Advice on Cat Introductions - Feeling a Bit Lost

calicosrspecial

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OK, I've added two new videos - one from a morning interaction and one of her sitting outside his gate. I have one more too but just waiting for it to sync to my iCloud so I can download it and save it here. :)

These videos represent neither the best of their interactions nor the worst, haha. Whenever I turn the camera on, good behaviour gets a bit worse and bad behaviour gets a bit better. Note that if you can't hear it, in the one video where she is sitting outside his gate she is growling almost the whole time.

Still, probably always helpful to just see them interacting. And if I can, I'll aim to get one tonight with their face-to-face.

Hawthorne and Florie Gate x1.MP4

I was able to add the third video! I think it's in the same album as the other two, and should be available when you click that link.
"OK, I've added two new videos - one from a morning interaction and one of her sitting outside his gate. I have one more too but just waiting for it to sync to my iCloud so I can download it and save it here. :) " - Great. Will assess below.

"These videos represent neither the best of their interactions nor the worst, haha." - Hahaha, let's see.

" Whenever I turn the camera on, good behaviour gets a bit worse and bad behaviour gets a bit better." - Hahahaha, yep. :/ We'll see.

"Note that if you can't hear it, in the one video where she is sitting outside his gate she is growling almost the whole time." - Ok, I'll listen.

"Still, probably always helpful to just see them interacting." - Absolutely as it is the little things that can tell us a lot.

" And if I can, I'll aim to get one tonight with their face-to-face." - Great

Hawthorne and Florie Gate x1.MP4

"I was able to add the third video! I think it's in the same album as the other two, and should be available when you click that link." - Great

Morning video - I LOVE how she comes out, confident, tail up. Goes right to the puzzle. Great so far. Hawthorne comes to the gate and she is like "whatever" Hahahahaha and oges right back to the puzzle. Right there it tells me she is not really bothered by him. She doesn't even care he is right there and his body language is fantastic. That growl was absolutely nothing. Just her. Body language looks great. And look how he interprets her growl. He isn't fazed at all. THAT supports that the growl is really nothing. She is not at all focused on him which is great. Growling almost to say "give me more treats!!'. Hahahahaha. That growl is not directed at Hawthorne in my opinion. My goodness that is perfect. Her body language (and his) were perfect!! LOVE this!!!

At gate - She is outside the gate, body language looks great, she is looking around looking away from him. Perfect. And look at him, body language is fantastic. He looks at you, takes his eyes (I am assuming of her). Body language so far is perfect. Still no negative body language. She walks away and he wants to look. Great body language still. I LOVE that she looks away from him, walks away. with body language that is great. Perfect. I don't see (or hear) any issue. In fact, I get a sense they want to be together. They like each other.

Gate 2 - I hear the sounds but the body language suggest they are fine so far. He rubs on the gate. Body language still fine. Awwwww, he sticks his paw out gently (as if to soothe) and she made a noise and he pulled back. Body language still fine. He is talking a bit but again, body language is fine. He does want out but is good still. His tail is moving but not really in a bad way. I think because he wants out. And he walks away, she looks away. Situation (if any really existed which I don't think it did) was diffused. Great. He comes back, gently paws towards her, she has no reaction, and he walks away (I think that was all play from him). Her body language is great, she is totally fine, no issue with his pawing (which tells me she didn't interpret it negatively). Then she walks towards you, tail straight up (confidence).

In all these videos I didn't see one thing to suggest they have any issues. Body language was fantastic. Sure there were sounds but I think Hawthorne's is towards trying to get out, She is (I think) just being her (it does not seem aggressive or even really a warning at all). If I knew nothing about these cats I would say they have a great relationship. I see no signs of issues. Which is GREAT!!!

The fact they can be like this once in a while tells me they can for longer.

I am ecstatic at these videos. I thought I would get some signs of negativity but I didn't see it. And the sounds are not supported by the body language or actions so that is why I am not at all worried.

Florie looks confident and so does Hawthorne. I am not sensing any confidence issues in Florie which is fantastic.

"If it's helpful too, here is the schedule we've been following:" - Let's take a look.
  • "7am breakfast - in view of each other. *I'm going to add playtime to this for Hawthorne, before breakfast" - Perfect. If you get it like the video it is absolutely perfect.

  • "8:30 - Hawthorne goes in the French door room (with the door open but gate closed); Florie gets to come out and has playtime; then she usually joins me in the office (though she has free access to the house) after she is done growling; sometimes she sleeps in the main area on a bed she likes or a cat scratcher thing. Sometimes we do a few treats for both with me sitting on the ground near the gate." - Perfect.

  • "12:30 - the cats have a treat session throughout which I use treats to guide them into different rooms, ultimately switching so now Florie is in the French door room (with the gate up and the door closed, because I worry about her jumping/sticking her head through the bars) and Hawthorne is out with me. He usually naps either with me in the office or in our bedroom. Florie growls a bit upon entering the room but then quickly goes to grooming and napping" - Great. Hmmmmm, if you think Florie might want to get out of the french door room she can't be that afraid of him. ;)

  • "3:30 or 4pm - another treat session, ultimately swapping the cats again so Florie is out and Hawthorne is in; playtime for Florie" - Perfect.

  • "5:30 or 6 - supper (now a face-to-face) - Florie is out and Hawthorne comes to join her. We do what we need to do, but ideally we end with Florie going back in her room (this office, this time) and Hawthorne staying out" - Perfect

  • "8-9 - Hawthorne goes back in the French door room with the gate up; Florie comes out and has playtime and mills about. Generally in the evening she just hangs out until she gets what she really wants which is: her paste treat. We use the treat to guide her back to her room, and once the gate is closed, we let Hawthorne out - and then she and Hawthorne have a snack close together (about a foot or two apart) with the gate up with her in her room and Hawthorne out. Then we throw a few treats, and then close up the door to Florie's room and turn out the lights. Then that's the day!" - Perfect.
This is working if you ask me. If the videos are anything like what generally happens (+ or -) it is great.

If they are acting, walking around like they are in the videos it is great.

I am interested to see face to face video. Remember to distract and reassure. If you can get them to act like in the videos it is perfect. :)

Keep up the great work. If you are getting the results in the videos sometimes you will get them all the time. :)
 

calicosrspecial

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If it's helpful too, here is the schedule we've been following:
  • 7am breakfast - in view of each other. *I'm going to add playtime to this for Hawthorne, before breakfast
  • 8:30 - Hawthorne goes in the French door room (with the door open but gate closed); Florie gets to come out and has playtime; then she usually joins me in the office (though she has free access to the house) after she is done growling; sometimes she sleeps in the main area on a bed she likes or a cat scratcher thing. Sometimes we do a few treats for both with me sitting on the ground near the gate.
  • 12:30 - the cats have a treat session throughout which I use treats to guide them into different rooms, ultimately switching so now Florie is in the French door room (with the gate up and the door closed, because I worry about her jumping/sticking her head through the bars) and Hawthorne is out with me. He usually naps either with me in the office or in our bedroom. Florie growls a bit upon entering the room but then quickly goes to grooming and napping
  • 3:30 or 4pm - another treat session, ultimately swapping the cats again so Florie is out and Hawthorne is in; playtime for Florie
  • 5:30 or 6 - supper (now a face-to-face) - Florie is out and Hawthorne comes to join her. We do what we need to do, but ideally we end with Florie going back in her room (this office, this time) and Hawthorne staying out
  • 8-9 - Hawthorne goes back in the French door room with the gate up; Florie comes out and has playtime and mills about. Generally in the evening she just hangs out until she gets what she really wants which is: her paste treat. We use the treat to guide her back to her room, and once the gate is closed, we let Hawthorne out - and then she and Hawthorne have a snack close together (about a foot or two apart) with the gate up with her in her room and Hawthorne out. Then we throw a few treats, and then close up the door to Florie's room and turn out the lights. Then that's the day!
Hi

How are things going? I am guessing you are a bit busy with the weekend.

I am interested in seeing where you think I am wrong on the videos as well when you have time. If you see things differently.

Hang in there, they are going to be fine. :) And I think fairly soon.
 
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Furmama22

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OK, I was able to add the third
Hi

How are things going? I am guessing you are a bit busy with the weekend.

I am interested in seeing where you think I am wrong on the videos as well when you have time. If you see things differently.

Hang in there, they are going to be fine. :) And I think fairly soon.
Hello there! Thanks for checking in! We had my stepkids this weekend so the whole routine got thrown off, hahaha. I'm sorry I haven't posted any videos. But I have one very boring video from Friday and I'll try to get another one tomorrow. The cats did not have any face to face visits on Saturday or Sunday.

I'm not sure this Friday video shows anything. And I'm sorry in advance - it's 10 minutes long. I had to compress it twice to get it to upload so hopefully the quality is still reasonable. You can fast forward, haha. They basically eat supper separately with Florie in her room and Hawthorne down the hallway. Nothing really happens except Florie growled a bunch (as usual). Does that kind of meal/session do anything at all? Is that helpful? Do they realize they are 'together'?

I hope it shows something useful! :)

Hawthorne & Florie face to face 1.mp4
 

calicosrspecial

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"OK, I was able to add the third" - Great

"Hello there! Thanks for checking in! We had my stepkids this weekend so the whole routine got thrown off, hahaha." - Ahhhhh, makes sense, I forgot.

" I'm sorry I haven't posted any videos." - Please do not be sorry, no need to.

"But I have one very boring video from Friday" - Boring is good actually. :)

" and I'll try to get another one tomorrow." - Sounds good

"The cats did not have any face to face visits on Saturday or Sunday." - Understandable.

"I'm not sure this Friday video shows anything." - They always show something so I'll take a look and let you know what I see.

" And I'm sorry in advance - it's 10 minutes long." - That is not long at all. It is fine, no reason to apologize.

" I had to compress it twice to get it to upload so hopefully the quality is still reasonable." - Yikes.

" You can fast forward, haha." - Nope, I never do. THe nuance is the key and I don't want to miss anything.

They basically eat supper separately with Florie in her room and Hawthorne down the hallway. Nothing really happens except Florie growled a bunch (as usual). Does that kind of meal/session do anything at all? Is that helpful? Do they realize they are 'together'?

I hope it shows something useful! :)

Hawthorne & Florie face to face 1.mp4
"OK, I was able to add the third" - Great

"Hello there! Thanks for checking in! We had my stepkids this weekend so the whole routine got thrown off, hahaha." - Ahhhhh, makes sense, I forgot.

" I'm sorry I haven't posted any videos." - Please do not be sorry, no need to.

"But I have one very boring video from Friday" - Boring is good actually. :)

" and I'll try to get another one tomorrow." - Sounds good

"The cats did not have any face to face visits on Saturday or Sunday." - Understandable.

"I'm not sure this Friday video shows anything." - They always show something so I'll take a look and let you know what I see.

" And I'm sorry in advance - it's 10 minutes long." - That is not long at all. It is fine, no reason to apologize.

" I had to compress it twice to get it to upload so hopefully the quality is still reasonable." - Yikes.

" You can fast forward, haha." - Nope, I never do. The nuance is the key and I don't want to miss anything.

"They basically eat supper separately with Florie in her room and Hawthorne down the hallway. Nothing really happens except Florie growled a bunch (as usual)." - Ok, I'll take a look.

"Does that kind of meal/session do anything at all? Is that helpful? Do they realize they are 'together'?" - I am sure they know the other is there so IF they are enjoying something positive with the other "there" and nothing negative happens it does build trust and confidence. So, yes, it is helpful if the above happens.

"I hope it shows something useful! :)" - Let's see.

