Introducing a new cat.

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Paul9856

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Well we made some progress, eating by the door is going well. we decided to let the kids see each other and yes there was some screaming and swiping at the glass, today we repeated this with Belle and Aza on the balcony and Cora in the apartment. Cora walked away so our problem is basically Belle provoking Cora. Moving past this is our next problem and I guess that is just down to time :(
 

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Good luck. Hopefully in time, they'll get along well enough to all have full run of the apartment.
 
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We seem to be at an impasse, The cats need to see each other in order to be acclimatized but if I leave the room Belle and Cora are at the window, waving paws and shouting at each other - if they were together the fur would be flying. I have no idea at all what I can do to get past this except keep doing what we are doing. Belle is a notoriously fussy eater but when they are eating there are no problems, face to face even but I can't keep feeding them 24/7 Aza is already 4.8 kilos and looking portly, Belle and Cora are at 3.8 kilos and I don't wnt them any heavier. Ideas please !!!!!
 
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A little more on this, Belle is approaching the door and window and then we get a hissing and swiping match but its not protracted and Belle IS walking away as is Cora so I have some hope that once they meet in the fur and without restraint we may have a fight or two as they establish the pecking order but that it won't be constant - please God
 
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Advice in Russian suggests that there is a limit to how much benefit we get from feeding the kitties together, yes they ignore each other while eating but then we are straight back to the same old. Belle and Cora have just met with Cora on a loose lead. There was no actively hostile action, some hissing when the distance closes BUT the weather forecast suggests we only have a week before we can no longer use one balcony so we are being advised to just let them meet and only step in if it gets violent. What do you suggest? Please help as you are my only source of information in English and the alternative is a Ukrainian villager who may not be as concerned
 

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I unfortunately have never actually introduced cats, so my advice only comes from what I've learned here on the site. But if you do try letting them meet, do not use your hands to try to separate them if a fight occurs. Have a piece of cardboard, or something like that, which you can put between them to separate them.

Hissing, even growling, isn't all bad. It's bloodshed or fur flying that you need to watch for, and if it comes to that, you'll probably need to separate them again, and start over at the beginning with the introductions.

Good luck.
 
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Today I hadn't expected to do any introduction due to a visit to the dentist but we cked up our courage to try and with Cora in a harness and a packet of tuna bits for distraction we tried an off lead intro. Only about 5 minutes although it felt like hours, a couple of hisses and one swipe which had both cats heading in opposite directions so we are calling this a success and tomorrow we will try for all day (or 10 minutes in real time)

Paul and Alina :catrub:
 
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Iths been a while since I updated the site with our progress so here goes. We had a few delays due to an ear infection, followed by a pair of dental implants but we have been continuing the introductions. What normally happens is that we open the bedroom door and fed all 3 girls some treats, Cora then wants to go to the living room and play in the cat tunnel chasing a feather stick while Belle sits on Alina's bed and looks like a Бабушка (lit grandmother but often old crone) in the local bazaar. Aza will sit on the bedroom balcony and catch up on the kitty TV. Cora and Aza have been nose to nose without fights, sometimes a hiss or swipe and run away but we think we are doing the right thing by not forcing them to interact and just having free access to all rooms except mine (to prevent fights under the bed) seems to remove stress. On the negative side, the introduction today ended when Cora decided that she was tired and headed to 'her' space. She sat on the balcony in an armchair then suddenly ran into the bedroom, hit Belle who was on the bed and then ran back to the balcony. We have decided that this was Cora saying "get off My bed ! And that Cora still doesn't know how to behave in a family. The other negatives are that there is still a lot of hissing and swiping at each other through the window and that Belle is scratching at the bedroom door mostly in the evenings. Aza does hiss a bit through the window but does not molest the door at all. We are minimising our stress by only allowing window access when someone is available to supervise the kids
 

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Doesn't sound too bad. Keep up the good work.
 
