Saturday, April 10, 2010

Welcome!

I went to the Humane Society today and adopted Sally Dickens of Pitter Pats of Baby Cats fame. Because of associations I had with the name Sally, and because my current cat is Scarlett O'Hara, little Sally has become Melly (as in Melanie Wilkes). An -lly name really is perfect for her, I think, and the relationship between my Scarlett and Melly looks as though it'll mirror the one between their namesakes in Gone with the Wind. My plan for this blog is to post pictures of both Melly and Scarlett and to document their transition process. If you have suggestions for how to make this process easier for Melly and Scarlett, please feel free to share!

Scarlett is a bit of a diva, so I wasn't sure she'd enjoy the company... sure enough, the introduction hasn't been the smoothest. When I got home, I put Melly in the bedroom, closed the door, and went to prep the litter box, food dishes, etc. Scarlett immediately started wailing and her tail puffed up to a size I've never seen. Melly hissed back through the door a bit half-heartedly but seemed otherwise unfazed. There was a bit of a scuffle when I went to sneak back into the bedroom: Scarlett bolted in and tried to attack Melly. I was able to scoop her up out of harm's way, but a quick game of musical rooms was in order as I had to get Scarlett out of the bedroom and Melly back in without the two of them seeing each other.

For the past couple of hours I've been splitting my time between the bedroom and the rest of the apartment, trying to get Scarlett eased into this transition and Melly acclimated to her new home. Melly seems pretty content exploring her new digs - I can hear her batting around her mylar ball now - and Scarlett has calmed down (her tail is no longer the same size as the rest of her body). I am trying to follow the instructions found here; obviously this transition will take some time.

I found Scarlett on craigslist a couple of weeks after I moved to Seattle four years ago, and she's been my companion through thick and thin ever since. I was seized by a fit of guilt for being a bad human to my dear Scarlett and thinking she wasn't enough, but was reassured when Melly came over and snuggled up under my chin. She really is a sweet little kitty.

13 comments:

Brian said...

Wow, that a totally pawsome and we are so very happy for Melly. The instructions you have seem to be pretty darn good. The only thing you have to remember is to be patient, with both of them, and don't rush it. Pretty much they will tell you when it is time for the next step. We are so excited for that little cutie!!!

Meg said...

Wooooooo! Wishing you all the best!

nichole said...

Good luck! I'm so jealous that you adopted Sally/Melly. She melted my heart right from the get go.

When I adopted my Kate 2 years ago, Jack was not too keen on her. For the first week I kept Kate in my bedroom. The only interaction Jack had with her was under the door. The second week I propped the door open a couple of inches (enough for them to touch and sniff each other, but small enough that Kate couldn't escape - door stops on both sides of the door work great). Jack still wasn't a fan but he wasn't puffing up anymore and started to tolerate her.

About halfway through that week I started taking Kate out of the bedroom for small intervals so Jack could get used to her roaming the house. He was starting to tolerate her. The third week I let Kate out while I was home, but she stayed in the bedroom with the door propped open a bit while I was at work. After about a month, I was comfortable leaving them out together.

That was two years ago. Jack still isn't a huge fan and anytime I take one of them out of the house for some reason, he hisses at her for a couple of days once they are back together. It goes away though and sometimes he is very sweet to her. They'll never be bunkmates, but Jack tolerates her well enough that he doesn't think she's a nuisance anymore. It takes patience, but I know Scarlett and Melly will eventually work out some kind of arrangement :)

sue said...

My sweet little girl has a wonderful, loving new mama. And she scooped her up in the nick of time! I've had six other requests for her since.

Happy home, Melly! Be nice to Miss Scarlett. She has seniority, you know.

Shana Banana said...

Congrats on your new baby! I have been fortunate enough to spend time with Melly when she was still Sally, and what a silly girl she is!

And Sue is right, you be nice to Miss Scarlet, silly Melly girl.

Keep us posted on all the wonderful details of her kittenhood. Lucky you!

Natalie said...

Thank you all for the wonderful comments and suggestions! I know Melly and Scarlett will settle in eventually, and I look forward to sharing their story with you all :)

kelley said...

oooh I'm so jealous too...I adore Melly from afar...thank you so much for giving her a wonderful forever home...and blogging about her and Miss Scarlett...

Lynda said...

Oh hooray! Scarlett may be a diva, but I bet that since you're following such terrific advice about introducing kitties, she'll do just fine. We had adult kitty Spot, to whom we introduced (over time) 5 kittens. He did the hiss-and-puff routine with each of them for about a week, and eventually became what I called the Mom Cat to everyone. They ALL adored him and he loved them right back. Best Wishes!

Anne Boleyn said...

Natalie, it sounds to me as if you are doing a GREAT job with these girls. I love that you will sit on a hard bathroom floor in order to make Melly happy and that you worry about your senior cat, Scarlett, and her feelings. Don't be discouraged; we're all out here cheering you on and thanking you for making this log so we can keep you company! Love to all three of you girls! AB

catonsvillecats said...

The little one will know how to act - unless Scarlett is unusually hostile, Melly will roll over on her back and make submissive gestures to Scarlett, who will respond with a sort of "Oh - well, then" attitude, and this will keep up until Scarlett tolerates or actively grooms the small one. Little ones know how to indicate to big ones that they are no threat. At least that's what happened at my house.

Michelle said...

Congratulations on your new baby! It takes time, but it sounds like you're doing everything right. Good luck with the integration.

P.S. I'm very happy that you've decided to blog about Melly. So many of us came to adore her as Sally, and it will be fun getting to know Miss Scarlett as well.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your newbie! Don't give up...the introduction of my two took a few weeks to accomplish. Even today they're not best buds, but they'll play together and both are perfectly happy and fine. You'll make it!

Anonymous said...

Yes, feline companions are the best sort. It's great that you've had S by your side all this time. I wouldn't feel guilty about wanting to open up your apartment and your heart to another kitty though. It just means Scarlett has done a darn good job of showcasing the merits of kitty companionship :) She just needs reassurance that you don't love her any less. You seem to be doing a good job of that judging by what I saw today!