Advice on Cat Introductions - Feeling a Bit Lost

calicosrspecial

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Hello again! Just a little update that this evening Florie is doing a lot more hiding/hesitance, I think because we've sort of changed the routine and the gate setup. She didn't want to come out of her room this afternoon (our bedroom) where normally she comes busting out or at least walks out after a couple of minutes, and at supper time she wouldn't follow me back into her room/the hallway area and instead ran downstairs. I brought her meal downstairs and she ate heartily down there, so it isn't that she wasn't hungry. When I last checked, she was sleeping under the pullout bed in the basement.

So she's either unsettled from yesterday's encounter OR from the fact that our routine changed around today (with the new gate setup and different spaces and maybe even seeing Hawthorne a bit more in different ways).

I am going to see how she settles over the next day or two (recalling you told me that when you change something, sometimes there is a period of being unsettled) and then return to the evening sessions. I'd prefer her to be a bit more confident. Does that seem reasonable to you?

Hawthorne seems ok - the usual. :)
I am so sorry for not responding sooner.

"Hello again! Just a little update that this evening Florie is doing a lot more hiding/hesitance," - Ok

" I think because we've sort of changed the routine and the gate setup." - Possibly, let's see.

" She didn't want to come out of her room this afternoon (our bedroom) where normally she comes busting out or at least walks out after a couple of minutes," - Ok. Was it a cloudy day? Did she have a restless night before? Anything a little different other than the different setup?

"and at supper time she wouldn't follow me back into her room/the hallway area and instead ran downstairs." - Hmmmm, ok. Did she see him at all?

" I brought her meal downstairs and she ate heartily down there, so it isn't that she wasn't hungry." - Great

And he didn't chase her down there, correct?

" When I last checked, she was sleeping under the pullout bed in the basement." - Ok

"So she's either unsettled from yesterday's encounter" - Hmmmm, maybe but seems unlikely. It would have kicked in sooner I think.

" OR from the fact that our routine changed around today (with the new gate setup and different spaces and maybe even seeing Hawthorne a bit more in different ways)." - Possibly.

I am wondering if there was something else, weather, noise, etc.

"I am going to see how she settles over the next day or two (recalling you told me that when you change something, sometimes there is a period of being unsettled) and then return to the evening sessions." - Sounds fine.

" I'd prefer her to be a bit more confident. Does that seem reasonable to you?" - Absolutely. In fact, that is a great call on your part. I like your intuition.

"Hawthorne seems ok - the usual. :) " - Great

I think it was something specific to Florie and probably not Hawthorne. But what I am not sure. :/ But I am not sure anything she did is really a negative sign. More of a "different" sign.

Let's just see how she does and when she is a bit more herself you can resume.

Great job on holding and not forcing it!!!
 
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Furmama22

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I am so sorry for not responding sooner.

"Hello again! Just a little update that this evening Florie is doing a lot more hiding/hesitance," - Ok

" I think because we've sort of changed the routine and the gate setup." - Possibly, let's see.

" She didn't want to come out of her room this afternoon (our bedroom) where normally she comes busting out or at least walks out after a couple of minutes," - Ok. Was it a cloudy day? Did she have a restless night before? Anything a little different other than the different setup?

"and at supper time she wouldn't follow me back into her room/the hallway area and instead ran downstairs." - Hmmmm, ok. Did she see him at all?

" I brought her meal downstairs and she ate heartily down there, so it isn't that she wasn't hungry." - Great

And he didn't chase her down there, correct?

" When I last checked, she was sleeping under the pullout bed in the basement." - Ok

"So she's either unsettled from yesterday's encounter" - Hmmmm, maybe but seems unlikely. It would have kicked in sooner I think.

" OR from the fact that our routine changed around today (with the new gate setup and different spaces and maybe even seeing Hawthorne a bit more in different ways)." - Possibly.

I am wondering if there was something else, weather, noise, etc.

"I am going to see how she settles over the next day or two (recalling you told me that when you change something, sometimes there is a period of being unsettled) and then return to the evening sessions." - Sounds fine.

" I'd prefer her to be a bit more confident. Does that seem reasonable to you?" - Absolutely. In fact, that is a great call on your part. I like your intuition.

"Hawthorne seems ok - the usual. :) " - Great

I think it was something specific to Florie and probably not Hawthorne. But what I am not sure. :/ But I am not sure anything she did is really a negative sign. More of a "different" sign.

Let's just see how she does and when she is a bit more herself you can resume.

Great job on holding and not forcing it!!!
Quick update and hello! We're all well over here. Florie is adjusting nicely to getting a bit more freedom (she gets to stay in the hallway territory in the morning when we wake up and the evening when we're getting ready for bed, instead of going into a closed room). I do still put her in the bedroom in the afternoon - easier for my workday. But she's doing good. She growls/etc at Hawthorne when she sees him through this gate or just sits back in the hallway and watches. He did charge the gate once when she came right up close to it but I think it was meant to be fun/it was a novelty to see her there and he couldn't resist. She has not come right up close to the gate again hahaha. But even though she ran away after he charged the gate (she ran down the hallway into our bedroom), her recovery was quick and she was peeking around out the bedroom door again soon.

Hawthorne is doing well - eating his meals and most of the time ignoring her at the new hallway gate or at least, paying more attention to his treats.

We haven't done any more face-to-face sessions and we have my stepkids this weekend, but I think we're on track to pick that up again next week.

I've received a final update I have to start going back to the office at the end of September, part-time, but we have a good setup with the gates such that she can have the hallway space when I'm at work and Hawthorne the main living space, and I think they'll both be perfectly happy with that. And safe too. She can't get out the wall of gates, ha. :)

So that's all I have. We're just playing it cool, with the aim of getting back to face-to-face on Monday.
 

calicosrspecial

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Quick update and hello! We're all well over here. Florie is adjusting nicely to getting a bit more freedom (she gets to stay in the hallway territory in the morning when we wake up and the evening when we're getting ready for bed, instead of going into a closed room). I do still put her in the bedroom in the afternoon - easier for my workday. But she's doing good. She growls/etc at Hawthorne when she sees him through this gate or just sits back in the hallway and watches. He did charge the gate once when she came right up close to it but I think it was meant to be fun/it was a novelty to see her there and he couldn't resist. She has not come right up close to the gate again hahaha. But even though she ran away after he charged the gate (she ran down the hallway into our bedroom), her recovery was quick and she was peeking around out the bedroom door again soon.

Hawthorne is doing well - eating his meals and most of the time ignoring her at the new hallway gate or at least, paying more attention to his treats.

We haven't done any more face-to-face sessions and we have my stepkids this weekend, but I think we're on track to pick that up again next week.

I've received a final update I have to start going back to the office at the end of September, part-time, but we have a good setup with the gates such that she can have the hallway space when I'm at work and Hawthorne the main living space, and I think they'll both be perfectly happy with that. And safe too. She can't get out the wall of gates, ha. :)

So that's all I have. We're just playing it cool, with the aim of getting back to face-to-face on Monday.
"Quick update and hello!" - Hello

" We're all well over here." - Great

"Florie is adjusting nicely to getting a bit more freedom (she gets to stay in the hallway territory in the morning when we wake up and the evening when we're getting ready for bed, instead of going into a closed room)." - TERRIFIC!!!

"I do still put her in the bedroom in the afternoon - easier for my workday. But she's doing good." - Ok, good.

" She growls/etc at Hawthorne when she sees him through this gate" - ;) That is her!!!

" or just sits back in the hallway and watches." - Awwwwwwwww

" He did charge the gate once when she came right up close to it but I think it was meant to be fun/it was a novelty to see her there and he couldn't resist." - Ok. Where was he? In the main area?

" She has not come right up close to the gate again hahaha." - Awwwwwwwwww

" But even though she ran away after he charged the gate (she ran down the hallway into our bedroom), her recovery was quick and she was peeking around out the bedroom door again soon." =- Great. The recovery is key in addition to no real negative encounter.

"Hawthorne is doing well - eating his meals" - Great

" and most of the time ignoring her at the new hallway gate or at least, paying more attention to his treats." - Really????? GREAT!!!! :clap2:

"We haven't done any more face-to-face sessions and we have my stepkids this weekend, but I think we're on track to pick that up again next week." - Ok, yes, I agree they are ready. :)

"I've received a final update I have to start going back to the office at the end of September, part-time," - :/ Ok. :/ ONly for you, I think the cats will be intro'd by then. :)

" but we have a good setup with the gates such that she can have the hallway space when I'm at work and Hawthorne the main living space, and I think they'll both be perfectly happy with that. And safe too. She can't get out the wall of gates, ha. :) " - Ok but I do think we can get them fully intro'd by then. They are so clooooooosssseeeeeee.

"So that's all I have. We're just playing it cool, with the aim of getting back to face-to-face on Monday. " - Sounds good.