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Big setback today, we had been hoping to be open the apartment up and that the kids would self organise themselves at least for an hour or so at a time but this morning Belle slipped past my wife as she went onto the balcony between bedrooms. This resulted in hissing, screaming and paws flailing between Belle and Cora. Alina tells me that there was fur flying but no blood. I arrived and was able to just pick up Belle and separate them.
Now we need to regroup and restart. Am I making a mistake letting Belle and Cora see each other through the window and door? There is frequent hissing and paw waving I was hoping that Belle would get bored and settle down but she may be getting frustrated and more aggressive. I just need some advice
 

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Big setback today, we had been hoping to be open the apartment up and that the kids would self organise themselves at least for an hour or so at a time but this morning Belle slipped past my wife as she went onto the balcony between bedrooms. This resulted in hissing, screaming and paws flailing between Belle and Cora. Alina tells me that there was fur flying but no blood. I arrived and was able to just pick up Belle and separate them.
Now we need to regroup and restart. Am I making a mistake letting Belle and Cora see each other through the window and door? There is frequent hissing and paw waving I was hoping that Belle would get bored and settle down but she may be getting frustrated and more aggressive. I just need some advice
Hi, thank you so much for saving cat's lives.

Hopefully I can try to help and we can make some progress.

Ultimately intro's are like dating, roommates, etc. We want to build trust and confidence in the other person/cat that they wont kill us, hurt us, deprive us, etc.

So we want the cats to know the other is not a physical threat to their safety, not a threat to their territory, their food, their water, their litter box. We want to make Positive Associations using food to help them realize the other is good, make Positive Encounters so that they learn to trust the other cat(s) while trying to avoid or minimize Negative Encounters.

We want to build their Confidence through (Play, Food, Height and safe Love) as a confident cat is more likely to accept and be accepted and the more confident the more territorially secure they will feel allowing others to share it.

Intro's are like travel, there are many ways to do it (plane, train, ship, car, etc). The key is to find the best and safest path to achieve the objective at arriving at our destination. I may go one path, other another. Whatever works is the best.

So with that said let's try to figure it out.

I read the prior posts but there is a lot there. I am going to pick up from the latest updates.

" What normally happens is that we open the bedroom door and fed all 3 girls some treats," - Great and that goes well it sounds like.

"Cora then wants to go to the living room and play in the cat tunnel chasing a feather stick " - This is great as it builds confidence, territorial security.

Now the new cat typically has the easiest adjustment as it is new territory and not territory they feel like they need to defend/protect from an "intruder". The resident cats have the most difficult time adjusting as I think you are seeing.

"while Belle sits on Alina's bed and looks like a Бабушка (lit grandmother but often old crone) in the local bazaar. " - Ok, but as long as she is not being in a negative situation that is fine. just reassure her that all is ok. Maybe give her a treat. Something positive.

"Aza will sit on the bedroom balcony and catch up on the kitty TV." - Great

" Cora and Aza have been nose to nose without fights, sometimes a hiss or swipe and run away" - Ok, try to make it as positive as possible. If a cat runs away they can look like prey and trigger a hunting response. So we need to watch that.

" but we think we are doing the right thing by not forcing them to interact" - Agreed!!

" and just having free access to all rooms except mine (to prevent fights under the bed) seems to remove stress." - Ok, as long as it is positive.

" On the negative side, the introduction today ended when Cora decided that she was tired and headed to 'her' space. She sat on the balcony in an armchair then suddenly ran into the bedroom, hit Belle who was on the bed and then ran back to the balcony. " - Ok

"We have decided that this was Cora saying "get off My bed ! And that Cora still doesn't know how to behave in a family." - Well, she doesn't trust yet I would think.

If Cora didn't get into a full blown fight and Belle didn't fight that isn't too bad. Not perfect obviously but not the worst.

"The other negatives are that there is still a lot of hissing and swiping at each other through the window" - Yes, we want to diffuse or reduce this by reassuring them, distracting with something positive.

