The first meeting wasn't a love fest. We brought Zoie to the kitchen in her carrier because it was a central place in the house. She meowed. London took a peek and hissed. Ebbie wouldn't leave the room she feels safest in or her perch on steps at the window. (She'd hurt her back months ago, so the steps help her climb.)
They all just had to get used to each other, right? Hmmm. For a few days, we would bring Zoie in her carrier to the kitchen. She was beginning to get restless in my office and wanted to expand her boundaries. She was meowing at the door to go into the rest of the house more often. Ebbie still wouldn't come to the kitchen to look when Zoie did visit the kitchen and London was still hissing when she saw the carrier and heard Zoie, though she didn't run as far away. Progress?
New strategy. I abide by the adage that keeping on doing the same thing over and over again with the same result is the definition of insanity. (Einstein) We came up with a plan. They all needed to be freer to see each other. After thinking about our options, we took a window screen from my office and put it at one doorway to the kitchen. We barricaded the entrance from the dining room to the foyer with an old pegboard I had once used for home decorating demonstrations. With this set-up, Zoie would be free to roam from office to kitchen to dining room. Ebbie and London had the rest of the house.
LONDON ENJOYING A FEW MOMENTS OF PEACE AND QUIET
Zoie is social. She wanted to be with us. She wanted to be with the cats. If she'd hear my voice outside the kitchen, she cried. But she and London began a little dance at the screen from the start of the new arrangement. London would lay about four feet away from the screen, watching. Zoie would dance up to the screen, dance away, then go play with a toy. Every once in a while, London would mosey up to it then turn her back on it. Ebbie, on the other hand, still wanted nothing to do with the newcomer. She was afraid of what she couldn't see.
EBBIE FEELING SAFE ON ONE OF HER SETS OF STEPS
The interaction, the denial, the learning to accept change and a different family... Are cats so different from us? I'm learning much by watching, being patieint and figuring out what comes next.
Next week-- How the house dynamics change with three cats, all with different needs.
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