Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Getting to Know You...

As you can imagine things have been pretty busy since Kia came to live with us. First it was to return to the shelter Monday to officially adopt her. Then it was to return to the shelter Tuesday with her (my fault I forgot to ask) so she could get her rabies vaccination, microchip and city license.  

If you have ever traveled with a cat in a carrier in a car you know that most of them aren't exactly thrilled with the experience. It takes about 30 minutes to get to the shelter (and that's if there isn't a train) so she serenaded me for 30 minutes. Once at the shelter she was in and out in about 5 minutes! Back in the Jeep and she was a little more subdued (poor baby) but I think she realized - hey, I wasn't being taken back to the shelter; that was just a little blip on my radar! I'm going home again with this crazy woman. Woo-hoo! Think I'll sing some more!

Every time we visit Kia in her luxury suite she is more comfortable and tries to follow us out the door. This morning we decided it was time to begin moving things forward. So with the puppy gate securely in place Kizzie and Koko's breakfast bowls on one side of the gate, Kia's breakfast bowl on the other side of the gate ~ we opened the door.

What happened was exactly what we expected. Kia hissed, Koko and Kizzie (once they got over their shock) barked. It only took about 30-45 seconds before the door was shut. It's ok ~ no need to stress them out. It was just the first step.

Koko and Kizzie's aftermath reactions. They couldn't quit believe what they had just witnessed. Monkeys.

My wise husband ~ who our friend dubbed The Cat Whisperer ~ suggested for the dinner meeting we just do one-on-one. Fabulous idea. So he took Koko outside for a walk while I supervised Kizzie and Kia one-on-one. 

Brilliant! Kia hissed. Once. She then stepped back about 2 feet but stayed where she could see Kizzie. Kizzie didn't bark once. She whined and paced a little and was definitely curious but well-behaved. After about 5 minutes Kia went under the bed. Door closed so they could enjoy their dinners.

When Kizzie joined the family we had our long time family cat (21 years old) already in residence. Kizzie was absolutely fine with her and A-choo pretty much just ignored Kizzie. They coexisted for 6 months until A-choo passed away in the middle of the night one night in March. So we expect that Kizzie will be the first to warm up to Kia.

A-choo ~ always in our hearts.

Then there's Koko... We don't have a lot of information on his previous life but we doubt that he had other "siblings" - canine or feline. He's an excitable boy so we expect it will take longer for he and Kia to bond; but he might surprise us. We have observed that when Kizzie and Koko are separated they are much better behaved. When they are to together they are double trouble ~ they like to egg each other on and wind each other up. Monkeys.

So, one day at a time. As anxious as we are to have Kia out of her luxury suite and truly a part of the family (I imagine her sitting on my lap in the evening as we watch the most recent Netflix, Hulu or Amazon series we're into) I know it is for her well-being as well as the dogs that we take this slowly. Trying to rush things could cause all of them undo stress and fear.  We'll get there.

Till then we will continue to spend a lot of time with Kia in her suite ~ with her favorite catnip-filled rat. Go figure.

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