Monday, March 22, 2010

new kitty updates!

I figure it might be a good idea to keep people posted about my new kitty, Annie. I had posted in a cat-related forum for advice over the past few days, so here's the info from there to catch everyone up to speed:

Saturday, March 20:
Tonight’s the big night! My mom is bringing Annie up from my grandmother’s house, with all her things. I say “big night” but really I’m hoping it’ll be very uneventful. My plan is to put Annie into the bathroom straight away, with everything that she’ll need. Then I’m going to give Banjo some REAL tuna fish (i.e., the only thing that he will do ANYTHING for) outside of the closed bathroom door, and try to ignore Annie for most of the evening and pretend that everything is totally normal. I also plugged in a Feliway diffuser today near the bathroom. Fingers crossed that there’s no drama at this stage…

Sunday, March 21:
Well, last night went very well. Banjo is VERY curious to know what’s in the bathroom, and actually has taken to sitting directly outside the door for a half hour a time, especially if he hears Annie meowing in there. But after a while he goes about his business again. He didn’t want to eat the tuna near the door yesterday because he was so preoccupied with knowing what was going on in the bathroom! But he ate it all eventually in his normal food spot. He caught sight of her when I was leaving the bathroom once, and he just froze and stared at her and then moved back away from the door, but didn’t hiss or growl or anything.
And Annie is not hiding at all! She stayed in her carrier for about an hour and then ventured out and explored the bathroom. She really wants to have people around and goes head over heels in love for both of us when we go in the bathroom. She heard Banjo meowing and didn’t freak out too much, just moved away from the door where he was. She’s bored of the bathroom already after one night and is meowing to get out. I think we might let her explore the apartment and put Banjo in the bathroom this morning, so she can see what the rest of our place is like before she meets Banjo for real. But they both seem to be relatively calm and curious about the whole thing. Yay!
Alex and I have been nicknaming her Annikki, which is the sister character in the Kalevala. Adding the "-kki!" at the end of her name sounds cute and she seems to like the high pitched sound of it. I'm hoping she'll be a good little sister to Banjo eventually.

Monday, today!:
Last night Banjo and Anni had their first face to face meeting! Anni makes it until about 6am in the bathroom before she starts meowing. I got up and went to visit her, and of course Banjo sat outside of the door. She wanted to play so I put a ribbon under the crack of the door, and she and Banjo started pulling on opposite sides of it. This meant that whenever Banjo "won" the game and got the ribbon all the way on his side, I had to crack open the door to put it back. After a few times, Anni stuck her face in the crack when I opened it and she and Banjo just stared at each other. Banjo sat very tall and still and calmly, and Anni tilted her head sideways and tried to wedge herself through the door, but I didn't think they were ready for that yet. I opened the door a little bit more and held Anni across the chest so she couldn't go all the way out. Banjo stayed very still, and then stretched his neck out to sniff her. She stretched out her neck too and they sniffed noses -- no hissing or growling at all. I was shocked! I gave them both a bite of tuna right away for being so good!
This morning I decided it might be good to continue the slow face to face introductions, so I took Anni out into the apartment in her carrier and let Banjo check it out. He hissed once, but in general he's just scoping it out, walking all around the carrier, staring at it, sniffing it, and then walking away and going about his business, looking out the windows and stuff, like nothing is going on, or watching the carrier from the opposite side of the apartment. When he comes up to the carrier Anni puts her nose right near him and even sticks one paw out of the gate towards him -- I think she wants to be friendly. He did venture into the bathroom and I caught him using Anni's litterbox -- maybe he's marking his territory or maybe he just had to go, I have no idea. I put out some tuna and eventually he went and ate it in sight of Anni. She got some in her carrier and ate that up too, and now she's falling asleep. Indifference is a good thing, so I'm really happy about this!
More on this story as it develops...

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