a great cat and we adore her. We moved back to Northern California with her a month ago and decided to act on a long-standing thought about getting a companion cat for Callie, especially once I returned to a full-time work schedule. We didn't do so in Chicago, as I was doing much of my work from home there and we also felt strongly that we didn't want to adopt another cat and then move it cross-country while it was still adapting to a new living environment.

So.. we got to California and settled into a small home. Without getting into the indoor/outdoor cat debate - let me briefly say that Callie started out as an indoor cat, graduated to the harness, and then supervised time out with me in an urban yard. She was not, obviously, permitted outside unsupervised in urban Chicago. She has always had a real interest and need to be outside on whatever terms she could get and so we tried to accomodate her as safety allowed. And she has always been smart and capable in surmounting the challenges of outside and believe me, I spent ALOT of time out there with her.

Here in California, we have a cavernous yard, and a block filled with indoor/outdoor cats and Callie has been in hog heaven spending her days outside, mostly in our and few neighboring yards. She never seemed to get in any trouble, appear scared in any way, came in every evening right on time and always responded promptly to her name being called.Probably we should have left well enough alone, but we still thought a 2nd cat would fit in well, as she has always been sociable in the extreme with other cats. We went several times to the local shelters, and concluded that although a male kitten would probably have been the easiest match, that we prefer female cats (partially for roaming reasons) and that we had limited time to socialize and supervise a new kitten. (And having engaged in a protracted effort in raising Callie, I do know that it takes time to do it right).
We settled on a very timid, shy Tuxedo female about Callie's age. Our thinking was that a timid cat would be far less likely to try to dominate Callie and that it would be easy for her to set up the terms of their new relationship and we felt strongly that our 1st cat deserved to have her needs come first in her home. We also thought Flower, underneath the extreme fear, seemed enormously sweet.
It's been five weeks and despite an extensive introduction process, their relationship has gone from bad to worse. Flower spends virtually all of her time under the bed, sneaking out only when the coast is clear, and immediately retreating if she comes across any living creature. The only person in the house she has bonded with at all is me, who she will sometimes allow to be in the same room as her if I don't move too much. Once or twice, after a protracted half an hour approach, she let me pet her. She does eat and use the box, but they have to be within 12" of the bed.
In the meantime, Callie, who will chase her under the bed if she sees her, has started spending her entire days in the yard, refuses to use her cat tree, and howls half the night to be let outside. She seems to feel the house is contaminated by the other cat, and while she is still enormously affectionate with us, she doesn't want to be inside the house anymore. When she has to be inside, she selects a defensive position in the study, a tiny room farthest from the bedroom and stays there - on alert - all night long - ignoring her cat tree, our bedroom and all the rest of her formerly favorite places. We feel terrible for both of them.
On Friday morning, sick of tired of living in an armed war zone for over a month, I found Flower siting, miraculously, on top of the bed, in the locked bedroom.
I went and got Callie and showed her Flower on the bed, while holding her gently and giving her treats and kisses. She groaned terribly and ran back to her safe place crying. I immediately went to her and tried to reassure her who basically attached herself like a burr to my chest, which is enormously uncharacteristic .Despairing, I took her out into the yard and hung out with her all morning, where she was happy and playful. When I had to go out for a while, she began following me and I picked her up and returned her to the yard. The third time,
I thought seriously about locking her up, but thought that would only make her more unhappy and she was generally calmer and happier in the yard. Big mistake.
Callie was gone for thirty hours, thirty of the worse hours of my life, and returned very late Saturday night limping and with a wound on her leg.
My theory is that, she again tried to follow me, hiding under cars so I wouldn't see her (and I looked back extensively, but she can hide well) and was probably clipped by a car. The wound - which is healable - was scabbed when she returned, so I expect she hid for the night and next day and limped home when it was dark again. In other words - I almost lost her, if not for luck and her own bright, brave and savvy self.So I'm horrified and torn. I feel like I am endangering Callie's life by the emotional distress this adoption is putting her through. She's never done anything remotely like this and I don't know what will happen next. She's recuperating inside, but both are locked up and separated and Callie will only occupy this one room, although she's ill and should be on the bed with me in premium comfort. With only three legs working, she's still agitating to go outside (which ain't gonna happen for a while).
Meanwhile, the new cat is confined to the bedroom again, with a little underbed universe, and while I can see she is slowly starting to trust me a little and come out of her shell, she's a long way from mere freedom of motion in a house with two adults and another cat. (She won't come out from under the bed if my husband enters the bedroom or bathroom, if I move quickly or towards her, or if she hears Callie in the house). She's under there a minimum of 20 of every 24 hours, and has been since she arrived.