"and that Belle is scratching at the bedroom door mostly in the evenings. " - The door to Cora's room?

"Aza does hiss a bit through the window but does not molest the door at all." - Ok, just reassure, distract, etc. We want to make it as positive as possible.

"We are minimising our stress by only allowing window access when someone is available to supervise the kids" - Great

"Big setback today, we had been hoping to be open the apartment up and that the kids would self organise themselves at least for an hour or so at a time but this morning " - Ok, I do think you may be moving a bit fast. But I am still early in this.

"Belle slipped past my wife as she went onto the balcony between bedrooms. This resulted in hissing, screaming and paws flailing between Belle and Cora. " - Ok :/

"Alina tells me that there was fur flying but no blood. " - Good that there was no blood but bad that it did happen.

"I arrived and was able to just pick up Belle and separate them." - Ok, jsut be careful Use a cardboard or something to block them so you do not get hurt in any way.

"Now we need to regroup and restart." - Yes

" Am I making a mistake letting Belle and Cora see each other through the window and door? There is frequent hissing and paw waving I was hoping that Belle would get bored and settle down but she may be getting frustrated and more aggressive. I just need some advice " - Yes, I think so. We need to build trust between them, positive encounters. Avoid negatives. Let's figure it out.

"We started with Belle, a Scottish fold we adopted about 5 1/2 years ago, a year later we adopted a homeless black cat from our local vet and the introduction went very well so now Aza and Belle have been living together happily for over 4 years." - Ok. This makes sense that Belle is having the most difficult time adjusting/accepting.

So let's try to figure this out. I would really like to have them only have visual access supervised and for now limited.

Step up play with Belle and feed a meal or treats after play. DO you have cat trees, scratching posts, bedding? Things to go high and for them to feel more onwership?

Keep feeding together if possible and then just end it on a positive note.

Do scent swapping as well.

Let's try to have a few days of positive associations, positive encounters, and see where we are and figure out how to proceed.

We need to build Belle's confidence and security as a confident cat is more likely to accept and be accepted.

Please keep sharing any info you can and we'll go from there.

Thank you so much for caring so much about them and saving their lives.
 
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Paul9856

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Hi Calico,
looking over your message I can say that yes, we do have Cat Towers on both balconies, and I have moved an armchair out as well plus of course there are the window sills - the windows are 4 metres wide and the sill is at about 5 feet, we are on the 7th floor so a good view out! 3 scratching posts around the apartment plus a few more scratching surfaces and all the usual sticks, toys and things . We started an introduction session yesterday but Cora started reacting a bit strangely, being very agitated so we turned it into a site swap session and then realized that I had sprayed catnip a couple of hours earlier - not a good idea.

Today we opened the door and fed the girls some duck filet treats (from Trixie the big German company) Very popular with them and we had all 3 happily eating in a very close group. Cora was nose to nose with Aza and they were only worried about the next treat. Once the girls finished Belle went to Alina's bed while we played with Cora and Aza, No real problems to report at least while we were actively standing over the girls with the feather sticks. Aza hissed a few times when Cora got a bit close and Cora hissed a couple of times when she thought that Aza was doing something she didn't like so before anything got unpleasant we shifted to a site swap and that's us for today. We will be buying another heater eitherceramic block or oil filled so we can extend the use of the balconies for a few more months - would be great if we could get all 3 together overnight in January!

Thanks very much for your input !
Paul
 

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Hi Calico,
looking over your message I can say that yes, we do have Cat Towers on both balconies, and I have moved an armchair out as well plus of course there are the window sills - the windows are 4 metres wide and the sill is at about 5 feet, we are on the 7th floor so a good view out! 3 scratching posts around the apartment plus a few more scratching surfaces and all the usual sticks, toys and things . We started an introduction session yesterday but Cora started reacting a bit strangely, being very agitated so we turned it into a site swap session and then realized that I had sprayed catnip a couple of hours earlier - not a good idea.

