Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sunday cat selfie: A cat-to-cat introduction 6 months in the making

Popoki the cat in front of the couch
Devoted readers will notice something really interesting about this cat photo. Need a hint? It's Popoki sitting in front of the red couch in my living room. That's the couch that shows up countless times on this blog, mainly because it's a great backdrop for Boston terrier photos.

But Popoki almost never shows up on or near the couch. Why? Because she hasn't been able to successfully integrate with Maggie and Lucy. Those two girl cats live on the upper floor of the house where the couch is. And for the last 6 months, Popoki has been too afraid and too aggressive to make it upstairs successfully.

All of that has changed this weekend. Popoki has made a pretty historic choice. And I'm so thrilled to share it with you guys for this Sunday Selfie post, going on the awesome hop hosted by The Cat On My Head.

Over the last six months, I've done site swaps and gated introductions with Popoki, helping her to both smell and see the other cats. She has never lived with cats before, and she just didn't understand what they were all about. Last week, hissing and spitting totally stopped and Popoki was able to sleep on one side of the gate while the other two slept on the other side of the gate.

Today, this happened.

Lucy and Popoki sititng side by side

Lucy is in her favorite bed, and Popoki is on the bottom shelf of the side table. Everyone is relaxed, with ears forward. They both know that the other cat is there, and they don't really seem to mind it much. And after about 30 minutes of this, Popoki did something even more remarkable. She dropped down a level, and tried to initiate play.

Lucy and Popoki trying to play

Lucy is still in her bed, and Popoki is trying to get her attention with slow taps on the bed. They played like this for a few minutes, and no one got upset or worried. The whole session came with forward ears, wiggly bodies and relaxed expressions.

A month or so ago, I had given up on the entire idea of integrating Popoki into the household. She was too afraid and too frightened, and she was putting senior Maggie and blind Lucy at risk. But it goes to show that patience works wonders. With love and time and gentleness, even the most damaged of rescue cats can come around. I'm so proud to have seen it happen in my own household.

Do you have a similar turnaround story to share? I'd love to hear it. Tap me in the comments. And have you entered my grooming giveaway yet? There's only a few days left to enter.


And do try to visit the other blogs in this hop. I always enjoy what everyone shares.

21 comments:

  1. That is wonderful news. I am glad she is finally adjusting.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! It feels so great to share good news.

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  2. This is pawsome news! We are so happy for you.

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  3. That is wonderful news. I am truly happy for you, and of course for Popoki.

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    1. I agree that Popoki is the real winner here. I love the idea that she will have a full circle of kitty friends.

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  4. We are sat here cheering like mad (OK quietly too) at the achievemnts in this post. Well done everyone. WELL DONE POPOKI you are terrific. Mum we are so proud of you. Sometimes we are close to giving up with senior (14) Dusty when he suddenly takes a small step forward. we have to take a deep breaath and say 'patience' to ourslves, never give up, we need to have patience.

    You must be thrilled with this.

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    1. I am totally thrilled. And I wish sweet Dusty the best. It does seem like cats learn by going forward and then back and then forward again. It can be super frustrating, but it's also so rewarding when things go well!

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  5. YAY! This story warmed my heart. I hope everyone continues to get along.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, I'm crossing fingers this is the start of something beautiful for Po.

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  6. Paws up on getting Popoki to integrate with the others. We haven't been as fortunate in integrating our Zoey with the other two. She and Wally just do not see eye to eye despite everything we've tried. And we've tried everything.

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    1. I'm a firm believer that some cats prefer the solo life. It does happen, despite a human's best intentions. I pushed Po simply because she is young and she seemed just confused and not hostile. Some cats aren't that way.

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  7. That's GREAT NEWS! I love that final picture of Popoki peaking around at Lucy!

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    1. That was my favorite moment. She was on her back at one point, poking at that bed with her little paws. Just heartbreakingly sweet.

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  8. Replies
    1. Aw, thanks! I love to see so many people celebrating with us.

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  9. Fabulous news! We are so, so happy happy for you all! :)

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  10. Awww this is wonderful,xx Speedy

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  11. That's a wonderful accomplishment that everyone will benefit from! We hope all your cats enjoy each other more and more with each passing day :)

    the critters in the cottage xo

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  12. This is wonderful news and we know that they will improve more in the upcoming time. When I came living with Granny and Grandpaw, Granny's cat Angel, who is an angel now, didn't like me and I was afraid of him, but as you say, with patience and love and time, we're all were able to live next to each other, like toddlers do. When Angel hissed at me or tried to slap me, Granny told him not to do that and she told him why and Angel listened and understood. Granny often said how he would feel, if he was in my situation, well, to make a long story short, it worked. So that's why we know, that this is just a start and we are happy for Popoki and the other kitties and for you, Dion :) Happy Pawkisses to all of you :) <3

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