I LOVE to hear he is ignoring her and focusing on his treats. Nice incremental positive!!! :)

Keep up the great work!!! :)
 
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"Quick update and hello!" - Hello

" We're all well over here." - Great

"Florie is adjusting nicely to getting a bit more freedom (she gets to stay in the hallway territory in the morning when we wake up and the evening when we're getting ready for bed, instead of going into a closed room)." - TERRIFIC!!!

"I do still put her in the bedroom in the afternoon - easier for my workday. But she's doing good." - Ok, good.

" She growls/etc at Hawthorne when she sees him through this gate" - ;) That is her!!!

" or just sits back in the hallway and watches." - Awwwwwwwww

" He did charge the gate once when she came right up close to it but I think it was meant to be fun/it was a novelty to see her there and he couldn't resist." - Ok. Where was he? In the main area?

" She has not come right up close to the gate again hahaha." - Awwwwwwwwww

" But even though she ran away after he charged the gate (she ran down the hallway into our bedroom), her recovery was quick and she was peeking around out the bedroom door again soon." =- Great. The recovery is key in addition to no real negative encounter.

"Hawthorne is doing well - eating his meals" - Great

" and most of the time ignoring her at the new hallway gate or at least, paying more attention to his treats." - Really????? GREAT!!!! :clap2:

"We haven't done any more face-to-face sessions and we have my stepkids this weekend, but I think we're on track to pick that up again next week." - Ok, yes, I agree they are ready. :)

"I've received a final update I have to start going back to the office at the end of September, part-time," - :/ Ok. :/ ONly for you, I think the cats will be intro'd by then. :)

" but we have a good setup with the gates such that she can have the hallway space when I'm at work and Hawthorne the main living space, and I think they'll both be perfectly happy with that. And safe too. She can't get out the wall of gates, ha. :) " - Ok but I do think we can get them fully intro'd by then. They are so clooooooosssseeeeeee.

"So that's all I have. We're just playing it cool, with the aim of getting back to face-to-face on Monday. " - Sounds good.

I LOVE to hear he is ignoring her and focusing on his treats. Nice incremental positive!!! :)

Keep up the great work!!! :)
Hello there!! A quick update for this week - nothing new to report. I had a health issue last week and had to go to the hospital so I confess I've just let the cats be this week - just interactions through the gates. But, we are increasingly using the 'wall of gates' to divide the main living space from the hallway/bedrooms and that is going really well. Hawthorne is curious to see her in the morning when we come out of the bedroom and sometimes chirps, but then he follows me around and does his thing. She watches while I make breakfast and then they eat together at the gate. Then they both leave and go about their business. So far, knock on wood, neither has any interest in sneaking through the gate or anything like that. I feel the level of ignoring is getting even higher, which is good.

The other night they both lay near the gate, watching each other. He lay and did a kind of roll with some chirps (I think maybe he wanted her to play), and she lay there growling - both on their sides in that relaxed posture. But I thought (this is the kind of thinking you've taught me to do), they obviously don't hate each other if they're both voluntarily lying there!

He sometimes can still be a little fixated on her (through the gate) when she's playing or running or he first sees her in the morning, but he really is quite easily distracted. She still growls, but heck - that's her. I think he'll still want to chase her/have some fun (when they are together with no gates), but he does not seem like a cat who wants to eliminate her at all. I know we knew this, but it's nice to have it reinforced.

So I'm happy - it feels calm. Once I figure out this health issue, we'll go back to face-to-face again and finish this damn thing off, hahahah! :) But for now, the cats seem good with our routine - Florie loves sleeping in our bedroom and is in there all the time; Hawthorne has learned to sleep on her cat tree (took him 9 months to get the confidence, hahaha) - they seem content.

I hope you are well too! :)
 

calicosrspecial

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Hello there!! A quick update for this week - nothing new to report. I had a health issue last week and had to go to the hospital so I confess I've just let the cats be this week - just interactions through the gates. But, we are increasingly using the 'wall of gates' to divide the main living space from the hallway/bedrooms and that is going really well. Hawthorne is curious to see her in the morning when we come out of the bedroom and sometimes chirps, but then he follows me around and does his thing. She watches while I make breakfast and then they eat together at the gate. Then they both leave and go about their business. So far, knock on wood, neither has any interest in sneaking through the gate or anything like that. I feel the level of ignoring is getting even higher, which is good.

The other night they both lay near the gate, watching each other. He lay and did a kind of roll with some chirps (I think maybe he wanted her to play), and she lay there growling - both on their sides in that relaxed posture. But I thought (this is the kind of thinking you've taught me to do), they obviously don't hate each other if they're both voluntarily lying there!

He sometimes can still be a little fixated on her (through the gate) when she's playing or running or he first sees her in the morning, but he really is quite easily distracted. She still growls, but heck - that's her. I think he'll still want to chase her/have some fun (when they are together with no gates), but he does not seem like a cat who wants to eliminate her at all. I know we knew this, but it's nice to have it reinforced.

So I'm happy - it feels calm. Once I figure out this health issue, we'll go back to face-to-face again and finish this damn thing off, hahahah! :) But for now, the cats seem good with our routine - Florie loves sleeping in our bedroom and is in there all the time; Hawthorne has learned to sleep on her cat tree (took him 9 months to get the confidence, hahaha) - they seem content.

I hope you are well too! :)
"Hello there!! A quick update for this week - nothing new to report. " - Hello. Ok.

"I had a health issue last week and had to go to the hospital" - Oh my, I hope you are well or on the path to being well. Hang in there!!!

" so I confess I've just let the cats be this week - just interactions through the gates." - Ok, that is fine. Sometimes a little hands off can actually help.

"But, we are increasingly using the 'wall of gates' to divide the main living space from the hallway/bedrooms and that is going really well." - Ok, good.

" Hawthorne is curious to see her in the morning when we come out of the bedroom and sometimes chirps," - Really, well THAT is progress!!! A positive!!!

"but then he follows me around and does his thing." - GREAT!!!

" She watches while I make breakfast and then they eat together at the gate. Then they both leave and go about their business." - Amazing!!! This is great!!!

"So far, knock on wood, neither has any interest in sneaking through the gate or anything like that. " - Great. :)

"I feel the level of ignoring is getting even higher, which is good." - THAT is what I like to hear!!! :)

"The other night they both lay near the gate, watching each other." - Great, did they look comfortable?

" He lay and did a kind of roll with some chirps (I think maybe he wanted her to play)," - FANTASTIC!!!! Sounds like he is accepting her AND wanting to be closer!!! :)

" and she lay there growling " - Awwwwwww, wouldn't she?????? ;)

"- both on their sides in that relaxed posture." - PERFECT!!!

"But I thought (this is the kind of thinking you've taught me to do), they obviously don't hate each other if they're both voluntarily lying there!" - EXACTLY!!!!! :) And actually it is better, they are accepting each other!!!

"He sometimes can still be a little fixated on her (through the gate) when she's playing or running or he first sees her in the morning," - He would be, that make sense. She is a novelty and a potential playmate.

"but he really is quite easily distracted." - THAT is the key!!! That is the sign that she is not viewed as a threat, etc because he would not turn his back (or any cat) on a potential threat.

"She still growls, but heck - that's her." - EXACTLY!!! And he tells us he is fine which is what is most important. If he thought it wasn't fine he would be acting totally different.

"I think he'll still want to chase her/have some fun (when they are together with no gates), " - Maybe at times.

"but he does not seem like a cat who wants to eliminate her at all. I know we knew this, but it's nice to have it reinforced." - YES and agreed!!! :)

"So I'm happy - it feels calm. " - Great, yes.

"Once I figure out this health issue, we'll go back to face-to-face again and finish this damn thing off, hahahah! :) " - Yes, focus on yourself and get well soon!!! The cats are going to be fine.

"But for now, the cats seem good with our routine - Florie loves sleeping in our bedroom and is in there all the time; Hawthorne has learned to sleep on her cat tree (took him 9 months to get the confidence, hahaha) - they seem content." - That sounds fantastic.

I wonder if maybe we got to the tipping point. They have been so close, we just need that lightswitch moment. :)

"I hope you are well too! :) " - Thank you, doing ok. Get well soon!!!! Then keep up the great work and just love them and enjoy them. They are doing great!!! :)
 
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Furmama22

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"Hello there!! A quick update for this week - nothing new to report. " - Hello. Ok.

"I had a health issue last week and had to go to the hospital" - Oh my, I hope you are well or on the path to being well. Hang in there!!!

" so I confess I've just let the cats be this week - just interactions through the gates." - Ok, that is fine. Sometimes a little hands off can actually help.

"But, we are increasingly using the 'wall of gates' to divide the main living space from the hallway/bedrooms and that is going really well." - Ok, good.

" Hawthorne is curious to see her in the morning when we come out of the bedroom and sometimes chirps," - Really, well THAT is progress!!! A positive!!!

"but then he follows me around and does his thing." - GREAT!!!

