Rika and Keiko
We have two female cats.
Rika (pronounced REE kuh) is almost 15 years old. We've had Rika since she was about nine months old. She showed up at our house when Brigid was just two. At that time we were temporarily catless. I'd had to put my first cat, Helix, to sleep while I was pregnant with Brigid. Helix had gotten a stomach tumor and got really sick. After Helix, we took in a stray Siamese cat, Samantha, for a while, but she was not a good pet for us, and we gave her away to another family. At that point, we decided we'd better wait until Brigid was a few years older before we got another cat. Toddlers and cats just don't mix well.
But then one day Rika showed up in our backyard. She let two-year-old Brigid carry her around and pet her too hard and pull her tail, and never once tried to bite Brigid or scratch her or anything. So we ended up adopting her. Brigid came up with Rika's name. One of Brigid's favorite shows at the time was one on Nickelodeon called Eureka's Castle, and I think Brigid must have gotten the name from Eureka. Brigid and Rika have essentially grown up together.
Our other cat, Keiko (pronounced KAY ko), is about five years old. She showed up on our doorstep about a year and a half ago. Normally when a cat comes onto our porch, Rika goes into full cat alarm mode. She alerts the whole house to the mortal danger we're all in. But when Keiko showed up, Rika was really just curious about her. Brigid spent an entire day on the front porch with Keiko, and to make a long story short, we ended up with two cats in our house. Brigid came up with Keiko's name, too.
We thought we'd have trouble converting Keiko into an indoor cat, but as it turns out, she wants to be an indoor cat. Whenever we open the door, she runs away and hides. I think she's still afraid we might kick her out.
Rika and Keiko have quite an age difference between them -- about ten years, which is a lot for cats. Rika is a senior citizen, and the poor girl has arthritis in her hips, which sometimes squeak when she walks. We had to get a two-step stool to put by our bed because she can't jump that high anymore. And I have a chair beside my desk to make it easier for her to climb up here, too.
Rika and Keiko get along pretty well for the most part. Rika lets Keiko groom her, and on rare occasions Rika will take a lick or two on Keiko's head. But Keiko, being much younger, likes to play a lot. Rika tolerates Keiko's playing, and sometimes if she's feeling good, she'll chase Keiko around a bit. But Rika wears out much sooner than Keiko would like, so then Rika ends up telling Keiko rather firmly to leave her alone already.
Keiko for some reason also seems to believe that Rika is the path to the food provider. So when Keiko thinks it's time for dinner, she starts meowing adamantly at Rika. Rika objects to the tone of voice, and next thing you know, they're having a heated discussion about just who is supposed to get us to serve them dinner.
But other than that, they get along great.
Rika and Keiko are enjoying a nap together. (Click on the picture for a larger view.)