Video - First thing I see if Florie is happy and confident, tail up. Terrific. Walks by Hawthorne, looks tail still up, not even fazed. Fantastic. Hawthorne comes out, looks over, eats. Perfect. Hawthorne looks at Florie and choses food over chasing Florie. EXACTLY what we want. :) Great, I couldn't tell if she saw him but you said she looked up "a couple of times". FANTASTIC!!! She choses food over him. Both doing great. She looks great, no issue with her body language at all. Exactly, at the end of the meal will be VERY interesting. Your partner has the cardboard and I can sense a bit of anxiety (correct me if I am wrong). Hawthorne looks and then goes back to eating. YES!!!! :) I am seeing two extremely positive cats (at this point). You mentioned at this point you are getting more anxious (my words not yours as I couldn't really hear what you said). There are no signs of any issues. This is where I really want you to stay calm, positive and confident. The cats will feed off human energy. Ok, I know it is hard to trust but don't get worried at this point with the cardboard. GREAT job distracting with treats and this is important. At least at this point, he choses treats over her (though his movement towards her was totally benign). Florie looks at him and is like "yeah, that is Hawthorne". No change in body language, etc. Wonderful!!! At this point Hawthorne has no ill intent. Florie does her growl but not at all an issue. No change in body language. Florie alks forward and you mention "this is the point you start getting nervous". I understand why but I am not seeing any sign of negativity between them so try your best to stay calm, confident, positive. Talk that way to them as well. BINGO your partner was EXACTLY correct!! Try your best not to get anxious. I can't stress enough how much cats take on our emotions. I don't get any sense that he is going to charge her at this point. I think the only reason he did before is she jumped down and ran (acted like prey). She looked at him and no insecurity, etc. She looked great AND then she went after the treat. If she stays confident looking/acting he most likely would not attack her (and the fact he hasn't yet tells me they are just fine). I think she is there because that is where the treat went. I don't see bad body language. Yes, and now it is confirmed, she walks to the gate with no issue. The growling was totally about the treat. Terrific. I see her having no issues with him. They absolutely know there is no gate between them AND they are choosing food, then treats over the other. :) She had no issue going towards him. Fantastic!! Hawthorne is doing an amazing job help immensely by your partner. I am interested in how she went back into her room? It was not on the video. She was out in the hall then the next I saw her was she was back in. Was she hesitant or did she just go back in? At this point reassure her 'Good girl Florie" "Oh you are so beautiful" etc. Calm, confident loving voice. And he walks away!! YES!!!! That is a cat (Hawthorne) that is accepting the other cat!!! YES!!! I think Florie was probably more like "what's next" rather than trepidation.

Overall, this is fantastic. I saw nothing to be concerned about. I see two cats that are accepting (Hawthorne almost totally with Florie about 90-95%).

This video was far from boring. There was a lot of info. BUT it was boring for bad stuff, drama so...................... Which is what we dream of.

I do think as I try to prepare you for anything I may have overconcerned you about certain issues. I try to make sure the humans are about as prepared as possible for anything BUT there is a risk I create an "over-preparedness which can cause anxiety in the humans and then the cats pick up on it. The more trust the humans feel the more trust the cats feel. It really is more art than science and hard to explain but being chill and confident tends to help the cats be like "all is cool". I would have the cardboard leaning against a wall ready to be accessed if distraction is not working (though I will say your partner did an amazing job and the cardboard was not at all a factor as Hawthorne was amazing during that session). It is more things like that. Or being too cautious before there was any sign of any issues (which is normal for those without much experience). Florie was doing great. So basically just think positively and use distraction when needed and if ro when negative signs start showing then prepare. It really is more art than science.

Also, I should let you know how I do videos. I watch then respond in real time then watch more then respond. I have no knowledge of what happens next when I write something. I suspect what might come next but don't delete or edit prior writing. I never watch the whole video and know what happens then write. Hopefully that helps when you read my comments. It is like I would be there and we are observing and assessing in real time.

So overall, great video, GREAT job!!! I would like to get them closer (maybe she is eating in "her" room and he is just inside the threshold at some point) or we do it in the open space. Also, maybe play with her before a face to face and in time I think we can play with her in front of him (if possible) and if both could play (separately) that would be great though I know he doesn't always want to play (maybe his play is chasing treats down). But how we would do a meal after would be tricky.

But overall, great. They are going to be intro'd and I think pretty soon. I am seeing great things from them. :)
 
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Furmama22

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"OK, I was able to add the third" - Great

"Hello there! Thanks for checking in! We had my stepkids this weekend so the whole routine got thrown off, hahaha." - Ahhhhh, makes sense, I forgot.

" I'm sorry I haven't posted any videos." - Please do not be sorry, no need to.

"But I have one very boring video from Friday" - Boring is good actually. :)

" and I'll try to get another one tomorrow." - Sounds good

"The cats did not have any face to face visits on Saturday or Sunday." - Understandable.

"I'm not sure this Friday video shows anything." - They always show something so I'll take a look and let you know what I see.

" And I'm sorry in advance - it's 10 minutes long." - That is not long at all. It is fine, no reason to apologize.

" I had to compress it twice to get it to upload so hopefully the quality is still reasonable." - Yikes.

" You can fast forward, haha." - Nope, I never do. The nuance is the key and I don't want to miss anything.

"They basically eat supper separately with Florie in her room and Hawthorne down the hallway. Nothing really happens except Florie growled a bunch (as usual)." - Ok, I'll take a look.

"Does that kind of meal/session do anything at all? Is that helpful? Do they realize they are 'together'?" - I am sure they know the other is there so IF they are enjoying something positive with the other "there" and nothing negative happens it does build trust and confidence. So, yes, it is helpful if the above happens.

"I hope it shows something useful! :)" - Let's see.

Video - First thing I see if Florie is happy and confident, tail up. Terrific. Walks by Hawthorne, looks tail still up, not even fazed. Fantastic. Hawthorne comes out, looks over, eats. Perfect. Hawthorne looks at Florie and choses food over chasing Florie. EXACTLY what we want. :) Great, I couldn't tell if she saw him but you said she looked up "a couple of times". FANTASTIC!!! She choses food over him. Both doing great. She looks great, no issue with her body language at all. Exactly, at the end of the meal will be VERY interesting. Your partner has the cardboard and I can sense a bit of anxiety (correct me if I am wrong). Hawthorne looks and then goes back to eating. YES!!!! :) I am seeing two extremely positive cats (at this point). You mentioned at this point you are getting more anxious (my words not yours as I couldn't really hear what you said). There are no signs of any issues. This is where I really want you to stay calm, positive and confident. The cats will feed off human energy. Ok, I know it is hard to trust but don't get worried at this point with the cardboard. GREAT job distracting with treats and this is important. At least at this point, he choses treats over her (though his movement towards her was totally benign). Florie looks at him and is like "yeah, that is Hawthorne". No change in body language, etc. Wonderful!!! At this point Hawthorne has no ill intent. Florie does her growl but not at all an issue. No change in body language. Florie alks forward and you mention "this is the point you start getting nervous". I understand why but I am not seeing any sign of negativity between them so try your best to stay calm, confident, positive. Talk that way to them as well. BINGO your partner was EXACTLY correct!! Try your best not to get anxious. I can't stress enough how much cats take on our emotions. I don't get any sense that he is going to charge her at this point. I think the only reason he did before is she jumped down and ran (acted like prey). She looked at him and no insecurity, etc. She looked great AND then she went after the treat. If she stays confident looking/acting he most likely would not attack her (and the fact he hasn't yet tells me they are just fine). I think she is there because that is where the treat went. I don't see bad body language. Yes, and now it is confirmed, she walks to the gate with no issue. The growling was totally about the treat. Terrific. I see her having no issues with him. They absolutely know there is no gate between them AND they are choosing food, then treats over the other. :) She had no issue going towards him. Fantastic!! Hawthorne is doing an amazing job help immensely by your partner. I am interested in how she went back into her room? It was not on the video. She was out in the hall then the next I saw her was she was back in. Was she hesitant or did she just go back in? At this point reassure her 'Good girl Florie" "Oh you are so beautiful" etc. Calm, confident loving voice. And he walks away!! YES!!!! That is a cat (Hawthorne) that is accepting the other cat!!! YES!!! I think Florie was probably more like "what's next" rather than trepidation.

Overall, this is fantastic. I saw nothing to be concerned about. I see two cats that are accepting (Hawthorne almost totally with Florie about 90-95%).

This video was far from boring. There was a lot of info. BUT it was boring for bad stuff, drama so...................... Which is what we dream of.

I do think as I try to prepare you for anything I may have overconcerned you about certain issues. I try to make sure the humans are about as prepared as possible for anything BUT there is a risk I create an "over-preparedness which can cause anxiety in the humans and then the cats pick up on it. The more trust the humans feel the more trust the cats feel. It really is more art than science and hard to explain but being chill and confident tends to help the cats be like "all is cool". I would have the cardboard leaning against a wall ready to be accessed if distraction is not working (though I will say your partner did an amazing job and the cardboard was not at all a factor as Hawthorne was amazing during that session). It is more things like that. Or being too cautious before there was any sign of any issues (which is normal for those without much experience). Florie was doing great. So basically just think positively and use distraction when needed and if ro when negative signs start showing then prepare. It really is more art than science.

Also, I should let you know how I do videos. I watch then respond in real time then watch more then respond. I have no knowledge of what happens next when I write something. I suspect what might come next but don't delete or edit prior writing. I never watch the whole video and know what happens then write. Hopefully that helps when you read my comments. It is like I would be there and we are observing and assessing in real time.

So overall, great video, GREAT job!!! I would like to get them closer (maybe she is eating in "her" room and he is just inside the threshold at some point) or we do it in the open space. Also, maybe play with her before a face to face and in time I think we can play with her in front of him (if possible) and if both could play (separately) that would be great though I know he doesn't always want to play (maybe his play is chasing treats down). But how we would do a meal after would be tricky.

But overall, great. They are going to be intro'd and I think pretty soon. I am seeing great things from them. :)
Thanks for this excellent feedback, as always! I enjoy the way you review videos - it really feels like there is another pair of eyes there in the room watching everything, and I enjoy reading the commentary. :)

Last night we did a treat session face-to-face and it was interesting! I'm sorry I couldn't video - it was an important hockey game for my partner on TV and he was in a bit of rush, hahaha.

We did Florie at the threshold of her room, as we usually do for the treat paste, but we left the gate open and let Hawthorne out of his room (further down the hall) and I gave him his paste right there. So probably 12 feet apart. Normally we do a paste each with the gate closed but they're quite close together (two or three feet). So this was a paste each but gate open and far apart. After they eat their paste, they get dental greenies. :)

Anyways, point is, Florie finished her paste and marched right down the entire hallway until she was about three feet away because she wanted her dental greenies! She was totally confident, nice body language. Hawthorne was very caught up in his paste and didn't really have a chance to notice her or react and my partner and I were both totally taken aback, hahaha, so I just threw her a treat (down the hall, in the direction of her room) and she went for it, and then I tossed one for Hawthorne (opposite direction) and then they both ate treats!

We ended by throwing a treat in her room (and she went right in) and then we closed the gate and the door, just like we normally do - she knows that's bedtime.

So we'll try again near her room and see. Maybe we try this for a bit until she feels more confident with him and then return to the main room. I thought a hallway would be less than ideal but in some respects I think she likes it because he can't pop out of anywhere. She has a good sightline for him at all times.
 

calicosrspecial

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Thanks for this excellent feedback, as always! I enjoy the way you review videos - it really feels like there is another pair of eyes there in the room watching everything, and I enjoy reading the commentary. :)

Last night we did a treat session face-to-face and it was interesting! I'm sorry I couldn't video - it was an important hockey game for my partner on TV and he was in a bit of rush, hahaha.

We did Florie at the threshold of her room, as we usually do for the treat paste, but we left the gate open and let Hawthorne out of his room (further down the hall) and I gave him his paste right there. So probably 12 feet apart. Normally we do a paste each with the gate closed but they're quite close together (two or three feet). So this was a paste each but gate open and far apart. After they eat their paste, they get dental greenies. :)

Anyways, point is, Florie finished her paste and marched right down the entire hallway until she was about three feet away because she wanted her dental greenies! She was totally confident, nice body language. Hawthorne was very caught up in his paste and didn't really have a chance to notice her or react and my partner and I were both totally taken aback, hahaha, so I just threw her a treat (down the hall, in the direction of her room) and she went for it, and then I tossed one for Hawthorne (opposite direction) and then they both ate treats!

We ended by throwing a treat in her room (and she went right in) and then we closed the gate and the door, just like we normally do - she knows that's bedtime.

So we'll try again near her room and see. Maybe we try this for a bit until she feels more confident with him and then return to the main room. I thought a hallway would be less than ideal but in some respects I think she likes it because he can't pop out of anywhere. She has a good sightline for him at all times.
"Thanks for this excellent feedback, as always! I enjoy the way you review videos - it really feels like there is another pair of eyes there in the room watching everything, and I enjoy reading the commentary. :) " - You are very welcome.