" She watches while I make breakfast and then they eat together at the gate. Then they both leave and go about their business." - Amazing!!! This is great!!!

"So far, knock on wood, neither has any interest in sneaking through the gate or anything like that. " - Great. :)

"I feel the level of ignoring is getting even higher, which is good." - THAT is what I like to hear!!! :)

"The other night they both lay near the gate, watching each other." - Great, did they look comfortable?

" He lay and did a kind of roll with some chirps (I think maybe he wanted her to play)," - FANTASTIC!!!! Sounds like he is accepting her AND wanting to be closer!!! :)

" and she lay there growling " - Awwwwwww, wouldn't she?????? ;)

"- both on their sides in that relaxed posture." - PERFECT!!!

"But I thought (this is the kind of thinking you've taught me to do), they obviously don't hate each other if they're both voluntarily lying there!" - EXACTLY!!!!! :) And actually it is better, they are accepting each other!!!

"He sometimes can still be a little fixated on her (through the gate) when she's playing or running or he first sees her in the morning," - He would be, that make sense. She is a novelty and a potential playmate.

"but he really is quite easily distracted." - THAT is the key!!! That is the sign that she is not viewed as a threat, etc because he would not turn his back (or any cat) on a potential threat.

"She still growls, but heck - that's her." - EXACTLY!!! And he tells us he is fine which is what is most important. If he thought it wasn't fine he would be acting totally different.

"I think he'll still want to chase her/have some fun (when they are together with no gates), " - Maybe at times.

"but he does not seem like a cat who wants to eliminate her at all. I know we knew this, but it's nice to have it reinforced." - YES and agreed!!! :)

"So I'm happy - it feels calm. " - Great, yes.

"Once I figure out this health issue, we'll go back to face-to-face again and finish this damn thing off, hahahah! :) " - Yes, focus on yourself and get well soon!!! The cats are going to be fine.

"But for now, the cats seem good with our routine - Florie loves sleeping in our bedroom and is in there all the time; Hawthorne has learned to sleep on her cat tree (took him 9 months to get the confidence, hahaha) - they seem content." - That sounds fantastic.

I wonder if maybe we got to the tipping point. They have been so close, we just need that lightswitch moment. :)

"I hope you are well too! :) " - Thank you, doing ok. Get well soon!!!! Then keep up the great work and just love them and enjoy them. They are doing great!!! :)
Hello there! Just letting you know we are well here and still alive, hahaha. :) It's been a busy couple of weeks, and now I'm actually also in the process of changing jobs - well, finishing up at one and then starting at the new job in mid-October. So between the jobs and the health stuff, it's been a bit overwhelming, but we're making it through! :)

The cats, for their part, haven't had any more face-to-face time in terms of being in the same room together, but we are now almost at the point where it's the wall of gates in the hallway that is the only thing separating them, including at night. We now leave the door open for Florie and she can leave the room if she wants overnight (with the gates in place), although to be honest she stays in the room with us anyways. The only time there is a closed door is in the afternoon (Florie in our bedroom, Hawthorne out), and that's simply because it's easier for me in the workday.

They are eating nice and close together at the gates - maybe two or three feet. Occasionally she gets into a fierce mood and will come right up to the gate and growl or stare at him. Sometimes he takes the bait and goes up to the gate and we have a little swat/interaction. Sometimes she holds her own and he leaves. Sometimes she runs away and he does his snorts and then he leaves. Sometimes he doesn't take the bait and he looks at me and I say "it's ok, it's ok" and he goes to lie down somewhere else. So they definitely have the capacity to just ignore each other.

He can sometimes still be activated when she suddenly appears in the hallway, like, in the evening when she's decided she wants to come out and she marches into the hallway and sits there waiting. He might chirp and make his frustrated noise, but I think he wants to get at her to play or investigate.

I'm going to say most of the time, he ignores her or can be encouraged to leave the gate. She still sometimes gets it into her mind to stare and growl at him, for a reason I can't discern, but, he seems 95% of the time to be fine with it.

I've also discovered she likes to be chased. Sometimes when she's in a zoomy mood I creep up on her and she flies off and then looks behind to see if I'm coming. Then I creep up again and she zooms off to another spot. So I'm maintaining hope if they can build enough trust, Hawthorne can chase her and she'll enjoy it, hahah. :)

So for now, we're just letting them live through the wall of gates, with ongoing territory switching. I'm making it a point to start next week again, with face-to-face. I remember Graham18 Graham18 saying he saw improvement once there was more gates and less closed doors, and I'm inclined to agree. Makes them feel more like it's their regular life too, aside from the shuffling territories. But they each generally have more freedom.

That's all! Just wanted to check in and assure you we haven't forgotten about the cat intros and the process. :) Hope you are keeping well! :)
 
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I guess really this is the same as my last update!! :) But it shows we aren't going backwards. :)
 

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Hello there! Just letting you know we are well here and still alive, hahaha. :) It's been a busy couple of weeks, and now I'm actually also in the process of changing jobs - well, finishing up at one and then starting at the new job in mid-October. So between the jobs and the health stuff, it's been a bit overwhelming, but we're making it through! :)

The cats, for their part, haven't had any more face-to-face time in terms of being in the same room together, but we are now almost at the point where it's the wall of gates in the hallway that is the only thing separating them, including at night. We now leave the door open for Florie and she can leave the room if she wants overnight (with the gates in place), although to be honest she stays in the room with us anyways. The only time there is a closed door is in the afternoon (Florie in our bedroom, Hawthorne out), and that's simply because it's easier for me in the workday.

They are eating nice and close together at the gates - maybe two or three feet. Occasionally she gets into a fierce mood and will come right up to the gate and growl or stare at him. Sometimes he takes the bait and goes up to the gate and we have a little swat/interaction. Sometimes she holds her own and he leaves. Sometimes she runs away and he does his snorts and then he leaves. Sometimes he doesn't take the bait and he looks at me and I say "it's ok, it's ok" and he goes to lie down somewhere else. So they definitely have the capacity to just ignore each other.

He can sometimes still be activated when she suddenly appears in the hallway, like, in the evening when she's decided she wants to come out and she marches into the hallway and sits there waiting. He might chirp and make his frustrated noise, but I think he wants to get at her to play or investigate.

I'm going to say most of the time, he ignores her or can be encouraged to leave the gate. She still sometimes gets it into her mind to stare and growl at him, for a reason I can't discern, but, he seems 95% of the time to be fine with it.

I've also discovered she likes to be chased. Sometimes when she's in a zoomy mood I creep up on her and she flies off and then looks behind to see if I'm coming. Then I creep up again and she zooms off to another spot. So I'm maintaining hope if they can build enough trust, Hawthorne can chase her and she'll enjoy it, hahah. :)

So for now, we're just letting them live through the wall of gates, with ongoing territory switching. I'm making it a point to start next week again, with face-to-face. I remember Graham18 Graham18 saying he saw improvement once there was more gates and less closed doors, and I'm inclined to agree. Makes them feel more like it's their regular life too, aside from the shuffling territories. But they each generally have more freedom.

That's all! Just wanted to check in and assure you we haven't forgotten about the cat intros and the process. :) Hope you are keeping well! :)
Fluffy also makes snort sounds and frustrated chirps and grunts when Sapphire ignores him haha too cute!
 
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Fluffy also makes snort sounds and frustrated chirps and grunts when Sapphire ignores him haha too cute!
That's hilarious! We really do have the same cat personalities, just in different cat bodies.
 

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Hello there! Just letting you know we are well here and still alive, hahaha. :) It's been a busy couple of weeks, and now I'm actually also in the process of changing jobs - well, finishing up at one and then starting at the new job in mid-October. So between the jobs and the health stuff, it's been a bit overwhelming, but we're making it through! :)

The cats, for their part, haven't had any more face-to-face time in terms of being in the same room together, but we are now almost at the point where it's the wall of gates in the hallway that is the only thing separating them, including at night. We now leave the door open for Florie and she can leave the room if she wants overnight (with the gates in place), although to be honest she stays in the room with us anyways. The only time there is a closed door is in the afternoon (Florie in our bedroom, Hawthorne out), and that's simply because it's easier for me in the workday.

They are eating nice and close together at the gates - maybe two or three feet. Occasionally she gets into a fierce mood and will come right up to the gate and growl or stare at him. Sometimes he takes the bait and goes up to the gate and we have a little swat/interaction. Sometimes she holds her own and he leaves. Sometimes she runs away and he does his snorts and then he leaves. Sometimes he doesn't take the bait and he looks at me and I say "it's ok, it's ok" and he goes to lie down somewhere else. So they definitely have the capacity to just ignore each other.

He can sometimes still be activated when she suddenly appears in the hallway, like, in the evening when she's decided she wants to come out and she marches into the hallway and sits there waiting. He might chirp and make his frustrated noise, but I think he wants to get at her to play or investigate.

