Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Star Integration

We have been pleasantly surprised at how quickly we have been able to integrate Star into our home and with the other cats. We tried letting them sniff around in her room with the door closed while she circulated in the rest of the house, but that just seemed to stress everyone out (they didn't like being in the office, and she didn't like not having her "safe place" to run if she got spooked). We also tried putting her in one of the carrier cages and letting them come sniff her, but they were not about to go anywhere *near* those cages! (They're only ever in them to go to the vet.) They weren't taking any chances of ending up inside one.

After about a week of failed attempts, DH finally just brought her out of her room, carried in his arms, and waited to see what happened. Things actually went very very well!

Tigger sniffed and was clearly not very happy, but she didn't hiss or growl.

Cleo did hiss and growl. She has been the most unhappy with the kitten, but she is also the lowest in the pecking order, so she has the most to lose. Still, it certainly wasn't as bad as it could have been.

Bengal just sniffed her and turned his back. He couldn't figure out why we were waking him up to show him a little fuzzball he could swallow in one bite (she weighs 3 pounds, he weighs 15).

By December 19, we had four cats sitting in the den without throwing a fit. Tigger, who I actually thought would be the most upset, has been the most accepting. They sniff and sleep near each other. Except for the brown, Star looks a bit like Tigger's "Mini Me."

And this is about as close as Cleo cares to get to her.

Luke is absolutely delighted with her. Not only is he able to pick her up, something he has never been able to do with our large, heavy, grumpy adult cats, she is very sweet and gentle and will let him pick her up (for now) without too much complaining. Not sure how long it will last, but he loves it. He was nearly ecstatic when she sat in his lap for the first time.

And of course, she's just so darn cute! Using the laptop (she'll be too big for this, soon).

Drinking water in a civilized fashion (from a glass).

And sleeping. Who can resist an adorable sleeping kitten?

She's had a few other "firsts" as well. She got her first spritz with the water spray bottle for chewing on the artificial Christmas tree. And just this morning, she had her first taste of bacon. The "big three" lined up as they usually do when they know I'm making something with bacon bits, and Star trotted in to see what everyone was so interested in. I gave them each a tiny pinch, as I usually do, starting with Bengal and ending with Star. She loved every morsel! Of course, it didn't take Bengal long to realize she had some. He walked right over and batted her out of the way with a single stroke of his massive paw. No claws out; she wasn't hurt in any way, she just went sliding across the kitchen vinyl by about a foot. I guess he just didn't take kindly to her not having "earned" her bacon yet.

For the most part, that's how it has been. They may not be happy with her, but they're being gentle with her, even when they're upset or correcting her behavior. We've even progressed to leaving her alone with them for up to an hour or so if we need to run out somewhere, though we do put her up at night or when we're gone for extended periods of time, just in case. All in all, we are very pleased with how quickly and easily the integration went!

Currently feeling: pleased!

1 comment:

  1. Awwwww!!! So cute!! Glad the other kitties are letting her become part of the tribe.


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