"Last night we did a treat session face-to-face and it was interesting! I'm sorry I couldn't video - it was an important hockey game for my partner on TV and he was in a bit of rush, hahaha." - Ok, let's see.

"We did Florie at the threshold of her room, as we usually do for the treat paste, but we left the gate open and let Hawthorne out of his room (further down the hall) and I gave him his paste right there. So probably 12 feet apart." - Perfect.

" Normally we do a paste each with the gate closed but they're quite close together (two or three feet)." - Ok. Hopefully we can do that (same but with the gate open) with the gate open soon. :)

"So this was a paste each but gate open and far apart. After they eat their paste, they get dental greenies. :)" - Great, so similar to the last video basically.

"Anyways, point is, Florie finished her paste and marched right down the entire hallway until she was about three feet away because she wanted her dental greenies! She was totally confident, nice body language." - :yess: :hyper: :clap2: AWESOME!!! But let's see what happens next.

" Hawthorne was very caught up in his paste and didn't really have a chance to notice her or react and my partner and I were both totally taken aback, hahaha," - SO he didn't react? I am sure he knew she was coming.

" so I just threw her a treat (down the hall, in the direction of her room)" - Awwwwwwwwww, next time give her a treat right there. Let them be close. If she is exhibiting confidence play off that.

"and she went for it" - Great but not surprising. BUT I just saw the next line and the fact he didn't chase her is a BIG deal!!!! :clap2: (as she went for her treat).

"and then I tossed one for Hawthorne (opposite direction) and then they both ate treats!" - Perfect. But next time just give him the treat there.

"We ended by throwing a treat in her room (and she went right in) and then we closed the gate and the door, just like we normally do - she knows that's bedtime." - Perfect.

Well, THAT sounds AMAZING!!! I think we may be almost there!!! I LOVE she walked towards him, I LOVE he kept eating, I LOVE he didn't chase her went she went for her treat. Could not have gone better.

"So we'll try again near her room and see." - Great. Or by/in/near the french door room. Just so no one feels cornered or trapped and they have multiple escape routes (though I am sensing they are just fine).

"Maybe we try this for a bit until she feels more confident with him and then return to the main room." - I think you could do the main room as well. She showed us she is just fine with him.

"I thought a hallway would be less than ideal but in some respects I think she likes it because he can't pop out of anywhere. She has a good sightline for him at all times." - Absolutely. The only issue with a hallway is there is only (really) forward and backward rather than forward, back, left, right, up.

:hyper::clap2::cheerleader:

BUT they did great. I feel like that was a major breakthrough. Just reinforce that positive association, positive encounter. I think they are SO CLOSE!!! :) LOVE IT!!! :)
 
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"Thanks for this excellent feedback, as always! I enjoy the way you review videos - it really feels like there is another pair of eyes there in the room watching everything, and I enjoy reading the commentary. :) " - You are very welcome.

"Last night we did a treat session face-to-face and it was interesting! I'm sorry I couldn't video - it was an important hockey game for my partner on TV and he was in a bit of rush, hahaha." - Ok, let's see.

"We did Florie at the threshold of her room, as we usually do for the treat paste, but we left the gate open and let Hawthorne out of his room (further down the hall) and I gave him his paste right there. So probably 12 feet apart." - Perfect.

" Normally we do a paste each with the gate closed but they're quite close together (two or three feet)." - Ok. Hopefully we can do that (same but with the gate open) with the gate open soon. :)

"So this was a paste each but gate open and far apart. After they eat their paste, they get dental greenies. :)" - Great, so similar to the last video basically.

"Anyways, point is, Florie finished her paste and marched right down the entire hallway until she was about three feet away because she wanted her dental greenies! She was totally confident, nice body language." - :yess: :hyper: :clap2: AWESOME!!! But let's see what happens next.

" Hawthorne was very caught up in his paste and didn't really have a chance to notice her or react and my partner and I were both totally taken aback, hahaha," - SO he didn't react? I am sure he knew she was coming.

" so I just threw her a treat (down the hall, in the direction of her room)" - Awwwwwwwwww, next time give her a treat right there. Let them be close. If she is exhibiting confidence play off that.

"and she went for it" - Great but not surprising. BUT I just saw the next line and the fact he didn't chase her is a BIG deal!!!! :clap2: (as she went for her treat).

"and then I tossed one for Hawthorne (opposite direction) and then they both ate treats!" - Perfect. But next time just give him the treat there.

"We ended by throwing a treat in her room (and she went right in) and then we closed the gate and the door, just like we normally do - she knows that's bedtime." - Perfect.

Well, THAT sounds AMAZING!!! I think we may be almost there!!! I LOVE she walked towards him, I LOVE he kept eating, I LOVE he didn't chase her went she went for her treat. Could not have gone better.

"So we'll try again near her room and see." - Great. Or by/in/near the french door room. Just so no one feels cornered or trapped and they have multiple escape routes (though I am sensing they are just fine).

"Maybe we try this for a bit until she feels more confident with him and then return to the main room." - I think you could do the main room as well. She showed us she is just fine with him.

"I thought a hallway would be less than ideal but in some respects I think she likes it because he can't pop out of anywhere. She has a good sightline for him at all times." - Absolutely. The only issue with a hallway is there is only (really) forward and backward rather than forward, back, left, right, up.

:hyper::clap2::cheerleader:

BUT they did great. I feel like that was a major breakthrough. Just reinforce that positive association, positive encounter. I think they are SO CLOSE!!! :) LOVE IT!!! :)
Amazing hahaha. They're back to growling/fussing at the gate again this morning but so it goes. We'll see how it is tonight!!

Thanks for all the positive dancing clapping emojis! They make me laugh, haha.

And ok, good to know! If it happens again that they are close together and they are positive, I'll let them be and just place the treat. It's my fear that takes over then, not theirs. That's why was I like, 'quick, go get this treat!! More space between you!" :)
 

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Amazing hahaha. They're back to growling/fussing at the gate again this morning but so it goes. We'll see how it is tonight!!

Thanks for all the positive dancing clapping emojis! They make me laugh, haha.

And ok, good to know! If it happens again that they are close together and they are positive, I'll let them be and just place the treat. It's my fear that takes over then, not theirs. That's why was I like, 'quick, go get this treat!! More space between you!" :)
"Amazing hahaha." - Honestly, that was amazing. I am SO PLEASED at what I read.

"They're back to growling/fussing at the gate again this morning but so it goes." - I suspect it is because he wants out. IF she was afraid she would leave him.

"We'll see how it is tonight!!" - I think they will do just fine. They might have some excess energy so maybe try some play to drain some.

"Thanks for all the positive dancing clapping emojis! They make me laugh, haha." - Awwwwwwwww. Well, I am ecstatic and those convey those emotions!!! :)

"And ok, good to know! If it happens again that they are close together and they are positive, I'll let them be and just place the treat." - Well, reassure, use treats, distract if needed, etc.

"It's my fear that takes over then, not theirs. That's why was I like, 'quick, go get this treat!! More space between you!" :)" - Yep, which is TOTALLY normal!!! In this phase I almost always have more work with the humans than the cats. ;) But THAT is a good place to be!!! Tells us the cats are doing great. :)

Keep up the great work!!! I can't wait to see the smile on your face (emoji of course) when they are totally intro'd. :)
 
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"Amazing hahaha." - Honestly, that was amazing. I am SO PLEASED at what I read.

"They're back to growling/fussing at the gate again this morning but so it goes." - I suspect it is because he wants out. IF she was afraid she would leave him.

"We'll see how it is tonight!!" - I think they will do just fine. They might have some excess energy so maybe try some play to drain some.

"Thanks for all the positive dancing clapping emojis! They make me laugh, haha." - Awwwwwwwww. Well, I am ecstatic and those convey those emotions!!! :)

"And ok, good to know! If it happens again that they are close together and they are positive, I'll let them be and just place the treat." - Well, reassure, use treats, distract if needed, etc.

"It's my fear that takes over then, not theirs. That's why was I like, 'quick, go get this treat!! More space between you!" :)" - Yep, which is TOTALLY normal!!! In this phase I almost always have more work with the humans than the cats. ;) But THAT is a good place to be!!! Tells us the cats are doing great. :)

Keep up the great work!!! I can't wait to see the smile on your face (emoji of course) when they are totally intro'd. :)
Nothing really new to add! We did the same set-up yesterday - Florie in her room at the threshold, gate open, and Hawthorne down the hall. It went the same! She came out of her room to look for treats and came about 3 feet away again and Hawthorne was interested in treats and I kept them about three feet apart until I felt enough treats had been consumed and then we guided Florie back to her room. She's a funny duck! She was bold as you please to get treats last night but then occasionally she still growls before going into the French Door room (where Hawthorne has spent the morning) but then once IN the room she's totally fine and takes a nap.

I'm continuing to try to play with both of them in the main area, to get their confidence and ownership of the space up.

I laughed thinking about how you say at this point you need to work more with the humans. I definitely feel that way. I feel a sense of trepidation when I know the visit is coming up and I'm always worried about challenging them to the next step, in case they fight or we get set back. :)

I know I've asked this before, but I always struggle with this - what do I do AFTER they've been distracted with treats for 5 or 10 minutes. Right now, we're just ending the session to keep it all positive. How will I know when they're ready for more time together and fewer treats/distractions?
 

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Nothing really new to add! We did the same set-up yesterday - Florie in her room at the threshold, gate open, and Hawthorne down the hall. It went the same! She came out of her room to look for treats and came about 3 feet away again and Hawthorne was interested in treats and I kept them about three feet apart until I felt enough treats had been consumed and then we guided Florie back to her room. She's a funny duck! She was bold as you please to get treats last night but then occasionally she still growls before going into the French Door room (where Hawthorne has spent the morning) but then once IN the room she's totally fine and takes a nap.

I'm continuing to try to play with both of them in the main area, to get their confidence and ownership of the space up.

I laughed thinking about how you say at this point you need to work more with the humans. I definitely feel that way. I feel a sense of trepidation when I know the visit is coming up and I'm always worried about challenging them to the next step, in case they fight or we get set back. :)

I know I've asked this before, but I always struggle with this - what do I do AFTER they've been distracted with treats for 5 or 10 minutes. Right now, we're just ending the session to keep it all positive. How will I know when they're ready for more time together and fewer treats/distractions?
"Nothing really new to add!" - Ok, let's see. Nothing new means nothing bad so that is positive.

" We did the same set-up yesterday - Florie in her room at the threshold, gate open, and Hawthorne down the hall. It went the same!" - Great!!!

" She came out of her room to look for treats and came about 3 feet away again and Hawthorne was interested in treats and I kept them about three feet apart until I felt enough treats had been consumed" - WOW!!! Yep, they are doing great, she is feeling confident AND since he is not attacking her she builds that trust. And of course, he is fine with her. :)

" and then we guided Florie back to her room." - Ok, great. Ending on a positive. :)

" She's a funny duck! She was bold as you please to get treats last night but then occasionally she still growls before going into the French Door room (where Hawthorne has spent the morning) but then once IN the room she's totally fine and takes a nap." - :) Yep, some do do that. It is more common that you may realize. I am not at all worried about her. :)

"I'm continuing to try to play with both of them in the main area, to get their confidence and ownership of the space up." - Perfect, must be working.

"I laughed thinking about how you say at this point you need to work more with the humans." - Awwwww, I actually didn't mean to be funny. It is the truth. VERY common. I do think that is a good issue to have. :)

"I definitely feel that way. I feel a sense of trepidation when I know the visit is coming up and I'm always worried about challenging them to the next step, in case they fight or we get set back. :) " - You and about 80% of the people I help. SO COMMON.

"I know I've asked this before, but I always struggle with this - what do I do AFTER they've been distracted with treats for 5 or 10 minutes. Right now, we're just ending the session to keep it all positive. How will I know when they're ready for more time together and fewer treats/distractions?" - This is where it is more art. I use words (and have some treats nearby if needed). I'll sit on the floor or on a chair and try to get one to hang out with me (safely). I try to get it where the cats chose to walk away. If we get that it is wonderful. I watch their body language. If you can get them a bit bored, lazy, etc and they are like "ok, the fun is over, I am going to groom then sleep" it is wonderful. Just be very calm, relaxed, confident, loving, let them soak it in, feel that as well, feel the trust, etc. Reassure with words, safe love if possible, give eye kisses. It is a bit hard to explain but just really feel and enjoy the situation and they should feel that and enjoy it and trust as well.