I'm going to say most of the time, he ignores her or can be encouraged to leave the gate. She still sometimes gets it into her mind to stare and growl at him, for a reason I can't discern, but, he seems 95% of the time to be fine with it.

I've also discovered she likes to be chased. Sometimes when she's in a zoomy mood I creep up on her and she flies off and then looks behind to see if I'm coming. Then I creep up again and she zooms off to another spot. So I'm maintaining hope if they can build enough trust, Hawthorne can chase her and she'll enjoy it, hahah. :)

So for now, we're just letting them live through the wall of gates, with ongoing territory switching. I'm making it a point to start next week again, with face-to-face. I remember Graham18 Graham18 saying he saw improvement once there was more gates and less closed doors, and I'm inclined to agree. Makes them feel more like it's their regular life too, aside from the shuffling territories. But they each generally have more freedom.

That's all! Just wanted to check in and assure you we haven't forgotten about the cat intros and the process. :) Hope you are keeping well! :)
"Hello there! Just letting you know we are well here and still alive, hahaha. :) " - Great to hear from you. I was a bit worried because of the health scare.

"It's been a busy couple of weeks, and now I'm actually also in the process of changing jobs - well, finishing up at one and then starting at the new job in mid-October. So between the jobs and the health stuff, it's been a bit overwhelming, but we're making it through! :) " - Oh my, congratulations on the new job. I hope you LOVE it!!!

"The cats, for their part, haven't had any more face-to-face time in terms of being in the same room together," - Ok, understandable.

" but we are now almost at the point where it's the wall of gates in the hallway that is the only thing separating them, including at night." - Great.

" We now leave the door open for Florie and she can leave the room if she wants overnight (with the gates in place), although to be honest she stays in the room with us anyways. " - Perfect

"The only time there is a closed door is in the afternoon (Florie in our bedroom, Hawthorne out), and that's simply because it's easier for me in the workday." - Ok

"They are eating nice and close together at the gates - maybe two or three feet." - Perfect

" Occasionally she gets into a fierce mood and will come right up to the gate and growl or stare at him." - Awwwwwwwww


" Sometimes he takes the bait and goes up to the gate and we have a little swat/interaction. Sometimes she holds her own and he leaves." - Awwwwwwww

" Sometimes she runs away and he does his snorts and then he leaves. " - Awwwwwwww

Sounds like they want to play (both of them!!!). GREAT!!!

"Sometimes he doesn't take the bait and he looks at me and I say "it's ok, it's ok" and he goes to lie down somewhere else." - PERFECT!!! GREAT job in reassuring him!!! That tells me he is totally fine with her. :)

" So they definitely have the capacity to just ignore each other." - Totally. And when they don't it has no bad intent. I am convinced of that.

"He can sometimes still be activated when she suddenly appears in the hallway, like, in the evening when she's decided she wants to come out and she marches into the hallway and sits there waiting." - Yes, normal.

" He might chirp and make his frustrated noise, but I think he wants to get at her to play or investigate." - Exactly. I think they want to take it to the next level.

"I'm going to say most of the time, he ignores her or can be encouraged to leave the gate." - Perfect

" She still sometimes gets it into her mind to stare and growl at him, for a reason I can't discern," - To instigate maybe. Have some fun, get a reaction, some drama. IF she was fearful she would not be there.

"but, he seems 95% of the time to be fine with it." - He understands her. :) Supports my view that she is not "hating" him, etc.

"I've also discovered she likes to be chased." - Awwwww, some of them do. Two of my girls sure do.

" Sometimes when she's in a zoomy mood I creep up on her and she flies off and then looks behind to see if I'm coming. Then I creep up again and she zooms off to another spot." Awwwww, yep. So cute!!!

"So I'm maintaining hope if they can build enough trust, Hawthorne can chase her and she'll enjoy it, hahah. :) " - Totally. I think that will happen.

"So for now, we're just letting them live through the wall of gates, with ongoing territory switching. I'm making it a point to start next week again, with face-to-face." - Ok, great. They are ready for face to face and get fully intro'd.

" I remember Graham18 Graham18 Graham18 Graham18 saying he saw improvement once there was more gates and less closed doors," - Exactly. Often when we show them everything is ok they realize "everything is ok".

" and I'm inclined to agree." - I totally agree. (OF course, when they have the base of trust built).

"Makes them feel more like it's their regular life too, aside from the shuffling territories. But they each generally have more freedom." - Exactly and they can feel that ownership of the territory and get that confidence. And a confident cat is more likely to accept and be accepted.

"That's all!" - All???? New job, etc. Hahahaha. Congratulations on the new job, I hope you are feeling better and great job with the cats.

"Just wanted to check in and assure you we haven't forgotten about the cat intros and the process. :) Hope you are keeping well! :) " - Wonderful to hear from you. I hope you are well and if not get well soon. The cats will be fine and good luck on the new job!!

Always here for you. Keep up the great work. They are doing great it sounds.
 
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Furmama22

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"Hello there! Just letting you know we are well here and still alive, hahaha. :) " - Great to hear from you. I was a bit worried because of the health scare.

"It's been a busy couple of weeks, and now I'm actually also in the process of changing jobs - well, finishing up at one and then starting at the new job in mid-October. So between the jobs and the health stuff, it's been a bit overwhelming, but we're making it through! :) " - Oh my, congratulations on the new job. I hope you LOVE it!!!

"The cats, for their part, haven't had any more face-to-face time in terms of being in the same room together," - Ok, understandable.

" but we are now almost at the point where it's the wall of gates in the hallway that is the only thing separating them, including at night." - Great.

" We now leave the door open for Florie and she can leave the room if she wants overnight (with the gates in place), although to be honest she stays in the room with us anyways. " - Perfect

"The only time there is a closed door is in the afternoon (Florie in our bedroom, Hawthorne out), and that's simply because it's easier for me in the workday." - Ok

"They are eating nice and close together at the gates - maybe two or three feet." - Perfect

" Occasionally she gets into a fierce mood and will come right up to the gate and growl or stare at him." - Awwwwwwwww


" Sometimes he takes the bait and goes up to the gate and we have a little swat/interaction. Sometimes she holds her own and he leaves." - Awwwwwwww

" Sometimes she runs away and he does his snorts and then he leaves. " - Awwwwwwww

Sounds like they want to play (both of them!!!). GREAT!!!

"Sometimes he doesn't take the bait and he looks at me and I say "it's ok, it's ok" and he goes to lie down somewhere else." - PERFECT!!! GREAT job in reassuring him!!! That tells me he is totally fine with her. :)

" So they definitely have the capacity to just ignore each other." - Totally. And when they don't it has no bad intent. I am convinced of that.

"He can sometimes still be activated when she suddenly appears in the hallway, like, in the evening when she's decided she wants to come out and she marches into the hallway and sits there waiting." - Yes, normal.

" He might chirp and make his frustrated noise, but I think he wants to get at her to play or investigate." - Exactly. I think they want to take it to the next level.

"I'm going to say most of the time, he ignores her or can be encouraged to leave the gate." - Perfect

" She still sometimes gets it into her mind to stare and growl at him, for a reason I can't discern," - To instigate maybe. Have some fun, get a reaction, some drama. IF she was fearful she would not be there.

"but, he seems 95% of the time to be fine with it." - He understands her. :) Supports my view that she is not "hating" him, etc.

"I've also discovered she likes to be chased." - Awwwww, some of them do. Two of my girls sure do.

" Sometimes when she's in a zoomy mood I creep up on her and she flies off and then looks behind to see if I'm coming. Then I creep up again and she zooms off to another spot." Awwwww, yep. So cute!!!

"So I'm maintaining hope if they can build enough trust, Hawthorne can chase her and she'll enjoy it, hahah. :) " - Totally. I think that will happen.

"So for now, we're just letting them live through the wall of gates, with ongoing territory switching. I'm making it a point to start next week again, with face-to-face." - Ok, great. They are ready for face to face and get fully intro'd.

" I remember Graham18 Graham18 Graham18 Graham18 saying he saw improvement once there was more gates and less closed doors," - Exactly. Often when we show them everything is ok they realize "everything is ok".

" and I'm inclined to agree." - I totally agree. (OF course, when they have the base of trust built).

"Makes them feel more like it's their regular life too, aside from the shuffling territories. But they each generally have more freedom." - Exactly and they can feel that ownership of the territory and get that confidence. And a confident cat is more likely to accept and be accepted.

"That's all!" - All???? New job, etc. Hahahaha. Congratulations on the new job, I hope you are feeling better and great job with the cats.

"Just wanted to check in and assure you we haven't forgotten about the cat intros and the process. :) Hope you are keeping well! :) " - Wonderful to hear from you. I hope you are well and if not get well soon. The cats will be fine and good luck on the new job!!