Help! I feel like this is beginning to spiral out of control. My husband thinks Flower has to be returned to the no-kill shelter, but I look in those little eyes
(as I'm the only one who see them), and it's so hard for me to betray that granule of growing trust. I don't see how we can find an alternate home for a cat who's under the bed 20 hours a day. But he's right. We can't put Callie's happiness at risk indefinitely. It's not fair to take care of this new cat at her expense, especially when the primary purpose of the new cat was to make her life better, not to ruin it.
Where can we go from here? I'm lost and not sure I can spend another month primarily worrying about cats and I'll go out of my mind of Callie disappears again - as will he.
I never thought I'd ecen be considering returning a cat to a shelter, but I'm running out of other ideas to salvage this situation.

Any thoughts?
Tracy
It sounds to me like Flower would do best as an only cat in a quiet home with an older couple or person. You really aren't doing her any favors by keeping her in a situation where she is frightened all the time. If you work with the shelter to find her a new home and foster her until then (isolated from your other cat, of course) so she doesn't have to go back to being in a cage that might be best. Flower will likely blossom in a new, quiet cat-free environment and you will feel better for helping to get her into a situation where she is happy and not afraid. It will also improve your home situation and you now know that yours would be best as a one cat household.
Megan
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This may be a bit long, but please bear with me : I sorely need some advice here. We have ... returning a cat to a shelter, but I'm running out of other ideas to salvage this situation. Any thoughts? Tracy

some cats prefer being "only cats" and I think you have got two of them. Perhaps you can find someone who wants an only cat I am sure she would adjust. Best of luck.
Did you take Callie to the vet since you brought her home to make sure she's ok?
I am sorry to hear you are having such a hard time getting the cats to adjust to each other.
Purrs,
fuga
"fuga =^o^=" wrote in message

...
Did you take Callie to the vet since you brought her home to make sure she's ok? I am sorry to hear you are having such a hard time getting the cats to adjust to each other. Purrs, fuga

Oh yes, of course. We went to the emergency clinic the same night she came home limping. She has a puncture wound on her lower left leg, is scared and hungry and tired, but the vet saw no additional damage (besides a bad case of fleas, sigh).
We're watching her closely for any signs of trouble, but so far, she seems to be improving ..
Oh good. I hope you can get the cat situation settled. You may want to get some feliway diffusers for your home until you can find a new home for flower.
Fuga
Tracy
It often takes a lot longer than five weeks. It helps if you can give the two cats their own territory without closing any doors. Our house has three floors, and when I brought my second rescue home, she settled into the top story, my 8-year-old the bottom, and they sometimes met on the second floor. For months there was hissing etc. when the cats met, but they tended to stay in their territories. After a few months, they began to show indifference to one another, sometimes being on the middle, "neutral " floor together, ignoring one another conspicuously! After about six months they began to play, and now they hang out together in front of the big window in my original cat's "lair" like old buddies.

One more thing, and you may not like this. You need to make Callie an indoor cat. She is in danger as long as she is outdoors. She can and will adjust. If you do not make her an indoor cat, she will very likely die young.
Do not take Flower back to the shelter unless you truly feel you have no room
for her to have a territory of her own for a while, but without closing her off. People don't tend to want the shy ones and you have already bonded with her.At the very least keep Callie indoors for eight more weeks and give them some time. Don't try to force anything don't pick one cat up and take it to the other. Just let them be. Callie needs to make a change, and she can and will adjust. Once there is no place else to go, she will negotiate with Flower and they will get along. If they don't, after perhaps three more months or so, you can return Flower to the shelter if you must.
If you must, Callie will be just fine. Cats are tough, and adaptable, just like people. Don't deprive dear Flower of your loving home because you did not take the patience to wait out the transition. And I promise you will never regret making Callie an indoor cat. It is wonderful to have them for 20 years, and that nearly never happens with outdoor cats. Too many risks. I hope this helps.
Just when you think you've hit the bottom ..
I'm really happy to report that things have gotten better!

After a couple of bumps along the way. We kept Callie inside for three days while she was recuperating and on the 4th day, she broke out of the house when the mailman delivered a package, and came home repentant at dinner time, when she proceeded to crawl into my lap and purr for four hours. Then she asked to be admitted to Flower's "half" of the house, promptly crawled under the bed to talk to her, and they both came out and started jumping around the living room together. I left all the doors open that night, heard some chasing, and in the morning, they were both sleeping there about a foot from each other and
smiling :>
So Flower moves! She still is pretty leery about the humans moving towards her and will only let me pet her while she's very close to the bed, and picking her up is a no-no, but except for some occasional mild jousting from time to time, they are co-existing. Once in a while, they even curl up on the bed together (each on one side of a queen bed). And I caught them playing soccer with a milk ring yesterday :>
I'm so relieved :>
Flower watches intently whenever Callie gets cuddled and picked up, so I think she's thinking about it :>
We are going to let Callie continue to have some outdoor time, as I am not comfortable removing such a source of joy from her life just to keep me from having to worry about her, but Flower is strictly indoors until she calms down.
We are modifying Callie's outdoor time to just the mornings and a few hours around dinnertime and she has been cooperative with the new schedule.
It's always darkest before the morning .. as they say..

Thanks for the advice.