Paws for Family

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Look who’s been granting us her presence lately!

Yes, Madrone has actually been coming upstairs to lie in her windowbox and on the bed. She has made an amazing amount of progress within the past week as far as her willingness to be around the other cats. We are leaving the basement door open permanently now, which pleases me no end.

Madrone does mrooww at the others, but no fights have happened. And she has been coming upstairs willingly and without coercion. It is a good step in the right direction for my old girl.

I’m sure you’ve been wondering where Madrone has been hiding. She’s still around, just a little cranky.

For about the past month, she has refused to come upstairs, even if we lavished attention on her. She was no longer confined to the pet tent, but she was monitored. When she was brought upstairs, she simply ran toward the basement door.

Today, though, she followed me upstairs after I went down for a visit. I left the basement door open to see what would happen. She sat in the doorway, even refusing to hiss at Grant when he came close. 

Progress! You can’t imagine how much this made me happy.

We left the door open and came into the living room. There was one incident when Katniss went downstairs into Madrone’s lair. We saw a white blur as Katniss ran past with Madrone bringing up the rear, tail fluffed out and ears flattened. Katniss was uninjured, but she certainly got a little lesson in bigger cats tonight.

So there is good news in catland. Maybe we’ll be one big happy family soon enough.

Cat Lady Lesson #6

As a fan of Maru, I had heard of cats’ love of boxes. Madrone, however, has never shown an interest in boxes.

Grant, on the other hand, seems to be in need of boxhab. Whenever he is not playing or otherwise occupied, he can be found stretched out in his box. This is certainly fine by me; whenever a simple box can make my kiddos happy, I’m all for it.

Phase 2 of Madrone integration has begun.

We decided to move her to the large carrier while upstairs. It allows her a greater ability to move around and explore while still keeping her contained.

I sat with her while she was upstairs, which seemed to comfort her a bit. We received a visit from both cats. There was some hissing from both sides, but Madrone eventually calmed after a bit.

Still hopeful, we will continue with the integration of Madrone into the upstairs population. We just need to proceed with her pace while making sure that everyone is safe.

The integration of Madrone into the upstairs population continues.

Tonight Katniss was the only one to brave getting close to Madrone in her carrier. Madrone hissed and RAWRR’d, but no damage was done. Katniss eventually fell asleep right in front of her carrier, and Madrone grew quiet after a bit.

Katniss is certainly brave—or perhaps a foolish kitten. But maybe she sees something in Madrone that Grant can’t see. A potential friend. 

The integration of Madrone into the upstairs population has begun. 

After much discussion, we brought Madrone upstairs in the carrier. Neither of the new cats came out of hiding, but it was obvious that Madrone could smell the newcomers. Every once in awhile she would RAWRRR, but no other sign of distress. 

After about thirty minutes, we took her back downstairs for a rest. The plan at the moment is to lengthen the time every day, and eventually we will transition to a larger, enclosed mobile crate/carrier when we feel it is safe to do so.

Hopefully we will soon be one big happy family. 

As you can see, we’ve made progress since Saturday.

Everyone—those of us upstairs, at least—are getting along amicably, with a minimum of glares or hissing. Grant and Katniss have made great leaps and bounds in their relationship, even touching noses briefly this morning in greeting. Anakin is still wary of the two cats after his previous experiences with Madrone, but he’s dealing with the situation just fine. And he’s getting extra long walks for some daddy time.

Talks are progressing as far as the integration of our downstairs resident. She seems to be enjoying her solitude in the basement and having some “me” time. We check on her often and have set up all of the cat amenities downstairs so that her exile is a comfortable one. Too, with the heat outside growing stronger this summer, the basement is actually a very nice place to be.

So our family is doing fine. Lots of catnaps, walks, and treats. Just the way we like it.

Our little family grew over the weekend.

In the space of a couple of hours at the local humane society, we doubled the number of our furry kiddos to four. While we knew that we would most likely adopt a cat, we came back with two. There was just no leaving them both there to meet their fates, whatever that might have been.

The first lucky adoptee was Katniss, a white kitten, who is about three months old. She is extremely curious and playful but loves to be cuddled. All of our stuff is her playground, and nothing will stop her from exploring. While I have yet to read the Hunger Games trilogy, I was told by my husband and his daughter that she certainly lives up to her namesake.

Grant is our older adoptee. He is a domestic shorthair and is about one and one-half years old. He is extremely timid, even fearing Katniss in the beginning. He is a big lover, though, and seeks out attention. He is gradually adapting to the humans in the household, along with the other kiddos. He is a silent but loving presence. I am sure that with a little patience, good things will happen with him.

And what about our other kiddos? 

Anakin is about seven to eight years old and a Shih-tzu. He was a stray that we adopted. At first he was terrified of everything, but now he has blossomed into a very loving little dog. He adores my husband and their afternoon walks. He is having some difficulties with not being the center of attention, but he seems to be adapting as long as we give him plenty of love and treats.

Madrone is our oldest kiddo at a minimum of thirteen years of age. If you want to know about Madrone, think Garfield. She is a big, crusty, chubby cat. She didn’t take kindly to the feline intrusion, and so we put her in temporary exile. We are letting her cool down a bit before the integration begins. More on that later.

And so, we are becoming a bigger family. There will be bumps in the road, but it will be a good one. Everyone was tired after all of the excitement on Saturday. Hopefully looking for a bit of shuteye myself tonight.