In the last video Hawthorne just walked away (I think to get a drink). I LOVED that.

Does that kinda make sense? It really is more art than science. Just let your love for them get through to them.

Hopefully that makes sense and helps. Ask anything.

I will say, I think all is well. I think we have or on the cusp of the breakthrough we are looking for. I LOVE she can walk towards him and he doesn't really care. That trust. Fantastic!!! :)
 
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"Nothing really new to add!" - Ok, let's see. Nothing new means nothing bad so that is positive.

" We did the same set-up yesterday - Florie in her room at the threshold, gate open, and Hawthorne down the hall. It went the same!" - Great!!!

" She came out of her room to look for treats and came about 3 feet away again and Hawthorne was interested in treats and I kept them about three feet apart until I felt enough treats had been consumed" - WOW!!! Yep, they are doing great, she is feeling confident AND since he is not attacking her she builds that trust. And of course, he is fine with her. :)

" and then we guided Florie back to her room." - Ok, great. Ending on a positive. :)

" She's a funny duck! She was bold as you please to get treats last night but then occasionally she still growls before going into the French Door room (where Hawthorne has spent the morning) but then once IN the room she's totally fine and takes a nap." - :) Yep, some do do that. It is more common that you may realize. I am not at all worried about her. :)

"I'm continuing to try to play with both of them in the main area, to get their confidence and ownership of the space up." - Perfect, must be working.

"I laughed thinking about how you say at this point you need to work more with the humans." - Awwwww, I actually didn't mean to be funny. It is the truth. VERY common. I do think that is a good issue to have. :)

"I definitely feel that way. I feel a sense of trepidation when I know the visit is coming up and I'm always worried about challenging them to the next step, in case they fight or we get set back. :) " - You and about 80% of the people I help. SO COMMON.

"I know I've asked this before, but I always struggle with this - what do I do AFTER they've been distracted with treats for 5 or 10 minutes. Right now, we're just ending the session to keep it all positive. How will I know when they're ready for more time together and fewer treats/distractions?" - This is where it is more art. I use words (and have some treats nearby if needed). I'll sit on the floor or on a chair and try to get one to hang out with me (safely). I try to get it where the cats chose to walk away. If we get that it is wonderful. I watch their body language. If you can get them a bit bored, lazy, etc and they are like "ok, the fun is over, I am going to groom then sleep" it is wonderful. Just be very calm, relaxed, confident, loving, let them soak it in, feel that as well, feel the trust, etc. Reassure with words, safe love if possible, give eye kisses. It is a bit hard to explain but just really feel and enjoy the situation and they should feel that and enjoy it and trust as well.

In the last video Hawthorne just walked away (I think to get a drink). I LOVED that.

Does that kinda make sense? It really is more art than science. Just let your love for them get through to them.

Hopefully that makes sense and helps. Ask anything.

I will say, I think all is well. I think we have or on the cusp of the breakthrough we are looking for. I LOVE she can walk towards him and he doesn't really care. That trust. Fantastic!!! :)
Hello!

I like your idea of letting the love get through to them! I still struggle with being nervous but I'm going to try tonight to talk in my loving voice, instead of (or, as well as) just visually monitoring. :)

We are hoping this weekend to move to visits again in the main room, but for now have been sticking with the hallway since that seems to be going well.

Wednesday night - same as all of the above.

Thursday night (last night) we had a little 'moment' but I think it all was fine! Here's what happened: Florie had finished her paste and came marching out of the room as usual. They were about three feet apart and so I followed your advice and just calmly gave each a treat here and there to keep them going. At one point, Hawthorne went for the treat and it bounced off his paws and went towards Florie, who also went for the same treat, and then they basically ended up nose-to-nose. It happened VERY quickly. My perspective was that Hawthorne was still more focussed on finding the treat then anything else, so I quickly grabbed another treat and gave it to her. She was growling and I couldn't tell if she was defensive/aggressive. My partner thought Hawthorne might have lifted a paw slightly (to swat, perhaps), although my perspective was that he truly thinking more about the treat than anything and was just surprised. Florie remained more focussed on him then he did on her, so my partner (wisely) gently put the cardboard between them for a few moments until we could guide each away with treats. Hawthorne's eyes were a bit big, but he kept snacking. Florie ate a few more and then we also guided her back to her room. I know we could've kept going (to reinforce the positive ending) but my partner kind of led Florie away and I thought ok, we'll just leave it.

Overall, though, despite ending up nose-to-nose, nobody pounced or swatted or did anything. It was super brief, of course, but the focus remained on the treats.

Tonight we'll do one last hallway visit, and then tomorrow (I must be brave!) we'll try a visit in the main room and see how Florie does. I've been playing with her on all the furniture and all over to help her own the space.

I have been trying to play with Hawthorne too, but man, he is a tough cookie. We were playing with a string one night so I thought, great, we'll try it tomorrow morning. But then in the morning the same toy totally scared him and he ran away and hid. As you know, he is very easily frightened/startled. So we're trying very gentle play - like a toy on the ground over crinkle paper or peaking out from under a blanket and he can pounce on it. Point is, I'm really trying to help his confidence (play, loving words, quality time) but right now, he is where he is. I'm hoping once they're intro'd and he doesn't have to go in the room anymore, he'll become more confident too - no territory being taken away. :)

Thanks as always for reading and hope you're having a good day. :)
 

calicosrspecial

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Hello!

I like your idea of letting the love get through to them! I still struggle with being nervous but I'm going to try tonight to talk in my loving voice, instead of (or, as well as) just visually monitoring. :)

We are hoping this weekend to move to visits again in the main room, but for now have been sticking with the hallway since that seems to be going well.

Wednesday night - same as all of the above.

Thursday night (last night) we had a little 'moment' but I think it all was fine! Here's what happened: Florie had finished her paste and came marching out of the room as usual. They were about three feet apart and so I followed your advice and just calmly gave each a treat here and there to keep them going. At one point, Hawthorne went for the treat and it bounced off his paws and went towards Florie, who also went for the same treat, and then they basically ended up nose-to-nose. It happened VERY quickly. My perspective was that Hawthorne was still more focussed on finding the treat then anything else, so I quickly grabbed another treat and gave it to her. She was growling and I couldn't tell if she was defensive/aggressive. My partner thought Hawthorne might have lifted a paw slightly (to swat, perhaps), although my perspective was that he truly thinking more about the treat than anything and was just surprised. Florie remained more focussed on him then he did on her, so my partner (wisely) gently put the cardboard between them for a few moments until we could guide each away with treats. Hawthorne's eyes were a bit big, but he kept snacking. Florie ate a few more and then we also guided her back to her room. I know we could've kept going (to reinforce the positive ending) but my partner kind of led Florie away and I thought ok, we'll just leave it.

Overall, though, despite ending up nose-to-nose, nobody pounced or swatted or did anything. It was super brief, of course, but the focus remained on the treats.

Tonight we'll do one last hallway visit, and then tomorrow (I must be brave!) we'll try a visit in the main room and see how Florie does. I've been playing with her on all the furniture and all over to help her own the space.

I have been trying to play with Hawthorne too, but man, he is a tough cookie. We were playing with a string one night so I thought, great, we'll try it tomorrow morning. But then in the morning the same toy totally scared him and he ran away and hid. As you know, he is very easily frightened/startled. So we're trying very gentle play - like a toy on the ground over crinkle paper or peaking out from under a blanket and he can pounce on it. Point is, I'm really trying to help his confidence (play, loving words, quality time) but right now, he is where he is. I'm hoping once they're intro'd and he doesn't have to go in the room anymore, he'll become more confident too - no territory being taken away. :)

Thanks as always for reading and hope you're having a good day. :)
"Hello!" - Hello!!! :)

"I like your idea of letting the love get through to them!" - Great

" I still struggle with being nervous" - WE ALL DO!!! :) That is normal. But as we focus more on it and they get better it does get easier and then the positives feed on themselves.

"but I'm going to try tonight to talk in my loving voice, instead of (or, as well as) just visually monitoring. :) " - PERFECT!! They love you so that will give them confidence making a positive association with you voice.

"We are hoping this weekend to move to visits again in the main room" - Great

" but for now have been sticking with the hallway since that seems to be going well." - That is fine.

"Wednesday night - same as all of the above." - Great. Same is terrific.

"Thursday night (last night) we had a little 'moment' but I think it all was fine! " - Ooooooooooo, let's see

"Here's what happened: Florie had finished her paste and came marching out of the room as usual." - Hahahaha, confidence. LOVE IT hopefully Hawthorne does as well.

" They were about three feet apart and so I followed your advice and just calmly gave each a treat here and there to keep them going." - GREAT

" At one point, Hawthorne went for the treat and it bounced off his paws and went towards Florie, who also went for the same treat, and then they basically ended up nose-to-nose. It happened VERY quickly." - Yep, that happens and yes, it DOES happen so quickly.

" My perspective was that Hawthorne was still more focussed on finding the treat then anything else," - Ok, great

" so I quickly grabbed another treat and gave it to her." - Perfect.

" She was growling" - Of course, expected. WHAT I want to know is how Hawthorne is doing at this point.

" and I couldn't tell if she was defensive/aggressive." - My guess defensive. But let's see.

"My partner thought Hawthorne might have lifted a paw slightly (to swat, perhaps), although my perspective was that he truly thinking more about the treat than anything and was just surprised." - Ok, it is possible he did. BUT the fact he didn't go full on her (at least so far) is a BIG deal. This is a big test and let's see how they do.

" Florie remained more focussed on him then he did on her," - Yes, expected.

"so my partner (wisely) gently put the cardboard between them for a few moments until we could guide each away with treats." - Ok. Awwwwwww, I was hoping to know how they would do. I tend to have the cardboard to break up an actual fight (safely for the humans) rather than use it as a site blocker unless absolutely necessary (when food, treats, words, toys, etc fail in distraction and a fight is almost certain). Not at all a criticism more of an educational thing. Sometimes the cardboard blocker can create some issues that may not have been there since it often is something that is "different". Of course, if we don;t use it and a real fight happens then we regret it. :/

"Hawthorne's eyes were a bit big, but he kept snacking." - That is the key. He kept snacking. THAT is a BIG deal AND is GREAT!!!

" Florie ate a few more" - Great

" and then we also guided her back to her room." - Ok

" I know we could've kept going (to reinforce the positive ending) but my partner kind of led Florie away and I thought ok, we'll just leave it." - That is fine.

"Overall, though, despite ending up nose-to-nose, nobody pounced or swatted or did anything. It was super brief, of course, but the focus remained on the treats." - TOTALLY AGREE. TOTAL positive though if I was there I would have gone a bit further BUT I have the experience. AND the fact it was and ended positive it builds confidence. So there is another time to take the exam. ;)

"Tonight we'll do one last hallway visit" - Ok, great

"and then tomorrow (I must be brave!) we'll try a visit in the main room and see how Florie does." - Hahahaha. It is interesting, you aren't talking about the cats needing to be brave. ;) I LIKE that!! You will be just fine. :) The fact you both did so well with them nose to nose tells me all is going to be fine.

"I've been playing with her on all the furniture and all over to help her own the space." - Perfect. She is definitely showing confidence.

She could have run when nose to nose but she didn't. THAT is a BIG sign of her growing confidence.

"I have been trying to play with Hawthorne too, but man, he is a tough cookie." - Hahahaha, some can be. :/

" We were playing with a string one night so I thought, great, we'll try it tomorrow morning. But then in the morning the same toy totally scared him and he ran away and hid." - Yep. BUT he is doing great.

" As you know, he is very easily frightened/startled. So we're trying very gentle play - like a toy on the ground over crinkle paper or peaking out from under a blanket and he can pounce on it." - Great

" Point is, I'm really trying to help his confidence (play, loving words, quality time)" - Great

" but right now, he is where he is." - He is doing great actually. I LOVE where he is right now. He could have attacked her when the treat bounced towards her but he didn't. He didn't bully her, didn't chase, etc. He is doing great and in a much better place than I think you realize. :) I am so happy with where he is and how he is doing.

"I'm hoping once they're intro'd and he doesn't have to go in the room anymore, he'll become more confident too - no territory being taken away. :) " - Yes, he is going to be fine. He has pretty much already accepted her. We just need to get her over the hump (which we may actually already have but I want confirmation).

