Clara’s First Kitty Play Date

Didn't get a picture of Clara and Gordon, but here's a recent photo of Clara ...
Didn't get a picture of Clara and Gordon together, but here's a recent photo of Clara...

Clara had lots of firsts this week, the most significant of which was a kitty play date Thursday night.

One of my friends just got a cat a few days before I did, and our other friend got a cat last summer. Hoping the cats will ultimately become the best of friends, we introduced two of them to each other.

My friends’ cats – Catalina and Gordon – met each other last Thursday but didn’t get along very well. So we tried introducing Clara to Gordon tonight. Before placing them in the same room, we put Gordon in my spare bedroom and closed the door as Clara sniffed the carpet and listened to Gordon cry in his attempt to be let out. Clara and Gordon got along a little better than Gordon and Catalina, though they were rambunctious and attacked each other a few times.

We figured that separating them at first would help them slowly get acquainted with each other. It worked to a certain extent, but Gordon, who is a relatively large but adorable kitten, often tried to throw some feline punches at Clara, who’s a pretty tiny kitty. Gordon meowed as Clara hissed and grumbled, her hair sticking straight up, her ears back, her tummy vibrating. Between the meows, the hisses, the grumbles and the noise they made when playing on Clara’s scratch post and eating, Gordon and Clara could have easily started their very own kitty garage band.

Speaking of eating, my friend warned me ahead of time that Gordon loves to eat and will do anything in his power to find food.

“No problem,” I said, “I’ll just put Clara’s food and water on top of the refrigerator.”

I learned all too quickly, though, that when it comes to food, you can’t pull anything past little Gordie. As my friends and I were watching the “Grey’s Anatomy/Private Practice” cross-over episode, I heard chewing.

Not surprisingly, Gordon had climbed on top of the refrigerator and was eating Clara’s food. We then put it in the cabinet, but he climbed on the counter, opened the cabinet door and tried reaching for the food, which we had put on the second shelf. Clara isn’t quite as big of an eater, and I don’t know that she would have found the food as quickly, mainly because I don’t let her on the counters — prime take-off spots for leaping onto the refrigerator.

Next Thursday, my friends and I may try introducing Clara and Catalina to each other. Eventually, all three cats will meet one another and (hopefully?) get along.

Geesh, I’ve really fallen in love with my little kitty, so much so that I’m writing about her as though she were a child! Spending time with furry felines, I learned tonight, is even more fun when in the company of good friends.

Published by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Mallary is a mom of two young kiddos -- Madelyn and Tucker. Mallary absolutely loves being a mom and often writes about the need to find harmony when juggling motherhood and work. Mallary is the Assistant Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, where she manages the Center's various programs related to distance learning, freedom of expression, and digital journalism. Previously, she was Executive Director of Images & Voices of Hope and Managing Editor of The Poynter Institute’s media news site, Mallary grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island. In 2015, she received a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. She now lives in beautiful Austin, Texas, with her kids, husband Troy and cat Clara. She's working on a memoir, slowly but surely. You can reach her at

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