So I got it in my head that my poor scared BeeBee-Ate needed a friend to keep her company and show her how to be a cat. I made a list of personality traits I thought a second cat would need to fit in well with Bee and help, not hinder her. (Gentle, confident, playful, likes games of chasy, calm).
I found one cat on petrescue who I thought might suit. I went out to meet her, but she didn't seem to have enough 'play' to keep up with Bee. The woman who is fostering her recommended I stop in at the Lost Dogs Home, and to get a boy cat because she said they are smoochier and fit in better with other cats.
I looked at all the cats at the Lost Dogs Home and didn't see any that fit the bill. I looked at the kittens for half a second, but I didn't think Bee or I needed a kitten in our lives. Then as I walked out the door I thought again of the funny shivery little grey cat with a big metal staple in her guts who'd been pressing her self up against the glass of her enclosure when I went past. The staff didn't know anything about her. The home have waived the fee of adult cats for the month of July, so the cats have been moving through quickly and she'd only been in the adoption centre for an hour and a half. I went back and asked to look at her and she leapt into my arms and snuggled under my chin. Her little hip bones were sticking out and I was a goner. It just remained to be seen what BeeBee thought of her and the staff at the home reassured me I could bring her back if it all went to hell.
I followed the excellent advice of Pammy on adding a new cat to your household, but the beginning was a time of great stress and anxiety for me and the cats. Bee was horrified at the fuzzy little interloper. She stopped playing, she stopped eating, she hid all the time, her fur started falling out in little clumps that seemed to shoot off her every time she heard the new cat. The new cat was disgusted at being shut into a room on her own and just wanted to come oooooout and be frieeeeeeennnnnnnds.
But it has been gradually getting better, and today (eleven days after I brought the new cat home) I left them out together while I went to work and, when I got home, they both ran to greet me at the door.
I haven't worked out the new cat's name yet. I wanted to hold off until Bee agreed that she could stay. I was thinking Marilla, but for all that she's tiny wee bit of a thing she's a bit of a thug and Ripley suits her better (though I have trouble saying it). I'm also keen on Watson, and Tink or Starr are contenders.
It turns out the new cat has all the qualities on the list, though she is a little too enthusiastically affectionate for Bee's taste. She plays twice as hard as Bee, can leap extraordinary heights and has a predilection for destroying cardboard boxes.