I think they are doing great and if they are not there already they sure are close. THIS Thursday encounter was big deal and they did great. :)

"Thanks as always for reading and hope you're having a good day. :) " - Oh my, of course. You are very welcome. THANK YOU for doing such great work with them. Without you doing what you are doing (and your partner) they would not be on the cusp of being intro'd (if they aren't already).

Yes, reading this MADE MY DAY!!!! :) :yess: :hyper: :clap2: :cheerleader: :purr:
 
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"Hello!" - Hello!!! :)

"I like your idea of letting the love get through to them!" - Great

" I still struggle with being nervous" - WE ALL DO!!! :) That is normal. But as we focus more on it and they get better it does get easier and then the positives feed on themselves.

"but I'm going to try tonight to talk in my loving voice, instead of (or, as well as) just visually monitoring. :) " - PERFECT!! They love you so that will give them confidence making a positive association with you voice.

"We are hoping this weekend to move to visits again in the main room" - Great

" but for now have been sticking with the hallway since that seems to be going well." - That is fine.

"Wednesday night - same as all of the above." - Great. Same is terrific.

"Thursday night (last night) we had a little 'moment' but I think it all was fine! " - Ooooooooooo, let's see

"Here's what happened: Florie had finished her paste and came marching out of the room as usual." - Hahahaha, confidence. LOVE IT hopefully Hawthorne does as well.

" They were about three feet apart and so I followed your advice and just calmly gave each a treat here and there to keep them going." - GREAT

" At one point, Hawthorne went for the treat and it bounced off his paws and went towards Florie, who also went for the same treat, and then they basically ended up nose-to-nose. It happened VERY quickly." - Yep, that happens and yes, it DOES happen so quickly.

" My perspective was that Hawthorne was still more focussed on finding the treat then anything else," - Ok, great

" so I quickly grabbed another treat and gave it to her." - Perfect.

" She was growling" - Of course, expected. WHAT I want to know is how Hawthorne is doing at this point.

" and I couldn't tell if she was defensive/aggressive." - My guess defensive. But let's see.

"My partner thought Hawthorne might have lifted a paw slightly (to swat, perhaps), although my perspective was that he truly thinking more about the treat than anything and was just surprised." - Ok, it is possible he did. BUT the fact he didn't go full on her (at least so far) is a BIG deal. This is a big test and let's see how they do.

" Florie remained more focussed on him then he did on her," - Yes, expected.

"so my partner (wisely) gently put the cardboard between them for a few moments until we could guide each away with treats." - Ok. Awwwwwww, I was hoping to know how they would do. I tend to have the cardboard to break up an actual fight (safely for the humans) rather than use it as a site blocker unless absolutely necessary (when food, treats, words, toys, etc fail in distraction and a fight is almost certain). Not at all a criticism more of an educational thing. Sometimes the cardboard blocker can create some issues that may not have been there since it often is something that is "different". Of course, if we don;t use it and a real fight happens then we regret it. :/

"Hawthorne's eyes were a bit big, but he kept snacking." - That is the key. He kept snacking. THAT is a BIG deal AND is GREAT!!!

" Florie ate a few more" - Great

" and then we also guided her back to her room." - Ok

" I know we could've kept going (to reinforce the positive ending) but my partner kind of led Florie away and I thought ok, we'll just leave it." - That is fine.

"Overall, though, despite ending up nose-to-nose, nobody pounced or swatted or did anything. It was super brief, of course, but the focus remained on the treats." - TOTALLY AGREE. TOTAL positive though if I was there I would have gone a bit further BUT I have the experience. AND the fact it was and ended positive it builds confidence. So there is another time to take the exam. ;)

"Tonight we'll do one last hallway visit" - Ok, great

"and then tomorrow (I must be brave!) we'll try a visit in the main room and see how Florie does." - Hahahaha. It is interesting, you aren't talking about the cats needing to be brave. ;) I LIKE that!! You will be just fine. :) The fact you both did so well with them nose to nose tells me all is going to be fine.

"I've been playing with her on all the furniture and all over to help her own the space." - Perfect. She is definitely showing confidence.

She could have run when nose to nose but she didn't. THAT is a BIG sign of her growing confidence.

"I have been trying to play with Hawthorne too, but man, he is a tough cookie." - Hahahaha, some can be. :/

" We were playing with a string one night so I thought, great, we'll try it tomorrow morning. But then in the morning the same toy totally scared him and he ran away and hid." - Yep. BUT he is doing great.

" As you know, he is very easily frightened/startled. So we're trying very gentle play - like a toy on the ground over crinkle paper or peaking out from under a blanket and he can pounce on it." - Great

" Point is, I'm really trying to help his confidence (play, loving words, quality time)" - Great

" but right now, he is where he is." - He is doing great actually. I LOVE where he is right now. He could have attacked her when the treat bounced towards her but he didn't. He didn't bully her, didn't chase, etc. He is doing great and in a much better place than I think you realize. :) I am so happy with where he is and how he is doing.

"I'm hoping once they're intro'd and he doesn't have to go in the room anymore, he'll become more confident too - no territory being taken away. :) " - Yes, he is going to be fine. He has pretty much already accepted her. We just need to get her over the hump (which we may actually already have but I want confirmation).

I think they are doing great and if they are not there already they sure are close. THIS Thursday encounter was big deal and they did great. :)

"Thanks as always for reading and hope you're having a good day. :) " - Oh my, of course. You are very welcome. THANK YOU for doing such great work with them. Without you doing what you are doing (and your partner) they would not be on the cusp of being intro'd (if they aren't already).

Yes, reading this MADE MY DAY!!!! :) :yess: :hyper: :clap2: :cheerleader: :purr:
Well, we flew too close to the sun on wings of hope, hahah. This evening I thought we could try face-to-face supper - her in her room with the gate open and him down the hall. He was initially scared to come out of his room which maybe I should have read as a sign that he wasn't in the best mood. They both ate their meals and it was fine - Florie left to go up on her cat tree and Hawthorne was still eating. But when he finished his meal, he came down the hallway to her room. I thought I would see how it played out and could distract him with a treat, but he was not distractable and he basically tried to go right for her cat tree and I think would have tried to fight/do something if my partner hadn't stuck the cardboard between them. Hawthorne was NOT distractable at that point. He didn't have aggressive body language but he was very direct in going right to her and not being dissuaded. I, unfortunately, was fairly useless (and despite trying to keep my cool I could feel later I had TOTAL ADRENALINE coursing through me, sheesh). I tried to keep distracting with treats and saying nice words in my calmer voice but Florence got upset (growling, hunching) and Hawthorne then ran and hid under her bed and wouldn't come out. So then she decided to try to run out of the room and we were worried that as soon as she went by the bed he would chase her, so I basically picked her up and carried her out into the main room. It took about 3-5 minutes for each to calm down and start eating treats again (all the ones on the ground that I had earlier tried to distract them with) but I couldn't get her to go back to the hallway area - she was too scared. It's about 20 minutes later and she is now grooming. I'm going to leave it a bit longer before I try to switch them back again (since it is technically now time for her to be in her room).

Does that mean I let the encounter go too long? Or was it because he was maybe in a bad/insecure mood? Should I have paid attention to the fact that he was initially more scared? What would have been different about that encounter that would mean he suddenly viewed her as a threat again?

I'm trying to not be disheartened - as you said, there would be bumps along the road. And, technically there wasn't actually a fight. I just wanted him to leave it and go take his drink (like he did the other day) but no.

I should say too that my error was letting him IN the room. But I thought I could distract him. So I feel bad that I made that error when I should have just closed the gate.
 
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Furmama22

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I actually just had a thought tonight. For a week or two now we've observed that Hawthorne is chewing primarily on one side of his mouth. He has had a dental cleaning before - about a year and a half ago, or maybe two years. Or maybe three. He is not a cat for whom regularly brushing his teeth is an option. But I wonder if he has a sore tooth.

I was first thinking I would hold off taking him to the vet until they were intro'd in case it messes with his smell. And, he gets really really stressed out going to the vet. But, now I'm thinking I SHOULD take him because if he's in pain, it could explain some of his hiding and being extra scared and even some of his more aggressive behaviours/insecurity. What do you think?
 
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calicosrspecial

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Well, we flew too close to the sun on wings of hope, hahah. This evening I thought we could try face-to-face supper - her in her room with the gate open and him down the hall. He was initially scared to come out of his room which maybe I should have read as a sign that he wasn't in the best mood. They both ate their meals and it was fine - Florie left to go up on her cat tree and Hawthorne was still eating. But when he finished his meal, he came down the hallway to her room. I thought I would see how it played out and could distract him with a treat, but he was not distractable and he basically tried to go right for her cat tree and I think would have tried to fight/do something if my partner hadn't stuck the cardboard between them. Hawthorne was NOT distractable at that point. He didn't have aggressive body language but he was very direct in going right to her and not being dissuaded. I, unfortunately, was fairly useless (and despite trying to keep my cool I could feel later I had TOTAL ADRENALINE coursing through me, sheesh). I tried to keep distracting with treats and saying nice words in my calmer voice but Florence got upset (growling, hunching) and Hawthorne then ran and hid under her bed and wouldn't come out. So then she decided to try to run out of the room and we were worried that as soon as she went by the bed he would chase her, so I basically picked her up and carried her out into the main room. It took about 3-5 minutes for each to calm down and start eating treats again (all the ones on the ground that I had earlier tried to distract them with) but I couldn't get her to go back to the hallway area - she was too scared. It's about 20 minutes later and she is now grooming. I'm going to leave it a bit longer before I try to switch them back again (since it is technically now time for her to be in her room).

Does that mean I let the encounter go too long? Or was it because he was maybe in a bad/insecure mood? Should I have paid attention to the fact that he was initially more scared? What would have been different about that encounter that would mean he suddenly viewed her as a threat again?

I'm trying to not be disheartened - as you said, there would be bumps along the road. And, technically there wasn't actually a fight. I just wanted him to leave it and go take his drink (like he did the other day) but no.

I should say too that my error was letting him IN the room. But I thought I could distract him. So I feel bad that I made that error when I should have just closed the gate.
"Well, we flew too close to the sun on wings of hope, hahah." - OK, let's see.

" This evening I thought we could try face-to-face supper - her in her room with the gate open and him down the hall." - Ok, great

" He was initially scared to come out of his room which maybe I should have read as a sign that he wasn't in the best mood." - Hmmmm, ok.

" They both ate their meals and it was fine" - Great

" - Florie left to go up on her cat tree and Hawthorne was still eating." - Great. She went in the cat tree in her room (the office)?

" But when he finished his meal, he came down the hallway to her room." - OK, I actually like that (I am interested to read soon what happened). BUT at this point I like that he was confident to come to her room.

" I thought I would see how it played out and could distract him with a treat" - Exactly, I would do the same.

" but he was not distractable" - Ok :/

" and he basically tried to go right for her cat tree" - OK, how was he walking? Were his ears back, tail big, hair up, eyes dilated?

" and I think would have tried to fight/do something if my partner hadn't stuck the cardboard between them." - Ok, good.

" Hawthorne was NOT distractable at that point." - Ok

" He didn't have aggressive body language" - Hmmmmmm, THAT is really good.

" but he was very direct in going right to her and not being dissuaded." - Could it have been just interested? Like "let me check you out"? And at this point how was she acting?

"I, unfortunately, was fairly useless (and despite trying to keep my cool I could feel later I had TOTAL ADRENALINE coursing through me, sheesh)." - I know, it is hard.

" I tried to keep distracting with treats and saying nice words in my calmer voice" - Ok, great, you were doing the right things.

" but Florence got upset (growling, hunching)" - Ok, that isn't unusual. She is "holding her ground". When a cat "holds their ground" it can deter an attack or encourage an attack. So now it is important to see if he respects it or escalates it.

"and Hawthorne then ran and hid under her bed and wouldn't come out." - Ok. So he respected it. I am actually good with this. OF COURSE, I don't want him to hide under the bed and not come out BUT I like he respected her wishes/communication.

"So then she decided to try to run out of the room" - Ok

" and we were worried that as soon as she went by the bed he would chase her," - Absolutely. Another test.

"so I basically picked her up and carried her out into the main room." - Ok. SO did she run past him? And he didn't take off after her?

