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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Rethinking…

Okay, so Sassy spent the time I was out doing errands this morning in the bathroom. We put a box, food and water and the post she scratches on that Kaline doesn’t. She’s not nuts about being locked in the downstairs bathroom. It’s actually a half-bath, but there’s nothing in there she can get into that would be dangerous for her that can’t be pulled out in a hurry when she goes in there. When I got home she didn’t scratch to get out or anything, but when I opened the door she was crying from behind the commode. When I picked her up she wasn’t so cuddly and didn’t purr. Kaline and Baggle were near and she was struggling to get down. I worried that she was going to charge them, but when I put her down she tried her best to walk around them, even though Baggle was staring at her and Kaline hissed. She seemed a little humbled, but she was tentative and humbled when we brought her home too.

I called Paws and Whiskers and explained what we were having with. Their suggestion was that Sassy needed her own room for a couple of weeks so she could feel dominant there but not immediately dominant in the rest of the house. The woman on the phone also told me that it wasn’t a guarantee that Sassy would adjust and not be aggressive. When I mentioned that we chose her over Shannon because she was more affectionate to us and seemed to interact better with the Shelter cats, she told me Shannon was good with kittens, but not other cats and that they all act differently when they get to a home because they have to be nice to the other cats at the shelter. Well, they have to be nice to the other cats in a new home too! I complained that there was nothing in the online description to indicate that Shannon was not good with other cats. She said she tried to stay positive on the descriptions online. I think “doesn’t get along with other cats” is pretty important, trying to be positive or not. I mean, the point is to find the cats good homes. You aren’t going to get them “good” homes if they keep coming back because of behavior problems people don’t know about if the one person who knows about them isn’t there. That will result in the same cats coming and going all the time because they aren’t matched to the homes where they go.

I talked to David this afternoon. I wanted to tell him what they said at Paws before I took her back. He asked, “What room would be hers?” I agreed that we don’t have an extra bedroom for her. But we agreed we’d try to acclimate her in a way that didn’t threaten the kids who already live here, on a permanent basis, and might teach her the limits she has to live with if she’s going to stay.

First off, for the next week or so, Sassy will sleep in the downstairs bathroom. We’ll make sure she has a blanket to curl up on, but that’s where she’ll sleep for now. We need to go back to the first place she picked as someplace she wanted to take from Kaline and Baggle, that’s sleeping on our bed at night. That was just those first two nights too. No one slept on our bed last night.

For now, the bathroom is where she’ll stay when no humans are home. As I am an online student right now, those times aren’t frequent during the day. Kaline had a room when no one was home for about the first month too. She’ll also be “sent to her room” if she charges at either Kaline or Baggle.

It’s our hope that we can teach Sassy what behavior is acceptable and what is not. I’m going to call her by her shelter name instead of Carla for now because I just don’t know if this will work.

Right now, it’s Kitty Siesta time and all three of them are sleeping, in different rooms. I’m going to take this opportunity to try to get some homework done!

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