Always here for you. Keep up the great work. They are doing great it sounds.
Good morning! We are back to attempting the cat face-to-face sessions, but as usual, we feel a bit uncertain. Last night we tried having her up on the cat tree and letting him out into the main space, as we have done in the past. He kind of walked around the perimeter of the room looking scared, and then went to hide under the sofa. She perched up on her tree eating treats, and didn't seem overly concerned. Then I became the problem, because I was worried she would come off the tree and he would ambush her from under the sofa. So I did the thing I know I'm not supposed to do - carried her back to behind the gates. :( And that was the end of the session.

This morning, she was waiting for her time to come out and was sitting right at the gate, and he rushed it and tried to swat at her. I was able to easily distract him and he came into his room no problem for treat puzzles, and she came out no problem for her treat puzzle, so obviously not a big deal. Will he ever stop doing that?

I suppose I had hoped that their (generally) calm behaviour with our new gate territories signaled that when we had them together again face-to-face it would be smooth sailing. But I suspect no matter what, there will still be work to do when they are together in the same room, no gates, right? Are we at the point now where we need to have them together and only interfere if a chase happens (likely), or, a fight (less likely)? I know I need to just let more things play out and see what happens. They eat supper together quite close (through the gate), no issues. And treat puzzles together. That said, he is still sometimes activated when he sees her - frustrated chirps and so on. We've done lots of positive associations and still do - the puzzles, bedtime treats, etc. What else can we do to show him that she is not a threat, and vice versa?

I don't know. What is our next step from here?

And thank you for the job congratulations! I'm feeling mixed emotions, as usual, haha. But sometimes it's good to make a change and try something new.
 

calicosrspecial

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Good morning! We are back to attempting the cat face-to-face sessions, but as usual, we feel a bit uncertain. Last night we tried having her up on the cat tree and letting him out into the main space, as we have done in the past. He kind of walked around the perimeter of the room looking scared, and then went to hide under the sofa. She perched up on her tree eating treats, and didn't seem overly concerned. Then I became the problem, because I was worried she would come off the tree and he would ambush her from under the sofa. So I did the thing I know I'm not supposed to do - carried her back to behind the gates. :( And that was the end of the session.

This morning, she was waiting for her time to come out and was sitting right at the gate, and he rushed it and tried to swat at her. I was able to easily distract him and he came into his room no problem for treat puzzles, and she came out no problem for her treat puzzle, so obviously not a big deal. Will he ever stop doing that?

I suppose I had hoped that their (generally) calm behaviour with our new gate territories signaled that when we had them together again face-to-face it would be smooth sailing. But I suspect no matter what, there will still be work to do when they are together in the same room, no gates, right? Are we at the point now where we need to have them together and only interfere if a chase happens (likely), or, a fight (less likely)? I know I need to just let more things play out and see what happens. They eat supper together quite close (through the gate), no issues. And treat puzzles together. That said, he is still sometimes activated when he sees her - frustrated chirps and so on. We've done lots of positive associations and still do - the puzzles, bedtime treats, etc. What else can we do to show him that she is not a threat, and vice versa?

I don't know. What is our next step from here?

And thank you for the job congratulations! I'm feeling mixed emotions, as usual, haha. But sometimes it's good to make a change and try something new.
"Good morning! We are back to attempting the cat face-to-face sessions," - Good morning and great!!!

" but as usual, we feel a bit uncertain." - Ok. It will be fine. They have had a bit of time off so there will probably be some adjustment but neither wants to hurt the other, etc so they will get back into it in a few days.

" Last night we tried having her up on the cat tree and letting him out into the main space, as we have done in the past." - Ok. Just let her decide where she wants to be if possible.

" He kind of walked around the perimeter of the room looking scared, and then went to hide under the sofa." - Ok, it has been a while so understandable.

" She perched up on her tree eating treats, and didn't seem overly concerned. " - THAT is GREAT!! He will see she doesn't mean harm and respond.

"Then I became the problem, because I was worried she would come off the tree and he would ambush her from under the sofa. So I did the thing I know I'm not supposed to do - carried her back to behind the gates. :( And that was the end of the session." - Well, it is ok. She is tougher than you may realize and we do need them to step up. So just watch them and build the trust in them like they have in each other.

"This morning, she was waiting for her time to come out and was sitting right at the gate, and he rushed it and tried to swat at her." - Hmmmm, interesting. how did she react?

" I was able to easily distract him and he came into his room no problem for treat puzzles," - Well THAT is great!!!!

" and she came out no problem for her treat puzzle, so obviously not a big deal." - GREAT so she is telling us it was not a big deal. GREAT!!!

" Will he ever stop doing that?" Maybe but maybe not? It will depend on how she responds. But the fact she isn;t really bothered means she knows his intent is not bad per se.

"I suppose I had hoped that their (generally) calm behaviour with our new gate territories signaled that when we had them together again face-to-face it would be smooth sailing." - Well anytime there is change and it has been a while since they have had access (face to face) I would expect some issues. But she sure is not saying there is a problem and he will warm up again.

"But I suspect no matter what, there will still be work to do when they are together in the same room, no gates, right? " - yes but I think they are fine. I have not read one thing that is concerning.

"Are we at the point now where we need to have them together and only interfere if a chase happens (likely), or, a fight (less likely)?" - I think so. Just hang out, distract if needed to avoid the chase and to show the other cat that something else is more interesting than the other cat. Just be yourself and let them hang out and realize the other is not a threat. The more relaxed the humans are the more the cats tend to be.

"I know I need to just let more things play out and see what happens." - Yes. It is more art than science. So just try to make it a positive encounter and just hang out and love them. If you sense tension just calmly distract. I do think she is doing better where a chase is less likely but proving that little confidence (distraction) can boost it a touch. Just try not to overthink it. They are doing great, they are well past the risk point and they will be fine. The key is she is doing better and that is why I am so confident.

"They eat supper together quite close (through the gate), no issues. And treat puzzles together. " - Exactly

"That said, he is still sometimes activated when he sees her - frustrated chirps and so on." - Yes I think partially because she is this kind of distant cat that he really hasn't had much interaction. I think some of it is frustration in wanting to get to know her better.

" We've done lots of positive associations and still do - the puzzles, bedtime treats, etc. " - Perfect

"What else can we do to show him that she is not a threat, and vice versa?" - Hanging out. Just take an hour to sit and read. Let them hang out, distract if needed but let them just be in a calm situation. Her on the tree, etc and him going wherever he wants to go.

"I don't know. What is our next step from here?" - more face time, less barrier time.

"And thank you for the job congratulations! I'm feeling mixed emotions, as usual, haha. But sometimes it's good to make a change and try something new. " - Humans are like cats, change is hard BUT how we handle it determines how well it goes. It sounds like you have the normal unease, etc but you are positive and I am sure will tackle it with ambition and hard work. I am sure you will do great!! :)

Hang in there. You are almost there. Just try not to overthink this and just go with it and watch them and learn from them that you really can trust them. They are doing great especially Florie!! Hawthorne will be Hawthorne but it sounds like she understands him. And he is a good cat. They are going to be just fine. :)
 
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Furmama22

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"Good morning! We are back to attempting the cat face-to-face sessions," - Good morning and great!!!

" but as usual, we feel a bit uncertain." - Ok. It will be fine. They have had a bit of time off so there will probably be some adjustment but neither wants to hurt the other, etc so they will get back into it in a few days.

" Last night we tried having her up on the cat tree and letting him out into the main space, as we have done in the past." - Ok. Just let her decide where she wants to be if possible.

" He kind of walked around the perimeter of the room looking scared, and then went to hide under the sofa." - Ok, it has been a while so understandable.

" She perched up on her tree eating treats, and didn't seem overly concerned. " - THAT is GREAT!! He will see she doesn't mean harm and respond.

"Then I became the problem, because I was worried she would come off the tree and he would ambush her from under the sofa. So I did the thing I know I'm not supposed to do - carried her back to behind the gates. :( And that was the end of the session." - Well, it is ok. She is tougher than you may realize and we do need them to step up. So just watch them and build the trust in them like they have in each other.

"This morning, she was waiting for her time to come out and was sitting right at the gate, and he rushed it and tried to swat at her." - Hmmmm, interesting. how did she react?

" I was able to easily distract him and he came into his room no problem for treat puzzles," - Well THAT is great!!!!

" and she came out no problem for her treat puzzle, so obviously not a big deal." - GREAT so she is telling us it was not a big deal. GREAT!!!

" Will he ever stop doing that?" Maybe but maybe not? It will depend on how she responds. But the fact she isn;t really bothered means she knows his intent is not bad per se.

"I suppose I had hoped that their (generally) calm behaviour with our new gate territories signaled that when we had them together again face-to-face it would be smooth sailing." - Well anytime there is change and it has been a while since they have had access (face to face) I would expect some issues. But she sure is not saying there is a problem and he will warm up again.

"But I suspect no matter what, there will still be work to do when they are together in the same room, no gates, right? " - yes but I think they are fine. I have not read one thing that is concerning.

