Thursday, June 26, 2008

Meet Kitteh.

This is our adopt-a-cat, isn't she darling?!
She is 4 months old, and black and white with gray stripes. She came home from the shelter with us yesterday. I had high hopes, but I was pretty disappointed with her welcoming.

We have a dog - Belle - who is nearly 2 years old. She and our old cat - Daisy - never got along. I think it was more Daisy disliking Belle than the other way around, because Belle actually seems like she wanted to play. Anyway, we lived with both of them for nearly two years and neither were as happy as they could be if they would have just gotten along.

We hoped that when we brought Kitteh home that she and Belle would quickly adapt to each other. A huge reason why we decided on this cat in particular is that she was fostered for a while by a volunteer of the shelter because she was sick. That volunteer has other cats and dogs and Kitteh seemed to be okay with dogs. Not so with ours.

When we got home, we first sat Kitteh in carrier on the floor of the living room. Immediately, Belle began to get agitated and started sniffing the box (which happens even when you introduce something inanimate of that size to our house), walking around whiny, etc. After about 5 minutes or so, we opened up the box so that Kitteh and Belle could safely assess each other. Eventually after about 20 minutes of this, Kitteh jumped out of the box on her own to explore the area. Belle was still very agitated at this point. Eventually, Kitteh got tired of the inquisitive agitation on Belle's part, and started hissing and swatting at her, and became very defensive. This only served to futher rile up our spaz of a dog.

It ended up being a very stressful evening as they never did seem to find a way to get along. Finally, once the dog got locked up for bedtime, Kitteh seemed to relax. She was very cuddly and lovey and even slept at the bottom of our bed. I will be so sad if this living arrangement doesn't work out, but I'm going to do everything I can to help them assimilate to one another. I really want them to be able to live together, and maybe even play together. I know that Belle would like that.

A friend of mine heard of my stressful night and so nicely wrote out a very long explanation of what I can do to help Kitteh and Belle get used to each other. Her advice sounds wonderful and I'm more than willing to try it out. She seems to have recently had a very similar situation to ours and took this advice from multiple pros and it did help to socialize her dog and cat properly. I hope it works for us.

On another related topic, I want to name Kitteh (which is just what I'm calling her for now) Delilah - a suggestion from our wonderful friend Suzanne. I think it's an adorable name, and it seems like it might just suit Miss. Kitteh Priss.

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