Thursday, April 23, 2009

Toodles is let loose!

This is the final chapter of bringing home Toodles, our new cat. Part 1 and Part 2.

Days 7-10, Toodles gets more space:

After we let Sprite and Scout into the den with Toodles, we decided Toodles could start coming out to meet them. This is a big step because, in Scout and Sprite's minds, Toodles was invading their territory.

We have a door on the stairway which separates our first floor from our second. So we shut it to keep Toodles downstairs. Then we brought Scout and Sprite down with us for the evening. We played with toys and ate more treats. We continued to try to keep the "old cats" from getting too close to the "new cat". Toodles found and used Scout's litter pan. Scout, ever the "boss" kitty, ran in and bit her tail as she exited. Then Scout did some digging and used the pan too. Scout was making it clear that it is her litter pan. Fortunately we had purchased a third pan for Toodles, so that each cat could have her own. I consider 1 pan per cat a minimum, or even 1 extra. We also scoop 2x a day. This helps avoid soiling outside the box.

That night we brought Scout and Sprite back up to bed. We left Toodles downstairs, to roam around on her own. We kept everything like that for a few days.

Day 12, Toodles is let loose!:

We opened the door to the upstairs. Toodles was excited to explore the rest of the house. Scout and Sprite followed her around. After a few hours, the pecking order became apparent. Scout had already established that she was the boss. But she seemed to accept Toodles. By the end of the day they were sitting on the sofa together. However Toodles and Sprite were both jockeying for second place. Mostly they did not come to blows, however there were a few hisses and swats. We were quick to distract them with toys.

For a few days, we kept putting Toodles alone downstairs at night. Finally it looked like Sprite was settling for third place. We decided Toodles could officially join the household permanently!

A few months later: Scout and Toodles have become fairly good friends. They often share a sofa and last night they cooperatively "hunted" a bat that was stuck in the chimney. Meanwhile Sprite and Toodles have learned to grudgingly accept each other, but still occasionally argue. This was a surprise to us. We'd expected when we got a third cat that Scout would have been cranky and that Sprite would have gotten along best. But our cats' personalities are complex and they defied our expectations for them.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Well, all in all they look like they are getting along. It's always hard to be the last one introduced into the family, but Toodles looks comfy and cozy.

A Bay Horse said...

She's been fabulous. We are so happy we adopted her! She has a very funny and unusual habit though. I think I should actually do a post about it.... ;) I'll have to catch her on camera.

Paint Girl said...

I love the picture of all 3 cats together! Good to hear they are getting along well. It is always hard to introduce a new one to the bunch!