Have you seen Little Women yet? Or are you like me, a fan who read and loved the novel as a child? The closeness of the sisters, the underlying love and loyalty, no matter what their differences, is heartening. A real feel-good story.
Maybe it was through these rose-colored glasses that we first viewed Markova and Pavlova. These two sisters have been through a lot together. When we rescued them from a shelter and settled them into a loving, secure Abbey Cats foster home we referred to them as the “bonded tortie sisters”.
But then the foster mom started to notice some surprising behaviour. They’re not bonded at all. They don’t sleep together or groom each other or even play together. They squabble over food. There’s days they seem not to like each other at all; they avoid contact. Worse, they compete vigorously for their human’s attention. Markova doesn’t like to play alone; she monopolizes her human’s attention to play with her. Pavlova, a little shyer, a little retiring, gives way to her bolder sister but sulks. Sitting in the corner, she watches Markova cuddling in bed and her green eyes get a little greener.
So, introducing the un-bonded tortie sisters. Sweet Pavlova is a dilute tortie, with lovely emerald eyes and unusual colouring. She’s sweet and shy, clean and well-mannered. She loves people, but is undemanding; a gentle paw on the arm lets you know she wants attention. She’s very good at amusing herself; if her people are at work all day she’s OK with that, just so long as they have some time for both play and cuddles later on.
Markova has bolder tortie colours, and a bolder personality. If she were a Little Woman she would be Amy. She wants to spend all her time with her people and she doesn’t want to share their attention. Like her sister, she can be skittish with sudden noises but she wants so badly to be part of your family, she’ll let that go quickly once you gain her trust.
Not all sisters should live together. We’re making the difficult decision to separate these tortie twins to make them both happier. Maybe once these Little Women are settled in their forever homes they can FaceTime instead?
She would do well in a home with a non-aggressive cat or as an only cat where people can give her lots of attention.