"Are we at the point now where we need to have them together and only interfere if a chase happens (likely), or, a fight (less likely)?" - I think so. Just hang out, distract if needed to avoid the chase and to show the other cat that something else is more interesting than the other cat. Just be yourself and let them hang out and realize the other is not a threat. The more relaxed the humans are the more the cats tend to be.

"I know I need to just let more things play out and see what happens." - Yes. It is more art than science. So just try to make it a positive encounter and just hang out and love them. If you sense tension just calmly distract. I do think she is doing better where a chase is less likely but proving that little confidence (distraction) can boost it a touch. Just try not to overthink it. They are doing great, they are well past the risk point and they will be fine. The key is she is doing better and that is why I am so confident.

"They eat supper together quite close (through the gate), no issues. And treat puzzles together. " - Exactly

"That said, he is still sometimes activated when he sees her - frustrated chirps and so on." - Yes I think partially because she is this kind of distant cat that he really hasn't had much interaction. I think some of it is frustration in wanting to get to know her better.

" We've done lots of positive associations and still do - the puzzles, bedtime treats, etc. " - Perfect

"What else can we do to show him that she is not a threat, and vice versa?" - Hanging out. Just take an hour to sit and read. Let them hang out, distract if needed but let them just be in a calm situation. Her on the tree, etc and him going wherever he wants to go.

"I don't know. What is our next step from here?" - more face time, less barrier time.

"And thank you for the job congratulations! I'm feeling mixed emotions, as usual, haha. But sometimes it's good to make a change and try something new. " - Humans are like cats, change is hard BUT how we handle it determines how well it goes. It sounds like you have the normal unease, etc but you are positive and I am sure will tackle it with ambition and hard work. I am sure you will do great!! :)

Hang in there. You are almost there. Just try not to overthink this and just go with it and watch them and learn from them that you really can trust them. They are doing great especially Florie!! Hawthorne will be Hawthorne but it sounds like she understands him. And he is a good cat. They are going to be just fine. :)
Hello there! :) A quick update and a question! :)

The update: this afternoon we did treats face-to-face and used that time to switch territories. So Hawthorne was out in the main living space and chasing his treats, and I opened the gate and let Florie come out. She marched out, tail high, which was great. And each chased their own treats. At one point Hawthorne chased a treat about four feet from her and she growled and got hunchy, but he was focussed on the treats and not her, and then was off again chasing his next treat. So then I guided him to the hallway territory and closed the gate, and that was that. She did really well, although she can be both confident/tail high in one moment and then slinky, hunchy in the next moment. So I'm not sure a little 30 second in-person interaction does anything, but hopefully it can't hurt. Tonight I might try again the face-to-face with her up on the tree and then let him out. We'll see.

The question: sometimes lately when Hawthorne sees her out (from wherever he is, behind the other gate), he does his frustrated meow and then goes to hide. So if it's in the main living space, he goes into the bedroom that's right by the gate and sits there in the dark, with big eyes. Or, in the hallway/bedroom space, he goes into the bathroom and sits there (also with big eyes). He used to do that in our old house too when he saw her - sit behind a door or somewhere. Do you know why he might be doing that? Is he afraid of her again? I reassure him and eventually he comes back out again. He doesn't do it ALL the time - just sometimes. It's like he's guarding again. He's a mystery, that little dude.
 

calicosrspecial

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Hello there! :) A quick update and a question! :)

The update: this afternoon we did treats face-to-face and used that time to switch territories. So Hawthorne was out in the main living space and chasing his treats, and I opened the gate and let Florie come out. She marched out, tail high, which was great. And each chased their own treats. At one point Hawthorne chased a treat about four feet from her and she growled and got hunchy, but he was focussed on the treats and not her, and then was off again chasing his next treat. So then I guided him to the hallway territory and closed the gate, and that was that. She did really well, although she can be both confident/tail high in one moment and then slinky, hunchy in the next moment. So I'm not sure a little 30 second in-person interaction does anything, but hopefully it can't hurt. Tonight I might try again the face-to-face with her up on the tree and then let him out. We'll see.

The question: sometimes lately when Hawthorne sees her out (from wherever he is, behind the other gate), he does his frustrated meow and then goes to hide. So if it's in the main living space, he goes into the bedroom that's right by the gate and sits there in the dark, with big eyes. Or, in the hallway/bedroom space, he goes into the bathroom and sits there (also with big eyes). He used to do that in our old house too when he saw her - sit behind a door or somewhere. Do you know why he might be doing that? Is he afraid of her again? I reassure him and eventually he comes back out again. He doesn't do it ALL the time - just sometimes. It's like he's guarding again. He's a mystery, that little dude.
"Hello there! :) A quick update and a question! :) " - Hello, let's take a look

"The update: this afternoon we did treats face-to-face and used that time to switch territories." - Great

" So Hawthorne was out in the main living space and chasing his treats," - Awwwwwwwwwww

" and I opened the gate and let Florie come out. She marched out, tail high, which was great." - Great

" And each chased their own treats." - What?!?!?!?! He had no issue with her coming out??????

" At one point Hawthorne chased a treat about four feet from her and she growled and got hunchy, but he was focussed on the treats and not her, and then was off again chasing his next treat." - :yess: :hyper: :clap2: WHOA!!! AWESOME!!!

"So then I guided him to the hallway territory and closed the gate," - Ohhhhhhhhhh :/ Keep it going if all is going well.

" and that was that." - Ok

" She did really well," - YES!!!! AMAZINGLY WELL!!! And so did Hawthorne!!!! :)

"although she can be both confident/tail high in one moment and then slinky, hunchy in the next moment. " - BUT that is fine as long as nothing negative happens (the fear isn't realized).

"So I'm not sure a little 30 second in-person interaction does anything," - Totally disagree. This was an amazing test that both passed. IF there were real issues that could have gone horribly wrong and it didn't. So it tells us that he views something good (treats) over her/her presence, etc. No fear of her attacking him, etc. And he told her he is not interested in "eliminating" her. Fantastic!!!

" but hopefully it can't hurt." - It not only didn't hurt it helped build trust. Any fear was not realized.

"Tonight I might try again the face-to-face with her up on the tree and then let him out. We'll see." - Try it the way they want to do it. However they feel good just go with it. Just try not to get them overstimulated and try not to get one to act like prey.

"The question: sometimes lately when Hawthorne sees her out (from wherever he is, behind the other gate), he does his frustrated meow and then goes to hide. " - Hmmmmmmm, I THINK he is trying to play.

"So if it's in the main living space, he goes into the bedroom that's right by the gate and sits there in the dark, with big eyes." - Oh, big eyes. Hmmmmmmmmmm. Well in the dark the eyes do get bigger to see. BUT if it is fear etc then there is no way they would have an encounter like you described before.

"Or, in the hallway/bedroom space, he goes into the bathroom and sits there (also with big eyes)." - Hmmmmmmm, seems like either caution or play. I go with some caution.

" He used to do that in our old house too when he saw her - sit behind a door or somewhere." - ok

" Do you know why he might be doing that? Is he afraid of her again? " - Not afraid but cautionary. So just making sure she is not going to attack him, etc. IF it was fear he would not be chasing treats, coming out when she is there, eating near her, etc. As long as she is not attacking him (negative) then he'll realize she isn't so bad.

"I reassure him and eventually he comes back out again." - GREAT!!! Great work!! And him coming out eventually tells me that the fear is not that great. So caution. I am not bothered by it.

"He doesn't do it ALL the time - just sometimes. " - Ok, good. I didn't think so.

"It's like he's guarding again." - no, I think observing to make sure all is ok.

" He's a mystery, that little dude. " - Hahahahaha, no, just a normal cat!!! ;) And a really cute one at that!!! :)

Sounds like a great update. I am really impressed. I expected some issues since they haven't really haven't been with each other but this is way better than I expected. In a way it seems like they almost progressed in that time. Pretty good.

Keep up the great work!!! :)
 
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"Hello there! :) A quick update and a question! :) " - Hello, let's take a look

"The update: this afternoon we did treats face-to-face and used that time to switch territories." - Great

" So Hawthorne was out in the main living space and chasing his treats," - Awwwwwwwwwww

" and I opened the gate and let Florie come out. She marched out, tail high, which was great." - Great

" And each chased their own treats." - What?!?!?!?! He had no issue with her coming out??????

" At one point Hawthorne chased a treat about four feet from her and she growled and got hunchy, but he was focussed on the treats and not her, and then was off again chasing his next treat." - :yess: :hyper: :clap2: WHOA!!! AWESOME!!!

"So then I guided him to the hallway territory and closed the gate," - Ohhhhhhhhhh :/ Keep it going if all is going well.

" and that was that." - Ok

" She did really well," - YES!!!! AMAZINGLY WELL!!! And so did Hawthorne!!!! :)

"although she can be both confident/tail high in one moment and then slinky, hunchy in the next moment. " - BUT that is fine as long as nothing negative happens (the fear isn't realized).

