Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The First Meeting

We had been researching how to introduce an old cat to a new cat and from what we have read is that we should do the sock method – bring in the new cat and isolate him/her to their own room, take a sock, rub it on the new cat’s back, let the old cat sniff at it, and vice versa, rubbing a sock on the old cat’s back and letting the new cat sniff at it.  This lets both cats know of each other’s scents.  If the old cat hisses at the sock then the owner(s) should continue to isolate the new cat until he/she no longer does this.
            Well, that is not how the first meeting of Zanzibar and Valentine went down.  When we arrived home, the game plan was for me to run up first and open the door while Chris carried Valentine in the box.  She did NOT like being put back in the box to the point where she was squirming so much that she broke the handle.  When Chris put the box down, Zanzibar was curious and sniffing at it.  All of a sudden, Valentine’s head popped up and surprised Zanzibar.  As we let her roam around the apartment to scope out the place, Zanzibar was hissing at her.
            I’ve never seen Zanzibar hiss at anyone, although I’ve been told that he has hissed at company that has come over and used the bathroom.  That is where his litter box is and he is very protective of it. 
            Now, he was hissing at Valentine because she is in his domain.  She didn’t seem to mind him, though.  When she was near Zanz, she would just run right by him.  Chris and I think it is because she has lived with other cats before.  Zanzibar has not.
            Eventually, they were separated and spent the day apart.  Valentine was in the room while Zanzibar was in the living room.  Occasionally, we would let Valentine out of the room but the minute Zanzibar hissed at her she would go right back in. 
            Because Zanz usually sleeps in our bed but Valentine is currently residing in the bedroom, Chris and I decided that we would take shifts sleeping with the cats.  That first night the girls (Val and I) took the bedroom while the boys (Chris and Zanz) took the living room.  We didn’t want Zanz to feel like he was getting downgraded to just the bedroom and we wanted to Val to feel like she would eventually be getting an upgrade.
            To say the least, it was a very emotional first day for everyone.  I want them to be best friends but I know it is going to take some time.  Zanzibar has to get used to the idea that there is another cat in the house that he has to share the space with, but I want him to know that we love him just the same.

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