"It took about 3-5 minutes for each to calm down and start eating treats again (all the ones on the ground that I had earlier tried to distract them with)" - GREAT!!! Fast rebound.

" but I couldn't get her to go back to the hallway area - she was too scared." - Ok. :/ But nothing bad really happened so she will learn.

" It's about 20 minutes later and she is now grooming." - Ok, great. She is over it. Fast rebound.

" I'm going to leave it a bit longer before I try to switch them back again (since it is technically now time for her to be in her room)." - Ok, that is fine. (Sorry for the delayed unhelpful responses BUT hopefully it helps for educational purposes).

"Does that mean I let the encounter go too long?" - Absolutely not. I actually think this was very telling. I am not convinced he meant harm to her when he beelined to her. BUT they were tested, it didn't escalate, nothing bad really happened and they rebounded quickly. They passed the test. :) I am glad we got to this point (of course I would prefer all went smoothly BUT it will).

"Or was it because he was maybe in a bad/insecure mood?" - Good question. He would not have gone towards her room (without negative body language) if it were those. I would have had to see him go up to her in the tree. But I just don;t get the feeling he had that much bad intent. AND he didn't escalate.

" Should I have paid attention to the fact that he was initially more scared?" - Maybe but I don't think that was an issue. Maybe he was in a bad mood but he ate and walked down the hall so he couldn't have been that bad.

"What would have been different about that encounter that would mean he suddenly viewed her as a threat again?" - I am not convinced he viewed her as a threat. BUT what was different it was in "her room" and she was above so he may have felt a bit insecure at that point BUT I would have had to have been there. He may not be as confident in "her room/ the office" as in other places. But that is the only thing I can really think of. And he didn't attack her, didn't chase her went she went by (I think she ran past him) so I don't think he was aggressive attack more but maybe more defensive.

"I'm trying to not be disheartened" - I wouldn't be at all. I am not at all.

" - as you said, there would be bumps along the road. And, technically there wasn't actually a fight." - Exactly.

" I just wanted him to leave it and go take his drink (like he did the other day) but no." - Well, they are cats so.............

"I should say too that my error was letting him IN the room." - I am not so sure.

" But I thought I could distract him." - Exactly. I would have done the same thing.

" So I feel bad that I made that error when I should have just closed the gate." - You should not feel badly at all. PLEASE don't be so hard on yourself. I actually think you and your partner did exactly the right things.

And I would say the following. It seems totally defensive not offensive which is much better, there wasn't a fight, they rebounded quickly. Episodes like this actually build trust because no one was really threatened or hurt etc.

"I actually just had a thought tonight. For a week or two now we've observed that Hawthorne is chewing primarily on one side of his mouth. He has had a dental cleaning before - about a year and a half ago, or maybe two years. Or maybe three. He is not a cat for whom regularly brushing his teeth is an option. But I wonder if he has a sore tooth." - Hmmmmm, could be. I would call the vet and see what they think. How does he do with vet visits?

"I was first thinking I would hold off taking him to the vet until they were intro'd in case it messes with his smell." - I wouldn't worry about that.

" And, he gets really really stressed out going to the vet." - OK, you answered that. He does get stressed. :/

"But, now I'm thinking I SHOULD take him because if he's in pain" - Yes, if you think he is in pain then yes, he should go in. That would be best.

"it could explain some of his hiding and being extra scared and even some of his more aggressive behaviours/insecurity. What do you think? " - It could be I don't think that is the issue. I actually think he is doing really, really well. Maybe I am not getting the whole story because I am not there (the nuance in his behavior) but everything you write tells me he is doing great. Really, the only issues were his chasing her hen she jumped down (expected) and then this incident (which is a little less obvious but really not worrying). IF pain etc was the cause I would think we would be seeing literally no positive encounters (like the other day when he went for the treat and she was right there and nothing bad happened). Of course, the pain could come and go and be better some days and worse some so........... With that said, cats typically have a high tolerance for pain so it would have to be pretty bad. :/

So, if you think he has some teeth issues and is in pain then I think a vet visit is warranted. We would have to de-stress him after the visit so might be a little on hold but I don't think the different smells etc would be an issue.

And what will be important is how they acted after you posted her and then this morning as well. If they are acting pretty normal then that will reinforce it wasn't a big deal.

And after something like this just give them love (safely), hang out with them, etc and help them get over it.

So overall, this does not change my view at all. This was nothing more than a blip unless I read something else.

Hang in there, you did great. :)
 
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Furmama22

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"Well, we flew too close to the sun on wings of hope, hahah." - OK, let's see.

" This evening I thought we could try face-to-face supper - her in her room with the gate open and him down the hall." - Ok, great

" He was initially scared to come out of his room which maybe I should have read as a sign that he wasn't in the best mood." - Hmmmm, ok.

" They both ate their meals and it was fine" - Great

" - Florie left to go up on her cat tree and Hawthorne was still eating." - Great. She went in the cat tree in her room (the office)?

" But when he finished his meal, he came down the hallway to her room." - OK, I actually like that (I am interested to read soon what happened). BUT at this point I like that he was confident to come to her room.

" I thought I would see how it played out and could distract him with a treat" - Exactly, I would do the same.

" but he was not distractable" - Ok :/

" and he basically tried to go right for her cat tree" - OK, how was he walking? Were his ears back, tail big, hair up, eyes dilated?

" and I think would have tried to fight/do something if my partner hadn't stuck the cardboard between them." - Ok, good.

" Hawthorne was NOT distractable at that point." - Ok

" He didn't have aggressive body language" - Hmmmmmm, THAT is really good.

" but he was very direct in going right to her and not being dissuaded." - Could it have been just interested? Like "let me check you out"? And at this point how was she acting?

"I, unfortunately, was fairly useless (and despite trying to keep my cool I could feel later I had TOTAL ADRENALINE coursing through me, sheesh)." - I know, it is hard.

" I tried to keep distracting with treats and saying nice words in my calmer voice" - Ok, great, you were doing the right things.

" but Florence got upset (growling, hunching)" - Ok, that isn't unusual. She is "holding her ground". When a cat "holds their ground" it can deter an attack or encourage an attack. So now it is important to see if he respects it or escalates it.

"and Hawthorne then ran and hid under her bed and wouldn't come out." - Ok. So he respected it. I am actually good with this. OF COURSE, I don't want him to hide under the bed and not come out BUT I like he respected her wishes/communication.

"So then she decided to try to run out of the room" - Ok

" and we were worried that as soon as she went by the bed he would chase her," - Absolutely. Another test.

"so I basically picked her up and carried her out into the main room." - Ok. SO did she run past him? And he didn't take off after her?

"It took about 3-5 minutes for each to calm down and start eating treats again (all the ones on the ground that I had earlier tried to distract them with)" - GREAT!!! Fast rebound.

" but I couldn't get her to go back to the hallway area - she was too scared." - Ok. :/ But nothing bad really happened so she will learn.

" It's about 20 minutes later and she is now grooming." - Ok, great. She is over it. Fast rebound.

" I'm going to leave it a bit longer before I try to switch them back again (since it is technically now time for her to be in her room)." - Ok, that is fine. (Sorry for the delayed unhelpful responses BUT hopefully it helps for educational purposes).

"Does that mean I let the encounter go too long?" - Absolutely not. I actually think this was very telling. I am not convinced he meant harm to her when he beelined to her. BUT they were tested, it didn't escalate, nothing bad really happened and they rebounded quickly. They passed the test. :) I am glad we got to this point (of course I would prefer all went smoothly BUT it will).

"Or was it because he was maybe in a bad/insecure mood?" - Good question. He would not have gone towards her room (without negative body language) if it were those. I would have had to see him go up to her in the tree. But I just don;t get the feeling he had that much bad intent. AND he didn't escalate.

" Should I have paid attention to the fact that he was initially more scared?" - Maybe but I don't think that was an issue. Maybe he was in a bad mood but he ate and walked down the hall so he couldn't have been that bad.

"What would have been different about that encounter that would mean he suddenly viewed her as a threat again?" - I am not convinced he viewed her as a threat. BUT what was different it was in "her room" and she was above so he may have felt a bit insecure at that point BUT I would have had to have been there. He may not be as confident in "her room/ the office" as in other places. But that is the only thing I can really think of. And he didn't attack her, didn't chase her went she went by (I think she ran past him) so I don't think he was aggressive attack more but maybe more defensive.

"I'm trying to not be disheartened" - I wouldn't be at all. I am not at all.

" - as you said, there would be bumps along the road. And, technically there wasn't actually a fight." - Exactly.

" I just wanted him to leave it and go take his drink (like he did the other day) but no." - Well, they are cats so.............

"I should say too that my error was letting him IN the room." - I am not so sure.

" But I thought I could distract him." - Exactly. I would have done the same thing.

" So I feel bad that I made that error when I should have just closed the gate." - You should not feel badly at all. PLEASE don't be so hard on yourself. I actually think you and your partner did exactly the right things.

And I would say the following. It seems totally defensive not offensive which is much better, there wasn't a fight, they rebounded quickly. Episodes like this actually build trust because no one was really threatened or hurt etc.

"I actually just had a thought tonight. For a week or two now we've observed that Hawthorne is chewing primarily on one side of his mouth. He has had a dental cleaning before - about a year and a half ago, or maybe two years. Or maybe three. He is not a cat for whom regularly brushing his teeth is an option. But I wonder if he has a sore tooth." - Hmmmmm, could be. I would call the vet and see what they think. How does he do with vet visits?

"I was first thinking I would hold off taking him to the vet until they were intro'd in case it messes with his smell." - I wouldn't worry about that.

" And, he gets really really stressed out going to the vet." - OK, you answered that. He does get stressed. :/

"But, now I'm thinking I SHOULD take him because if he's in pain" - Yes, if you think he is in pain then yes, he should go in. That would be best.

"it could explain some of his hiding and being extra scared and even some of his more aggressive behaviours/insecurity. What do you think? " - It could be I don't think that is the issue. I actually think he is doing really, really well. Maybe I am not getting the whole story because I am not there (the nuance in his behavior) but everything you write tells me he is doing great. Really, the only issues were his chasing her hen she jumped down (expected) and then this incident (which is a little less obvious but really not worrying). IF pain etc was the cause I would think we would be seeing literally no positive encounters (like the other day when he went for the treat and she was right there and nothing bad happened). Of course, the pain could come and go and be better some days and worse some so........... With that said, cats typically have a high tolerance for pain so it would have to be pretty bad. :/

So, if you think he has some teeth issues and is in pain then I think a vet visit is warranted. We would have to de-stress him after the visit so might be a little on hold but I don't think the different smells etc would be an issue.

And what will be important is how they acted after you posted her and then this morning as well. If they are acting pretty normal then that will reinforce it wasn't a big deal.

And after something like this just give them love (safely), hang out with them, etc and help them get over it.

So overall, this does not change my view at all. This was nothing more than a blip unless I read something else.

Hang in there, you did great. :)
Your advice and thoughts, as always, are very helpful. I'm trying to think it through again about yesterday. I do think it could have been interested. He didn't have aggressive body language - it was just very direct. He really wanted to go right to her. That was the first time he has been in her room with her in it. So it's possible it was sort of...obnoxiously curious. But of course, he's a tricky one.

I think what prevented it from escalating (possibly - and I forgot to add this detail) was my partner putting cardboard between them. Hawthorne was up on the window ledge trying to get close to Florie on her tree and my partner put the cardboard between. Hawthorne was definitely interested in getting AROUND the cardboard (or over, except he's not very good at that) and then I think he ran under the bed and was scared because we were starting to get a bit panicked (possibly) and he's very easily startled. I'm not sure if he was respecting Florence (maybe?) or just worried because we were starting to get anxious in our behaviour/energy (though trying to remain calm).

And then technically she didn't get an opportunity to run past him, because he was hiding under the bed and we didn't want to risk it, so I carried her out after she jumped off her cat tree. It did seem clear that she didn't want to stay in her room, knowing he was under the bed.

We want her to be more confident, right? Do we want her to maybe give him a bonk and get him to stop viewing her as prey? When she approaches HIM during the evening treat sessions, he seems better.

We did try an evening treat session but sometimes our table 'cracks' as it settles (it's weird) and makes a loud noise and it totally scared Hawthorne who ran down the hall and luckily into our bedroom under the bed but Florie was unsettled because he had come running directly down the hall towards her. I was able to coax him part-way out from under the bed to finish the treat but we thought we'd leave it at that. Afterwards I spent a little time with her to make sure she was ok and she was totally fine.