"So I'm not sure a little 30 second in-person interaction does anything," - Totally disagree. This was an amazing test that both passed. IF there were real issues that could have gone horribly wrong and it didn't. So it tells us that he views something good (treats) over her/her presence, etc. No fear of her attacking him, etc. And he told her he is not interested in "eliminating" her. Fantastic!!!

" but hopefully it can't hurt." - It not only didn't hurt it helped build trust. Any fear was not realized.

"Tonight I might try again the face-to-face with her up on the tree and then let him out. We'll see." - Try it the way they want to do it. However they feel good just go with it. Just try not to get them overstimulated and try not to get one to act like prey.

"The question: sometimes lately when Hawthorne sees her out (from wherever he is, behind the other gate), he does his frustrated meow and then goes to hide. " - Hmmmmmmm, I THINK he is trying to play.

"So if it's in the main living space, he goes into the bedroom that's right by the gate and sits there in the dark, with big eyes." - Oh, big eyes. Hmmmmmmmmmm. Well in the dark the eyes do get bigger to see. BUT if it is fear etc then there is no way they would have an encounter like you described before.

"Or, in the hallway/bedroom space, he goes into the bathroom and sits there (also with big eyes)." - Hmmmmmmm, seems like either caution or play. I go with some caution.

" He used to do that in our old house too when he saw her - sit behind a door or somewhere." - ok

" Do you know why he might be doing that? Is he afraid of her again? " - Not afraid but cautionary. So just making sure she is not going to attack him, etc. IF it was fear he would not be chasing treats, coming out when she is there, eating near her, etc. As long as she is not attacking him (negative) then he'll realize she isn't so bad.

"I reassure him and eventually he comes back out again." - GREAT!!! Great work!! And him coming out eventually tells me that the fear is not that great. So caution. I am not bothered by it.

"He doesn't do it ALL the time - just sometimes. " - Ok, good. I didn't think so.

"It's like he's guarding again." - no, I think observing to make sure all is ok.

" He's a mystery, that little dude. " - Hahahahaha, no, just a normal cat!!! ;) And a really cute one at that!!! :)

Sounds like a great update. I am really impressed. I expected some issues since they haven't really haven't been with each other but this is way better than I expected. In a way it seems like they almost progressed in that time. Pretty good.

Keep up the great work!!! :)
OK we did the face-to-face tonight! I debated because there is a rainstorm going on today and Hawthorne is usually more edgy/anxious when it's heavy rain - the noises and strong winds scare him. But I was feeling calm and Florie went up on her cat tree herself, so I thought I'd try. I'd say overall very successful, although the end got more dicey.

She was up on tree resting, so I let Hawthorne out. I gave her a treat on her tree and threw a treat for him, and then I went to do a yoga video. Granted, the yoga mat was between them, but I figured that was a little bit less micro manage-y then some of my previous techniques. He parked himself behind the kitchen table - I think he would have been just visible to her, and vice versa.

I'd say we did about 15 minutes total. At the beginning there was a bit of staring (from both) and growling (from her). I had to dispense another treat to each to break the initial stares, and then I could kind of say to him "it's ok, it's ok" and do the eye blinks and he would look at me. Eventually both got softer eyes and would look away from each other and were resting. He even did a bit of a playful roll, the kind he does for me when he wants affection.

Then the staring picked up again and all of a sudden I could see his eyes getting bigger and his gaze fixing and I couldn't distract him and then sure enough, he tried to take a run at the cat tree. I was able to deter him with the cardboard, so he tried another angle, and then I shook the treat bag and threw a few, and after a few more tense moments where I think he was like, "which shall I choose? Florie or the treats?" he went for the treats (we call it "treats not beats"), and then I was able to throw more treats and guide him back into his room and closed the gate. It's about 20 minutes later and she hasn't come down off the tree yet - she's napping on it. We'll do bedtime treats pastes together in just a few minutes to finish off the night (through the gate, that is).

So I'm happy that tonight he chose treats over beats. But I can't figure out why it was fine for fifteen minutes with them relaxing and then all of a sudden he went for her on the tree. It didn't look like she'd changed her body language or anything, other than a bit more staring on her part as well. But perhaps he sensed something?

Anyways, I managed it and we made it work tonight. So we'll keep trying!

Last thing: should I try next time to diffuse the situation and then keep hanging out together? I felt tensions between them were getting higher, but I guess they have to learn to diffuse and then keep going and relax again.
 

calicosrspecial

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OK we did the face-to-face tonight! I debated because there is a rainstorm going on today and Hawthorne is usually more edgy/anxious when it's heavy rain - the noises and strong winds scare him. But I was feeling calm and Florie went up on her cat tree herself, so I thought I'd try. I'd say overall very successful, although the end got more dicey.

She was up on tree resting, so I let Hawthorne out. I gave her a treat on her tree and threw a treat for him, and then I went to do a yoga video. Granted, the yoga mat was between them, but I figured that was a little bit less micro manage-y then some of my previous techniques. He parked himself behind the kitchen table - I think he would have been just visible to her, and vice versa.

I'd say we did about 15 minutes total. At the beginning there was a bit of staring (from both) and growling (from her). I had to dispense another treat to each to break the initial stares, and then I could kind of say to him "it's ok, it's ok" and do the eye blinks and he would look at me. Eventually both got softer eyes and would look away from each other and were resting. He even did a bit of a playful roll, the kind he does for me when he wants affection.

Then the staring picked up again and all of a sudden I could see his eyes getting bigger and his gaze fixing and I couldn't distract him and then sure enough, he tried to take a run at the cat tree. I was able to deter him with the cardboard, so he tried another angle, and then I shook the treat bag and threw a few, and after a few more tense moments where I think he was like, "which shall I choose? Florie or the treats?" he went for the treats (we call it "treats not beats"), and then I was able to throw more treats and guide him back into his room and closed the gate. It's about 20 minutes later and she hasn't come down off the tree yet - she's napping on it. We'll do bedtime treats pastes together in just a few minutes to finish off the night (through the gate, that is).

So I'm happy that tonight he chose treats over beats. But I can't figure out why it was fine for fifteen minutes with them relaxing and then all of a sudden he went for her on the tree. It didn't look like she'd changed her body language or anything, other than a bit more staring on her part as well. But perhaps he sensed something?

Anyways, I managed it and we made it work tonight. So we'll keep trying!

Last thing: should I try next time to diffuse the situation and then keep hanging out together? I felt tensions between them were getting higher, but I guess they have to learn to diffuse and then keep going and relax again.
"OK we did the face-to-face tonight! " - Great

"I debated because there is a rainstorm going on today and Hawthorne is usually more edgy/anxious when it's heavy rain - the noises and strong winds scare him. " - Makes sense

"But I was feeling calm and Florie went up on her cat tree herself, so I thought I'd try." - GREAT!!!! :)

" I'd say overall very successful," - :yess::hyper::clap2: Impressive given the storm going on.

"although the end got more dicey." - Ok, let's see

"She was up on tree resting, so I let Hawthorne out. I gave her a treat on her tree and threw a treat for him, and then I went to do a yoga video. Granted, the yoga mat was between them, but I figured that was a little bit less micro manage-y then some of my previous techniques." - PERFECT!!!! LOVE IT!!!! :) GREAT idea!!!

" He parked himself behind the kitchen table - I think he would have been just visible to her, and vice versa." - Perfect

"I'd say we did about 15 minutes total." - :yess::hyper::clap2: Fantastic

" At the beginning there was a bit of staring (from both) and growling (from her)." - Ok, they are figuring it out. Not a problem as long as nothing negative happened in response.

"I had to dispense another treat to each to break the initial stares, and then I could kind of say to him "it's ok, it's ok" and do the eye blinks and he would look at me." - WOW!! FANTASTIC!!!!

" Eventually both got softer eyes and would look away from each other and were resting. " - :yess::hyper::clap2: AWESOME!!!

"He even did a bit of a playful roll, the kind he does for me when he wants affection." - Awwwwwwwwww

"Then the staring picked up again and all of a sudden I could see his eyes getting bigger and his gaze fixing and I couldn't distract him and then sure enough, he tried to take a run at the cat tree." - Interesting, ok. Didn't expect that. Let's see how it goes from here.

" I was able to deter him with the cardboard, so he tried another angle, and then I shook the treat bag and threw a few, and after a few more tense moments where I think he was like, "which shall I choose? Florie or the treats?" he went for the treats (we call it "treats not beats"), and then I was able to throw more treats and guide him back into his room and closed the gate." - GREAT!!!!!

" It's about 20 minutes later and she hasn't come down off the tree yet - she's napping on it. " - Ok, how was she during and immediately after his charge?

"We'll do bedtime treats pastes together in just a few minutes to finish off the night (through the gate, that is)." - Great

"So I'm happy that tonight he chose treats over beats." - TOTALLY

" But I can't figure out why it was fine for fifteen minutes with them relaxing and then all of a sudden he went for her on the tree. It didn't look like she'd changed her body language or anything, other than a bit more staring on her part as well. But perhaps he sensed something?" - I am surprised as well. Maybe boredom? Maybe he was worrying she might go after him at some point. Maybe he just wanted to test her? How she responded will tell us a lot.

