Everything is continuing the same over here! I wanted to check in to ask for your thoughts on the face to face. I think we can do it out in the main space - they both are very comfortable out there."Hello C calicosrspecial ! Happy Sunday!" - Hello, I am sorry for the delayed response.
"Yesterday and today we've gone ahead and added one piece to the ongoing puzzle - Florence in the office (with the French door closed - too much to move right to the gate) for an hour or so in the afternoon." - Perfect
"Yesterday, I went in the room with her, and she came to take a nap with me, and after a few looks through the door, Hawthorne went to take a nap too. So that was totally quiet.: - That is fantastic!!!
"Today, it's just her in there and she's doing more sitting right by the door wanting to get out (scratching at the door, scratching under the door)" - Ok, she wants to be with you (and maybe Hawthorne????)
" and that has Hawthorne more intrigued." - Absolutely
" He tries to put his paw through the gate to the door," - Yes, was it more playful? Or aggressive?
" he bit the gate (for some reason)" - Could be play actually.
" and he is yowling a bit." - I can see that.
" He remains quite distractable on the whole - with treats, with playtime, if I call his name" - GREAT!!! THAT is fantastic and tells us a lot (that he is really not "aftr" her).
" - but when not distracted or when she makes noise in the room he's over there to see what's what and is more reactive to her for sure." - Yes, that is to be expected BUT f this was a problem then there would be a lot more behavioral issues.
"Outside of that, we've continued with the gate times (Hawthorne in the room, Florence out) three times a day and that's continuing about the same." - Great
" Mostly, each one is 'activated' by the yowling or fussing of the other." - Yes, that is normal and expected.
" When Hawthorne is quiet, she is quiet; when he does his yowling to get out and his fussing, she wants to see what's up." - Yes, expected. And what tells me it is all fine is when they are quiet they both can be quiet. IF there were issues they would be issues all the time.
"Oh! As we speak - they've both gone to take naps, I think. So, it took about an hour, but now it's time to sleep." - Awwwwww, perfect
"I've also added a bit of extra time to breakfast - I stay in the room with Florence and hang out with her after she's eating, and leave the door open (gate closed)." - Perfect
" She is willing to have rubs and hang out" - GREAT!!
" but she growls when she sees Hawthorne." - That is fine.
" He is definitely curious and comes to the gate periodically with big eyes, and then slinks away." - Awwww, he is telling her he doesn't mean harm.
"I think there is definitely still a novelty element to these new configurations." - Yes BUT it sounds like it is going great.
"So that's the update! " - Fantastic. Sounds great
"In two weeks, it's a long weekend here and I have four days off, so I'm thinking that might be a time to try a face-to-face, if all is proceeding well." - Perfect. I think they are ready now so I fully expect they will be ready then. Just keep up the great work and we'll figure out the logistics on the face to face. Exciting!!!
I'll still provide a couple more updates on their interactions before then so that we're confident it's a good time.
But, I always like to plan ahead, so I'm starting to think about things - for their first interaction, do we try to distract them while their together (with treats and play) and prevent them from getting close to each other? Do we aim for short, or until they seem no longer distractable?
I was thinking it would be in the afternoon, since they both seem calmer around that time. And I know you mentioned best to have them be a bit hungrier, so they're more interested in the treats.
Anything else I should be considering?
Thanks so much again! Hope you're having a good week!