So yes, fast enough rebound, and by this morning, all back to normal. Hawthorne seemed A BIT more reserved at breakfast again (he wanted his food dish a bit further away from Florie's gate - lately he's been awesome and will eat just one foot from her gate) but everything else was just as it has been.

My partner thinks I might be updating too often so if I am, please let me know. I don't want to be overburdening you. :)

And yes, if I take Hawthorne to the vet (which I think I will), I'll build a cushion of time around it so he has time to decompress before seeing Florie again. And of course, if he requires dental work, well, I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. :)

And you're right, they are cats - so things won't be tidy and predictable. :)
 

calicosrspecial

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Your advice and thoughts, as always, are very helpful. I'm trying to think it through again about yesterday. I do think it could have been interested. He didn't have aggressive body language - it was just very direct. He really wanted to go right to her. That was the first time he has been in her room with her in it. So it's possible it was sort of...obnoxiously curious. But of course, he's a tricky one.

I think what prevented it from escalating (possibly - and I forgot to add this detail) was my partner putting cardboard between them. Hawthorne was up on the window ledge trying to get close to Florie on her tree and my partner put the cardboard between. Hawthorne was definitely interested in getting AROUND the cardboard (or over, except he's not very good at that) and then I think he ran under the bed and was scared because we were starting to get a bit panicked (possibly) and he's very easily startled. I'm not sure if he was respecting Florence (maybe?) or just worried because we were starting to get anxious in our behaviour/energy (though trying to remain calm).

And then technically she didn't get an opportunity to run past him, because he was hiding under the bed and we didn't want to risk it, so I carried her out after she jumped off her cat tree. It did seem clear that she didn't want to stay in her room, knowing he was under the bed.

We want her to be more confident, right? Do we want her to maybe give him a bonk and get him to stop viewing her as prey? When she approaches HIM during the evening treat sessions, he seems better.

We did try an evening treat session but sometimes our table 'cracks' as it settles (it's weird) and makes a loud noise and it totally scared Hawthorne who ran down the hall and luckily into our bedroom under the bed but Florie was unsettled because he had come running directly down the hall towards her. I was able to coax him part-way out from under the bed to finish the treat but we thought we'd leave it at that. Afterwards I spent a little time with her to make sure she was ok and she was totally fine.

So yes, fast enough rebound, and by this morning, all back to normal. Hawthorne seemed A BIT more reserved at breakfast again (he wanted his food dish a bit further away from Florie's gate - lately he's been awesome and will eat just one foot from her gate) but everything else was just as it has been.

My partner thinks I might be updating too often so if I am, please let me know. I don't want to be overburdening you. :)

And yes, if I take Hawthorne to the vet (which I think I will), I'll build a cushion of time around it so he has time to decompress before seeing Florie again. And of course, if he requires dental work, well, I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. :)

And you're right, they are cats - so things won't be tidy and predictable. :)
"Your advice and thoughts, as always, are very helpful." - :)

" I'm trying to think it through again about yesterday." - Ok, good. Sometimes when we go back we see it a bit moe "in context".

" I do think it could have been interested." - OK, good to know.

" He didn't have aggressive body language" - Yes and that is very important. Usually when it is bad it is pretty noticeable.

" - it was just very direct." - Yes, being interested can be like that (combined with confidence and trust). If there was a lack of confidence or trust they would be more cautious OR more aggressive with most likely negative body language. It is nuanced which makes it a bit tough without experience.

"He really wanted to go right to her. That was the first time he has been in her room with her in it. So it's possible it was sort of...obnoxiously curious. But of course, he's a tricky one." - Yes. It could be "Ok, my friend is here". Without seeing it it is difficult to know. :/

"I think what prevented it from escalating (possibly - and I forgot to add this detail) was my partner putting cardboard between them." - Yes (you did mention that). I agree it stopped it from escalating IF it was going to escalate.

"Hawthorne was up on the window ledge trying to get close to Florie on her tree and my partner put the cardboard between." - Yes, again it depends on the body language. He could have wanted to confirm (via scent) it was her. It could have been "hi" or "that looks fun being up there". If he was moving fairly normally and had good body language then it might have been pretty innocent.

Using the cardboard was the right thing to do.

"Hawthorne was definitely interested in getting AROUND the cardboard (or over, except he's not very good at that)" - Hahahaha, yes. And again it is how he does it that really tells us all.

" and then I think he ran under the bed and was scared because we were starting to get a bit panicked (possibly) and he's very easily startled." - Ahhhhhhhhh, yes, absolutely could be that.

" I'm not sure if he was respecting Florence (maybe?) or just worried because we were starting to get anxious in our behaviour/energy (though trying to remain calm)." Well, if he wasn't respecting he would have really gone for her so...................... This is the art part of it. Reading the intent through looks, movement, behavior.

"And then technically she didn't get an opportunity to run past him, because he was hiding under the bed and we didn't want to risk it, so I carried her out after she jumped off her cat tree." - Ok. Could he see her jump down? I am sure he heard her jump down which could have triggered him (but didn't).

"It did seem clear that she didn't want to stay in her room, knowing he was under the bed." - Ok, not surprising and good to know.

"We want her to be more confident, right?" Absolutely and she is getting more confident.

" Do we want her to maybe give him a bonk and get him to stop viewing her as prey?" - Great question. Depends. If she has to discipline (bonk) then yes BUT if he comes up to her and behaves then no. I am not sure he views her as prey all the time. Really it seemed only when she jumped from the counter (please mention any other recent episodes I am forgetting if any).

"When she approaches HIM during the evening treat sessions, he seems better." - Interesting. Maybe because she is showing confidence? But when he approaches her and she gets a little edgy then the lack of confidence causes some prey instinct?

"We did try an evening treat session but sometimes our table 'cracks' as it settles (it's weird) and makes a loud noise and it totally scared Hawthorne who ran down the hall and luckily into our bedroom under the bed but Florie was unsettled because he had come running directly down the hall towards her." - Ok, that doesn't sound that bad. If they were eating treats all was fine and that tells me the earlier incident was a non-issue. I am impressed that all she was was unsettled. She could have run away. AND he didn't go after her. So that is actually a confidence builder.

" I was able to coax him part-way out from under the bed to finish the treat but we thought we'd leave it at that." - Ok, good.

" Afterwards I spent a little time with her to make sure she was ok and she was totally fine." - Great. Judging by her actions I was hoping that was the case. Great to get it confirmed.

"So yes, fast enough rebound, and by this morning, all back to normal." - GREAT!!! Yep, the incident in her room was nothing.

" Hawthorne seemed A BIT more reserved at breakfast again (he wanted his food dish a bit further away from Florie's gate - lately he's been awesome and will eat just one foot from her gate) but everything else was just as it has been." - That is fine. He has been eating 1 foot from her gate???? WOW!!!

"My partner thinks I might be updating too often so if I am, please let me know. I don't want to be overburdening you. :) " - Not at all from my perspective. You are not overburdening me at all. The more I know the faster we can get them fully intro'd.

"And yes, if I take Hawthorne to the vet (which I think I will), I'll build a cushion of time around it so he has time to decompress before seeing Florie again. And of course, if he requires dental work, well, I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. :) " - We can handle it. I am not at all worried about their relationship. I just want him to be well (if he isn't).

"And you're right, they are cats - so things won't be tidy and predictable. :) " - Yep. But overall, I actually think they are way better than you realize. The things you are seeing are really more minor than you fear. BUT keep updating me on everything and let me make the decision as to what is important and what is not. I actually think I have learned more about them these past few days and they are doing better than I hoped. There were some tests and they passed every one!! :)

Just keep up the great work and update anytime. PLEASE do not hold back anything worrying about me. :)
 
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Furmama22

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"Your advice and thoughts, as always, are very helpful." - :)

" I'm trying to think it through again about yesterday." - Ok, good. Sometimes when we go back we see it a bit moe "in context".

" I do think it could have been interested." - OK, good to know.

" He didn't have aggressive body language" - Yes and that is very important. Usually when it is bad it is pretty noticeable.

" - it was just very direct." - Yes, being interested can be like that (combined with confidence and trust). If there was a lack of confidence or trust they would be more cautious OR more aggressive with most likely negative body language. It is nuanced which makes it a bit tough without experience.

"He really wanted to go right to her. That was the first time he has been in her room with her in it. So it's possible it was sort of...obnoxiously curious. But of course, he's a tricky one." - Yes. It could be "Ok, my friend is here". Without seeing it it is difficult to know. :/

"I think what prevented it from escalating (possibly - and I forgot to add this detail) was my partner putting cardboard between them." - Yes (you did mention that). I agree it stopped it from escalating IF it was going to escalate.

"Hawthorne was up on the window ledge trying to get close to Florie on her tree and my partner put the cardboard between." - Yes, again it depends on the body language. He could have wanted to confirm (via scent) it was her. It could have been "hi" or "that looks fun being up there". If he was moving fairly normally and had good body language then it might have been pretty innocent.

Using the cardboard was the right thing to do.

"Hawthorne was definitely interested in getting AROUND the cardboard (or over, except he's not very good at that)" - Hahahaha, yes. And again it is how he does it that really tells us all.

" and then I think he ran under the bed and was scared because we were starting to get a bit panicked (possibly) and he's very easily startled." - Ahhhhhhhhh, yes, absolutely could be that.

" I'm not sure if he was respecting Florence (maybe?) or just worried because we were starting to get anxious in our behaviour/energy (though trying to remain calm)." Well, if he wasn't respecting he would have really gone for her so...................... This is the art part of it. Reading the intent through looks, movement, behavior.

"And then technically she didn't get an opportunity to run past him, because he was hiding under the bed and we didn't want to risk it, so I carried her out after she jumped off her cat tree." - Ok. Could he see her jump down? I am sure he heard her jump down which could have triggered him (but didn't).

"It did seem clear that she didn't want to stay in her room, knowing he was under the bed." - Ok, not surprising and good to know.

"We want her to be more confident, right?" Absolutely and she is getting more confident.

" Do we want her to maybe give him a bonk and get him to stop viewing her as prey?" - Great question. Depends. If she has to discipline (bonk) then yes BUT if he comes up to her and behaves then no. I am not sure he views her as prey all the time. Really it seemed only when she jumped from the counter (please mention any other recent episodes I am forgetting if any).

"When she approaches HIM during the evening treat sessions, he seems better." - Interesting. Maybe because she is showing confidence? But when he approaches her and she gets a little edgy then the lack of confidence causes some prey instinct?

"We did try an evening treat session but sometimes our table 'cracks' as it settles (it's weird) and makes a loud noise and it totally scared Hawthorne who ran down the hall and luckily into our bedroom under the bed but Florie was unsettled because he had come running directly down the hall towards her." - Ok, that doesn't sound that bad. If they were eating treats all was fine and that tells me the earlier incident was a non-issue. I am impressed that all she was was unsettled. She could have run away. AND he didn't go after her. So that is actually a confidence builder.

" I was able to coax him part-way out from under the bed to finish the treat but we thought we'd leave it at that." - Ok, good.

" Afterwards I spent a little time with her to make sure she was ok and she was totally fine." - Great. Judging by her actions I was hoping that was the case. Great to get it confirmed.

"So yes, fast enough rebound, and by this morning, all back to normal." - GREAT!!! Yep, the incident in her room was nothing.

" Hawthorne seemed A BIT more reserved at breakfast again (he wanted his food dish a bit further away from Florie's gate - lately he's been awesome and will eat just one foot from her gate) but everything else was just as it has been." - That is fine. He has been eating 1 foot from her gate???? WOW!!!

"My partner thinks I might be updating too often so if I am, please let me know. I don't want to be overburdening you. :) " - Not at all from my perspective. You are not overburdening me at all. The more I know the faster we can get them fully intro'd.

"And yes, if I take Hawthorne to the vet (which I think I will), I'll build a cushion of time around it so he has time to decompress before seeing Florie again. And of course, if he requires dental work, well, I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. :) " - We can handle it. I am not at all worried about their relationship. I just want him to be well (if he isn't).

