Sunday, April 11, 2010

Victory!

As I mentioned earlier, I baked some plain chicken for treats for the girls. Scarlett isn’t fond of the store-bought treats, she doesn’t care for fish, and she barely sniffs at red meat. But chicken? All bets are off. I made a little trail of chicken bits leading from the hallway to the bathroom door, and she gobbled it all up. She even lingered for a while near the door, apparently hoping for more chicken. Since her tail was straight up (!), I indulged her. She even purred for a while! The experiment will be repeated later when my boyfriend arrives and we can feed each kitty simultaneously. I don’t know what Melly’s taste in treats is yet, but what cat doesn’t like chicken?

The above is not actually the victorious part. The victorious part is that I found what is definitely fresh poo in the litter box! Yay, Melly!

(In case you can't tell, I'm getting more optimistic about all of this. I'm a worrier by nature, and tend to freak out a bit when things start to go pear-shaped. But all of your advice and stories have really helped, and I can tell that things are improving, however minutely.)

10 comments:

sue said...

Natalie, this is great news! I commend you for sticking with it. I know it's not easy, and the last thing you want to do is upset your sweet Scarlett.

Thank you for your patience, and know that you can always contact me for any reason.

sue said...

Oh, and with regard to the chicken, let's not forget this:

http://pitterpatsofbabycats.blogspot.com/2010/03/sally-dickens.html

HubbleSpacePaws said...

So glad to read you're feeling better about the introductions! Time and patience!

Anne Boleyn said...

I think you're doing a wonderful job.I totally relate to the stressing/worrying thing, but you're doing more than great!

Natalie said...

Thank you all! And Sue, I'd forgotten: of course she likes chicken!!

Shana Banana said...

Yay for Scarlett! Yay for Melly!
Yay for you, Natalie!!

Tanya Sloan said...

Hooray, Natalie! That IS victory! People laugh about us cat people talking about poop all the time, but, really, it's important!

I cracked up imagining Melly wrestling with your sock'ed feet, by the way - from comments on a previous. Kittens are so darn funny I crack up just imagining it :) Or maybe I'm just that easy to entertain! Melly always tickled my funny bone whenever Sue would post photos :)

My advice to you regarding letting Melly explore the rest of the house is "play it by ear." In that situation, Scarlett is definitely the priority to keep happy, as it is her house right now and there is now a little alien tracking scent all over. And once Melly feels the freedom of the rest of the house, keeping her in the bathroom will become more difficult. What I would do is wait for another day, and try to get a couple victory moments when you feel Scarlett getting more friendly with Melly (approaching bathroom more often, no puffed tail, like in your previous post, maybe putting a paw underneath the door, etc.).
Then I would swap the cats for a short time - Scarlett in bathroom, Melly in the rest of the house, to give her an opportunity to explore a bit and establish where the hiding places are, where Scarlett's favorite places are, etc. Then swap them back to their original positions. You should see more interest from Scarlett to meet the alien in the bathroom. If Scarlett hasn't been around other kittens recently, she probably doesn't realize that's what's in the bathroom, not just a very small cat. The sooner she realizes there is no threat to her livelihood or food, the quicker the rest of the adjustment period will go, and being in Melly's space will make that easier.

This is the hardest part - getting two cats to meet each other on friendly terms, that's why every adoption counselor will tell you to take it real slow. Once they have established that first friendly contact, things become much easier - you can give Scarlett lots of love in front of Melly, and vice versa, to establish to both that they are both important; their natural curiosity will lead them to sniff and spend time around each other; Melly will attack Scarlett's tail at some point and Scarlett will let her know if that's ok or not, etc. - they will begin communicating and adjusting. Just don't forget that for cats, height is heirarchy, so when that moment comes when Scarlett and Melly will see each other face to face for the first time, make sure it's when both of them are on the same surface.

You're doing great, Natalie! It will all be totally worth it!

Geoff said...

As the aforementioned "Boyfriend" I just read this and asked, "were we supposed to feed them simultaneously?" and was told that plan has been postponed until tomorrow, as Scarlett had a fair amount of chicken already.

I'm very...correction VERY excited to have finally met Melly and have enjoyed a decent amount of snuggle time, including about a half-hour of nonstop playing/snuggling in the isolation room. I'll be home with Scarlett and Melly all day tomorrow and will try to jump in with another comment to keep things updated...or maybe I'll just shoot my experiences to Natalie so she can update the blog.

Cheers!

Brian said...

That is wonderful, just remember, don't rush it, I know I have said that a lot, but we've done it a lot. We always keep the new ones totally separate for a week, then we put up a screen door on the "safe room" door for a week so we can get used to seeing each other. Then we let the new one explore (accompanied) after that. But you're going great, just remember, they will tell you what the next step is. Great idea with the chicken!

KatBoxJanitor said...

If they each like to snuggle into towels try swapping Melly's towel with Scarlett's and they can get used to "the Other" and maybe Scarlett will feel less concerned.

Slow is always the most successful approach.
Thanks for sharing in the adventure.