Sunday, July 20, 2008

Arch Creek Confrontational

Tonight I was reading up on introducing a new cat into a household with an existing cat. I came across this (more than once):

Monitor all interactions closely during the first weeks. Do not leave the cats alone unsupervised until you are comfortable that there will not be aggressive behavior displayed by any of the cats. During the first few weeks, the new cat should stay in his “safe room” when no one is home to supervise.

We had another spat tonight, with Bootsy attacking and chasing after Lucky, and me chasing Bootsy with the water gun and whisk broom and yelling like a lunatic. Now I think Lucky's afraid of me too. Maybe I'm doing this all wrong. (It's not that I haven't done this before, but all cats are different.)

Everyone, including me, has since calmed down. Lucky is now sitting on his high perch (see "One more" post below), out of everyone's reach (including mine). (He has since jumped down and let me pet him.) It upsets me to see Bootsy go after this innocent, loving young cat, who I was told likes other cats (maybe not so much anymore). I feel bad for him and don't want to see him traumatized and become fearful. Maybe he was better off in foster care.

Tomorrow before I go to work, I'll shut Lucky up in my bedroom suite, with food, water, a cat box, and a big saucer full of growing birdseed sprouts that I germinated out on the terrace (for Lucy, who never ate them). (Lucy used to like them, but she was too sick to eat them by the time they sprouted this time.) Maybe I'll also put some cat nip out. Today Lucky was sleeping on a pillow on my bed for most of the day, so apparently he feels safe in that room. Meanwhile, since he likes to jump up on things, I've removed all breakable items from the surfaces and put them away.

I'll let the cats reunite when I get home from work. Meanwhile Bootsy can further acclimate himself to the presence of the new cat without being in actual contact. (If they want to contact each other, they'll have to do it with their paws under the bedroom door. Fortunately they're declawed.) According to what I've read, this may go on for days or even weeks. But given the confrontations over the weekend, I cannot leave the cats together unattended while I'm at work.

UPDATE: Lucky's all set for tomorrow. All I have to do is feed him and open the window shade and hurricane shutters before I go to work (I keep the room dark).

UPDATE 2: I just went to check on Lucky and he was back in my bathroom, where his cat box and plate of catnip (which he has been savoring) are located. I played with him briefly and he purred for the first time for me. He likes it back there in his space.

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