Separation won’t breed amity.

We recently adopted a new one-year old cat into our home after our older black cat passed. Our resident girl cat had nagged persistently after his death. She wanted a new brother.

We hunted, with the assistance of serendipity, many kind folks, and our cats on the other side, and quickly found a splendid new sibling for her. We brought him home two weeks ago tomorrow.

Conventional cat wisdom is to allow a period of separation for the cats to each get used to the idea that there is another resident cat in the home. They each grasped this very quickly.

He took to serenading her regularly and sticking paws under doors to entice her. She was curious but not exactly charmed.

She developed an upper respiratory tract infection, a chronic condition for her. We decided to keep them separate longer. She didn’t need any additional stress and he didn’t need to catch her infection.

We’ve been using a heavy five-foot-wide solid wood door to enforce the separation. It’s a bit of a challenge for us to open on our own. Surely no ten-pound cat would be able to pry it ajar.

Today I left for a two-hour round of errands, firmly closing the sliding door with a cat on either side. I felt certain they were both safe and separate.

I came home to a curiously quiet home. There was no active young cat to greet me. To my chagrin, the sliding door was open about six inches.

I found him in his customary hidey hole behind a piece of furniture in his safe room. She was hunkered in the bottom cubby of a cat tree in the adjoining room. Both were clearly a bit startled, but no one wanted to discuss what had occurred.

They’re largely back to normal behavior now that a few hours have passed, with some residual wariness. But no one died, there was no blood shed, and I found no large clumps of fur strewn about. I suspect that whatever occurred was largely vocal posturing.

I was less fussed about this mix-up than I normally might be. Somehow when I thought about it, I could feel my cats on the other side smirking. Perhaps they had aided and abetted, understanding that separation won’t engender friendship. A small start needed to be made somehow.

Today’s message seemed to me to be an analogy for all the social and political divide we’ve experienced recently. Simply associating with only like-minded folks won’t help me understand others with different opinions better. My part in healing the divide is to hold an open mind and heart.

Please reflect and share. What separation no longer serves you?