"Anyways, I managed it and we made it work tonight." - IT WORKED PERFECTLY!!!

" So we'll keep trying!" - Absolutely.

"Last thing: should I try next time to diffuse the situation and then keep hanging out together?" - Yes, they need to deal with that tension and resolve it so we need to walk that fine line.

" I felt tensions between them were getting higher, but I guess they have to learn to diffuse and then keep going and relax again. " - Exactly!!! And just reassure them, distract as best you can etc. I still did not expect it to be going this well after the hiatus.

GREAT JOB!!!! :)
 
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Furmama22

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Just quickly following up! During his charge to the tree, she growled and got extra crouchy/hunchy on the tree. She basically just parked up there and was watching the situation unfold. She looked scared, but, she stayed up on the tree. And I think she still ate a treat when I gave her one.

Then 30 minutes later, we were able to do pastes no problem through the gate. It was just me last night (my partner was working late), so I hold one paste tree in each hand, haha, which means they are about a foot or two apart (through the gate). And that was fine. And all fine this morning too. I'm out of greenies, which is the treat that keeps Hawthorne on his best behaviour, so I'll try the evening session again as soon as I have a fresh bag. :)

Thanks as always for the positive words of encouragement!
 

calicosrspecial

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Just quickly following up! During his charge to the tree, she growled and got extra crouchy/hunchy on the tree. She basically just parked up there and was watching the situation unfold. She looked scared, but, she stayed up on the tree. And I think she still ate a treat when I gave her one.

Then 30 minutes later, we were able to do pastes no problem through the gate. It was just me last night (my partner was working late), so I hold one paste tree in each hand, haha, which means they are about a foot or two apart (through the gate). And that was fine. And all fine this morning too. I'm out of greenies, which is the treat that keeps Hawthorne on his best behaviour, so I'll try the evening session again as soon as I have a fresh bag. :)

Thanks as always for the positive words of encouragement!
"Just quickly following up! During his charge to the tree, she growled and got extra crouchy/hunchy on the tree." - Ok, expected, normal.

" She basically just parked up there and was watching the situation unfold. She looked scared, but, she stayed up on the tree. " - Great

"And I think she still ate a treat when I gave her one." - PERFECT!!! It was actually a confidence builder.

"Then 30 minutes later, we were able to do pastes no problem through the gate. " - :yess: :hyper: :clap2: Fast rebound so that tells me it wasn't really a big deal. Perfect!!

"It was just me last night (my partner was working late), so I hold one paste tree in each hand, haha, which means they are about a foot or two apart (through the gate)." - Perfect!!!

" And that was fine. " - GREAT!!!

"And all fine this morning too." - GREAT!!!

" I'm out of greenies, which is the treat that keeps Hawthorne on his best behaviour, so I'll try the evening session again as soon as I have a fresh bag. :) " - Great

"Thanks as always for the positive words of encouragement! " - Well, it is based on facts. Actually this update was even better than I expected so pretty awesome.

Keep up the great work!! They are going to be just fine. :)
 
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"Just quickly following up! During his charge to the tree, she growled and got extra crouchy/hunchy on the tree." - Ok, expected, normal.

" She basically just parked up there and was watching the situation unfold. She looked scared, but, she stayed up on the tree. " - Great

"And I think she still ate a treat when I gave her one." - PERFECT!!! It was actually a confidence builder.

"Then 30 minutes later, we were able to do pastes no problem through the gate. " - :yess: :hyper: :clap2: Fast rebound so that tells me it wasn't really a big deal. Perfect!!

"It was just me last night (my partner was working late), so I hold one paste tree in each hand, haha, which means they are about a foot or two apart (through the gate)." - Perfect!!!

" And that was fine. " - GREAT!!!

"And all fine this morning too." - GREAT!!!

" I'm out of greenies, which is the treat that keeps Hawthorne on his best behaviour, so I'll try the evening session again as soon as I have a fresh bag. :) " - Great

"Thanks as always for the positive words of encouragement! " - Well, it is based on facts. Actually this update was even better than I expected so pretty awesome.

Keep up the great work!! They are going to be just fine. :)
A quick note that we didn't do a face-to-face last night. For some reason, they were extra testy last night. She came up to the gate a couple of times wanting out, and then Hawthorne ran over to the gate to try to bonk her. He can never just ignore it. Then at one point, she didn't run away but crouched just out of reach and that really made him mad - so he was pacing at the gate, with his back fur a bit puffed, trying to find a way to get to her, while she was hissing away and pulling back, with her ears tucked against her head. I hadn't seem them like that in awhile - I thought we were passed that. I couldn't distract him with my voice, either. All of a sudden I felt concerned that maybe he DOES want to harm her, at certain times.

Eventually he left it (maybe ten or fifteen seconds) and they calmed down again. They did their treat time through the gate before bed with no issues. Things seem to be fine today - they did puzzles as usual, and are leaving each other alone.

I get the sense there are small changes (like, maybe she comes closer to the gate, or doesn't run away as far, or he's bored, or she looks at him funny, who knows) that he senses that I don't see, and that maybe set him off. Like Graham18 Graham18 , sometimes her growling also sets him off. They both are still reactive to the other in certain ways - setting off each other's insecurities.

Sigh. Feels sometimes like we are working hard against the current! :) But there will always be good days and bad. So big picture! :)

Anyways, hopefully we'll try another face-to-face soon.
 

calicosrspecial

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A quick note that we didn't do a face-to-face last night. For some reason, they were extra testy last night. She came up to the gate a couple of times wanting out, and then Hawthorne ran over to the gate to try to bonk her. He can never just ignore it. Then at one point, she didn't run away but crouched just out of reach and that really made him mad - so he was pacing at the gate, with his back fur a bit puffed, trying to find a way to get to her, while she was hissing away and pulling back, with her ears tucked against her head. I hadn't seem them like that in awhile - I thought we were passed that. I couldn't distract him with my voice, either. All of a sudden I felt concerned that maybe he DOES want to harm her, at certain times.

Eventually he left it (maybe ten or fifteen seconds) and they calmed down again. They did their treat time through the gate before bed with no issues. Things seem to be fine today - they did puzzles as usual, and are leaving each other alone.

I get the sense there are small changes (like, maybe she comes closer to the gate, or doesn't run away as far, or he's bored, or she looks at him funny, who knows) that he senses that I don't see, and that maybe set him off. Like Graham18 Graham18 , sometimes her growling also sets him off. They both are still reactive to the other in certain ways - setting off each other's insecurities.

Sigh. Feels sometimes like we are working hard against the current! :) But there will always be good days and bad. So big picture! :)

Anyways, hopefully we'll try another face-to-face soon.
"A quick note that we didn't do a face-to-face last night." - Ok, that is fine

" For some reason, they were extra testy last night." - Ok

" She came up to the gate a couple of times wanting out, and then Hawthorne ran over to the gate to try to bonk her." - Ok

" He can never just ignore it." - No

" Then at one point, she didn't run away but crouched just out of reach and that really made him mad - so he was pacing at the gate, with his back fur a bit puffed, trying to find a way to get to her, while she was hissing away and pulling back, with her ears tucked against her head. I hadn't seem them like that in awhile - I thought we were passed that. I couldn't distract him with my voice, either. " - Ok. Hmmmmmm, didn't expect that. How did they act after that? How fast back to normal?

"All of a sudden I felt concerned that maybe he DOES want to harm her, at certain times." - Hmmmmmm, not sure. Doubt it but I guess anything is possible.

"Eventually he left it (maybe ten or fifteen seconds) and they calmed down again." - Oh, that is great. I think the gate/fence is frustrating a bit.

" They did their treat time through the gate before bed with no issues. " - After the gate incident? If so, amazing!!! THAT tells me the gate issue was not a big deal.

"Things seem to be fine today - they did puzzles as usual, and are leaving each other alone." - Great

"I get the sense there are small changes (like, maybe she comes closer to the gate, or doesn't run away as far, or he's bored, or she looks at him funny, who knows) that he senses that I don't see, and that maybe set him off. Like Graham18 Graham18 Graham18 Graham18 , sometimes her growling also sets him off. They both are still reactive to the other in certain ways - setting off each other's insecurities." - Yes. Then they get it out of their system and go back to normal.

"Sigh. Feels sometimes like we are working hard against the current! :) But there will always be good days and bad. So big picture! :)" - Yeah. I think this limbo land is a bit frustrating at times for them as well. :/ If they had real issues there is no way they would do treat time etc.

"Anyways, hopefully we'll try another face-to-face soon. " - Sounds good. We need them to deal with whatever is concerning them. It is almost like they need to get it out of their system and test the waters then respect each other. :/

Let's see how they do the next few days.
 
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