By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Aug 27, 2008 at 1:31 PM

My boyfriend and I adopted a kitten just over a year ago. He'd been abandoned by his first owner in a pretty terrible way and was temporarily living on a farm in Mequon amongst two female farm cats, a dog, a slew of roosters and hens and a turtle when we met him. Just waking up from a mid-day nap, he sleepily wandered out from his bedding of blankets and hay when his foster mom called his name, Pushok.

The older farm cats swatted and hissed as he strolled past but he batted nary an eyelash at these fierce ladies as he made his way to where we were standing. His fur was pure white with caramel swirls on his head and back, with eyes to match. He let me pick him up and was limp and purring within seconds. We fell in love.

We brought him to our home, renamed him Pushka (which is Russian for "canon"), and he quickly positioned himself as king of the household. He's a very social cat and while we loved that he'd never run and hide from us, we hated that his playing would often evolve into biting -- hard, and often.

He began digging up the potted plants around the house and scratching the tweed couch -- both annoying, but also pretty typical "bad" cat habits. When he discovered the toilet paper, we started to get worried. It was if the toilet paper taunted him from its perch in the bathroom and he was determined to do everything in his power to pulverize every last square into thin shreds.

When he moved on to our cell phone chargers, USB cords and swimming suit strings, we knew we had to do something. Still, we weren't totally convinced that we'd gotten a bad seed; we figured he was probably just bored from lounging alone in the house all day.

Everything we read suggested getting your "bad kitty" a companion. Together, they'd entertain and exhaust each other and the attention-getting destruction would, potentially, subside.

Sounded easy enough. But what if instead of helping, it just doubled our problems?

When he started knocking full pint glasses of water off the kitchen table, we figured we'd take our chances.

Our friends foster animals from Companion Animal Resource & Adoption Center (CARAC) at Southridge Mall (founder Amy Christiansen also blogs for about pet adoptions) and recently took in a stray litter of five kittens. We picked out an adorable gray, white and brown lady they'd been calling Oatmeal, but whose name we changed to Fyodora when we brought her home.

While at the adoption center we talked to Amy about why we wanted a second cat and our hopes for a more peaceful household. She mentioned that they rarely adopt out single kittens as first cats for that very reason. When a cat feels bored and lonely, it can often turn to aggressive ways of getting its owner's attention. But when kitty has a companion, the destruction has generally been much less.

I'm not going to say the introduction of a tiny, timid female kitten to a dominant, 1-year-old male cat went flawlessly, but it's been about two weeks now and the two are inseparable. But more than that, my ankles haven't been gnawed to shreds and no pint glasses have crashed to the hardwood floor.

One jade plant was de-potted just this week, but I'll take what I can get for now and stand by my assertion that with curious cats, two is decidedly better than one.

Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”