Basement Cat is calming down and can manage to spend a couple of hours in the presence of other cats without committing mayhem, so long as he's supervised. He does get bored cooped up in my study with me. Last week I had what I thought was a bright idea: I got out the harness that belonged to the beloved-and-departed tabby, strapped it onto Basement Cat, added some string to lengthen the leash, and tied it off to my belt. I figured that would let him explore the upstairs, while allowing the other cats to stay out of his range if they wanted to.
Of course he tried to back out of the harness for a few minutes, but then he settled down and seemed to get the idea. He bounced around testing limits and poking into corners, and then I heard him go into the bedroom and jump on the bed. All was quiet. I became absorbed in research for my Kalamazoo paper, tugging on the string once in awhile to make sure Basement Cat was still napping on the other end.
An hour later, Sir John came home. "Are you keeping an eye on Basement Cat?"
"No, he isn't!"
Indeed he was not. He had cleverly stuck the string under a baseboard so I would feel some resistance, wiggled out of the harness, and gone marauding. Fortunately he was too fascinated by the basement to beat up any of the good cats.