"And you're right, they are cats - so things won't be tidy and predictable. :) " - Yep. But overall, I actually think they are way better than you realize. The things you are seeing are really more minor than you fear. BUT keep updating me on everything and let me make the decision as to what is important and what is not. I actually think I have learned more about them these past few days and they are doing better than I hoped. There were some tests and they passed every one!! :)

Just keep up the great work and update anytime. PLEASE do not hold back anything worrying about me. :)
Hello C calicosrspecial ! Hope you had a great weekend. Our weekend was a bit of bust in terms of making forward progress. We ended up just doing the same evening snack visits on both Saturday and Sunday. Both were fine, but weren't as good as previous occasions. Saturday, Florie was just a bit more growly during the whole thing (she still came down the hallway, but not as far and with more growling) so we wrapped it up when I could see Hawthorne's eye's getting bigger. Then last night, Florie had been a bit scared earlier in the evening by my partner hanging up some art in the basement (the hammer noises were unfamiliar to her) and she seemed more unsettled during our treat face-to-face as well, and only wanted to come to the edge of her room and not down the hallway. So we did a few treats like that and then wrapped it up as well.

So I guess now we're at about 2 1/2 weeks of these types of short face-to-face visits. We started in the main room and did that until the chase, then moved to the hallway visits, which haven't really changed.

I guess we're still waiting for the breakthrough moment? What's the best way to push them a little further?

PS Breakfasts have been really good, other than a little blip last week. He'll come very close to her gate and eat. He looks up when I go in but doesn't rush the gate, even if she's there, and when he's done eating, he leaves. So just wanted to update that that part of the overall picture is looking good.

They still sometimes fuss each other at the gate in the morning (later, when he is in the French door room and she gets to be in the main part of the house), but they're getting a bit better. They still do it, but it might be for a shorter period. :) Then she comes to sleep with me and he takes a nap under the bed. I would say there is overall continual progress just very slow and very incremental. :) Sometimes I think we could go a year with him behind the gate and she would still growl at him. :)
 

calicosrspecial

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Hello C calicosrspecial ! Hope you had a great weekend. Our weekend was a bit of bust in terms of making forward progress. We ended up just doing the same evening snack visits on both Saturday and Sunday. Both were fine, but weren't as good as previous occasions. Saturday, Florie was just a bit more growly during the whole thing (she still came down the hallway, but not as far and with more growling) so we wrapped it up when I could see Hawthorne's eye's getting bigger. Then last night, Florie had been a bit scared earlier in the evening by my partner hanging up some art in the basement (the hammer noises were unfamiliar to her) and she seemed more unsettled during our treat face-to-face as well, and only wanted to come to the edge of her room and not down the hallway. So we did a few treats like that and then wrapped it up as well.

So I guess now we're at about 2 1/2 weeks of these types of short face-to-face visits. We started in the main room and did that until the chase, then moved to the hallway visits, which haven't really changed.

I guess we're still waiting for the breakthrough moment? What's the best way to push them a little further?

PS Breakfasts have been really good, other than a little blip last week. He'll come very close to her gate and eat. He looks up when I go in but doesn't rush the gate, even if she's there, and when he's done eating, he leaves. So just wanted to update that that part of the overall picture is looking good.

They still sometimes fuss each other at the gate in the morning (later, when he is in the French door room and she gets to be in the main part of the house), but they're getting a bit better. They still do it, but it might be for a shorter period. :) Then she comes to sleep with me and he takes a nap under the bed. I would say there is overall continual progress just very slow and very incremental. :) Sometimes I think we could go a year with him behind the gate and she would still growl at him. :)
"Hello C calicosrspecial C calicosrspecial ! Hope you had a great weekend. Our weekend was a bit of bust in terms of making forward progress." - Ok, let's see.

" We ended up just doing the same evening snack visits on both Saturday and Sunday." - Ok, that is fine.

" Both were fine, but weren't as good as previous occasions." - Ok, let's see.

" Saturday, Florie was just a bit more growly during the whole thing (she still came down the hallway, but not as far and with more growling)" - Ok. Don't get too hung up on the growling. That is more her than an issue. The fact she still came down the hall supports that view. Not as far, well. Disappointing but as long as nothing bad happens it is a positive.

" so we wrapped it up when I could see Hawthorne's eye's getting bigger." - Ok, that is fine. Any other signs?

"Then last night, Florie had been a bit scared earlier in the evening by my partner hanging up some art in the basement (the hammer noises were unfamiliar to her)" - Yes, they will be more uncertain with that. Change does put them on edge. I am not woried about that at all.

" and she seemed more unsettled during our treat face-to-face as well, and only wanted to come to the edge of her room and not down the hallway. So we did a few treats like that and then wrapped it up as well." - Ok. How after the hammering was she? Between the hammering and the face to face what was she doing? Acting normally?

"So I guess now we're at about 2 1/2 weeks of these types of short face-to-face visits. We started in the main room and did that until the chase, then moved to the hallway visits, which haven't really changed." - Yes

"I guess we're still waiting for the breakthrough moment?" -We had some of it (when he went for the treat at her and nothing and happened).

"What's the best way to push them a little further?" - Let them get closer, distract, and then when one on them choses to walk away. So I think I would go back into the main area, feed each on the floor, after eating do distraction as best you can, reassure and if you can get her to jump on a couch with you and he goes to get a drink, etc it is our breakthrough.

I think you feel a bit "stuck" because a lot of it was already accomplished. We just need that final "ok, they walked away".

Does that make some sense?

"PS Breakfasts have been really good, other than a little blip last week. He'll come very close to her gate and eat. He looks up when I go in but doesn't rush the gate, even if she's there, and when he's done eating, he leaves. So just wanted to update that that part of the overall picture is looking good." - Great. That is exactly what I am getting at. They already have moved so deep into acceptance that we just need that final piece of the puzzle (someone just walking away not caring about the other cat - which we did see in the hallway when Hawthorne went for a drink).

And if you can sit on the couch and just hang out with her and let him roam around that could be a way to get them to be like "yep, I see that cat and they are fine". AS LONG as you are SAFE.

"They still sometimes fuss each other at the gate in the morning (later, when he is in the French door room and she gets to be in the main part of the house), but they're getting a bit better." - Ok, good but I think they are fussing more about getting out rather than at the other cat.

" They still do it, but it might be for a shorter period. :) " And another supporting fact.

"Then she comes to sleep with me and he takes a nap under the bed." - Perfect. And another sign of acceptance.

We just need her to not panic if he walks towards her, etc. Which does happen but not yet all the time. I think the incident in her room was nothing. This weekend was a non-event (the hammering probably caused some insecurity but again nothing bad happened after so in time she will be more adjusted to hammering, etc).

" I would say there is overall continual progress just very slow and very incremental. :) " - Yes, because you are 98% or so intro'd. :/ I just don't get a sense either wants to eliminate the other, etc. Teach rules still, yes, maybe a small touch of bully but those are not big issues.

"Sometimes I think we could go a year with him behind the gate and she would still growl at him. :) " - Hahahahaha, I suspect she will growl all her life. That is just her. It is her way of communicating. I think Hawthorne is understanding that because if he really felt threatened etc he would be acting very differently. I am not at all worried about her growling. And I get a sense Hawthorne isn't worried either. The growling is not supported by body language or actions.

So I say do the main room face to face and then after see if she'll come up and hang out on the couch and just hang out and relax. If your partner can watch Hawthorne and try to entertain or distract with a treat if needed that is great.

Just ask anything to clarify and challenge anything I say. If I am wrong or you don't agree just let me know and hopefully I can clarify.
 
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Furmama22

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"Hello C calicosrspecial C calicosrspecial ! Hope you had a great weekend. Our weekend was a bit of bust in terms of making forward progress." - Ok, let's see.

" We ended up just doing the same evening snack visits on both Saturday and Sunday." - Ok, that is fine.

" Both were fine, but weren't as good as previous occasions." - Ok, let's see.

" Saturday, Florie was just a bit more growly during the whole thing (she still came down the hallway, but not as far and with more growling)" - Ok. Don't get too hung up on the growling. That is more her than an issue. The fact she still came down the hall supports that view. Not as far, well. Disappointing but as long as nothing bad happens it is a positive.

" so we wrapped it up when I could see Hawthorne's eye's getting bigger." - Ok, that is fine. Any other signs?

"Then last night, Florie had been a bit scared earlier in the evening by my partner hanging up some art in the basement (the hammer noises were unfamiliar to her)" - Yes, they will be more uncertain with that. Change does put them on edge. I am not woried about that at all.

" and she seemed more unsettled during our treat face-to-face as well, and only wanted to come to the edge of her room and not down the hallway. So we did a few treats like that and then wrapped it up as well." - Ok. How after the hammering was she? Between the hammering and the face to face what was she doing? Acting normally?

"So I guess now we're at about 2 1/2 weeks of these types of short face-to-face visits. We started in the main room and did that until the chase, then moved to the hallway visits, which haven't really changed." - Yes

"I guess we're still waiting for the breakthrough moment?" -We had some of it (when he went for the treat at her and nothing and happened).

"What's the best way to push them a little further?" - Let them get closer, distract, and then when one on them choses to walk away. So I think I would go back into the main area, feed each on the floor, after eating do distraction as best you can, reassure and if you can get her to jump on a couch with you and he goes to get a drink, etc it is our breakthrough.

I think you feel a bit "stuck" because a lot of it was already accomplished. We just need that final "ok, they walked away".

Does that make some sense?

"PS Breakfasts have been really good, other than a little blip last week. He'll come very close to her gate and eat. He looks up when I go in but doesn't rush the gate, even if she's there, and when he's done eating, he leaves. So just wanted to update that that part of the overall picture is looking good." - Great. That is exactly what I am getting at. They already have moved so deep into acceptance that we just need that final piece of the puzzle (someone just walking away not caring about the other cat - which we did see in the hallway when Hawthorne went for a drink).

And if you can sit on the couch and just hang out with her and let him roam around that could be a way to get them to be like "yep, I see that cat and they are fine". AS LONG as you are SAFE.

"They still sometimes fuss each other at the gate in the morning (later, when he is in the French door room and she gets to be in the main part of the house), but they're getting a bit better." - Ok, good but I think they are fussing more about getting out rather than at the other cat.

" They still do it, but it might be for a shorter period. :) " And another supporting fact.

"Then she comes to sleep with me and he takes a nap under the bed." - Perfect. And another sign of acceptance.

We just need her to not panic if he walks towards her, etc. Which does happen but not yet all the time. I think the incident in her room was nothing. This weekend was a non-event (the hammering probably caused some insecurity but again nothing bad happened after so in time she will be more adjusted to hammering, etc).

" I would say there is overall continual progress just very slow and very incremental. :) " - Yes, because you are 98% or so intro'd. :/ I just don't get a sense either wants to eliminate the other, etc. Teach rules still, yes, maybe a small touch of bully but those are not big issues.

"Sometimes I think we could go a year with him behind the gate and she would still growl at him. :) " - Hahahahaha, I suspect she will growl all her life. That is just her. It is her way of communicating. I think Hawthorne is understanding that because if he really felt threatened etc he would be acting very differently. I am not at all worried about her growling. And I get a sense Hawthorne isn't worried either. The growling is not supported by body language or actions.

So I say do the main room face to face and then after see if she'll come up and hang out on the couch and just hang out and relax. If your partner can watch Hawthorne and try to entertain or distract with a treat if needed that is great.

Just ask anything to clarify and challenge anything I say. If I am wrong or you don't agree just let me know and hopefully I can clarify.
I don't think you're wrong at all! In fact, I think you're absolutely right! The key for me is figuring out how to get her to relax when he is around - to get to that 'hang out' stage. After the food is done we seem to get more to a 'tense up and be worried' phase - when she does her hunching and growling. She is still uncomfortable with him and I can't seem to break that. And her hunching/growling catches his eye and sets him off.

Plus, she doesn't really like to come hang out with me on the sofa anyways - when she is out of the room, she is more independent. She likes to groom on the carpet. So does he, actually.

Of course, if they're reading my energy during these sessions, then I'm not helping, as I also get tense - despite my best efforts. I'm trying to breathe, relax, say nice things, hahah - all the stuff. But I still feel anxious.

So I'm trying to think about the best set-up to allow for that "walk away" mentality but is still safe. Maybe we'll try an open gate meal again (her in her room; him outside of the French door room down the hallway) and this time I just won't let him come into her bedroom afterwards. We'll try to see if he'll just walk away again. And maybe we'll add that piece to the puzzle.
 
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