Today we opened the door and fed the girls some duck filet treats (from Trixie the big German company) Very popular with them and we had all 3 happily eating in a very close group. Cora was nose to nose with Aza and they were only worried about the next treat. Once the girls finished Belle went to Alina's bed while we played with Cora and Aza, No real problems to report at least while we were actively standing over the girls with the feather sticks. Aza hissed a few times when Cora got a bit close and Cora hissed a couple of times when she thought that Aza was doing something she didn't like so before anything got unpleasant we shifted to a site swap and that's us for today. We will be buying another heater eitherceramic block or oil filled so we can extend the use of the balconies for a few more months - would be great if we could get all 3 together overnight in January!

Thanks very much for your input !
Paul
"Hi Calico," - Hi

"looking over your message I can say that yes, we do have Cat Towers on both balconies," - Great. Are the balconies screened in or otherwise secure from any cat falling off? I assume they are given you seem very conscientious but thought I would make sure.

" and I have moved an armchair out as well" - Ok

" plus of course there are the window sills - the windows are 4 metres wide and the sill is at about 5 feet, we are on the 7th floor so a good view out!" - Great. Window sills sound amazing.

" 3 scratching posts around the apartment plus a few more scratching surfaces" - Great. Scratching posts allow a cat to get their scent on something to "own" it and that area.

" and all the usual sticks, toys and things ." - Great, play builds confidence and territorial security. And a confident cat is more likely to accept and be accepted.

" We started an introduction session yesterday but Cora started reacting a bit strangely, being very agitated so we turned it into a site swap session" - Ok, good job. We want to always try to maximize the chance of a positive encounter so if there is something not right great to do something else and make it as positive as possible.

"and then realized that I had sprayed catnip a couple of hours earlier - not a good idea." - Ok, not a big deal. I wouldn't worry.

"Today we opened the door and fed the girls some duck filet treats (from Trixie the big German company) Very popular with them and we had all 3 happily eating in a very close group." - FANTASTIC!!! Cats tend to love duck so great idea.

" Cora was nose to nose with Aza and they were only worried about the next treat. " - Fantastic. Positive association (treats) and positive encounter. EXACTLY what we want to accomplish.

"Once the girls finished Belle went to Alina's bed while we played with Cora and Aza," - Great

" No real problems to report at least while we were actively standing over the girls with the feather sticks." - Great

" Aza hissed a few times when Cora got a bit close and Cora hissed a couple of times when she thought that Aza was doing something she didn't like " - Hissing is jsut communication and if it is respected and nothing negative happens it actually is fine, positive.

"so before anything got unpleasant we shifted to a site swap and that's us for today." - Great job!!!

" We will be buying another heater eitherceramic block or oil filled so we can extend the use of the balconies for a few more months - would be great if we could get all 3 together overnight in January!" - Ok, I am not sure it is all that necessary but do what you feel is best.

"Thanks very much for your input ! " - You are very welcome.

Well, that sounds like a great update. Keep doing that, maximize positive encounters, minimize or avoid negative encounters, make those positive associations (food). Keep playing with them (individually is probably best a this point) in any area where they seem a touch less secure and feed treats or a meal after. Be calm and confident around them as cats take on our emotions. Let them know they are loved (safely) and all is fine and the other cat(s) are positive and not a threat to anything.

Keep up the great work and ask anything anytime. Great job!!
 
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I didn't describe the apartment well, the living room faces north and has a balcony, 8 sq metres, wood panelled, vinyl floor, double glazed and insulated with 5 cushioned shelves for kitties. Still got a big ficus and palm there but they will be coming in for winter soon right now it's chilly but we have a 500w heater for belle and Aza overnight. The bedrooms face south and share a finished balcony also double glazed, 8 sq metres and as long as the sun is still out its OK for daytime. Cora is away in a bedroom for most of the day so she gets the apartment at night. This is not a typical soviet apartment but was built at the very end of that era for the privileged, pretty good quality and loads of space 😊
 

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I didn't describe the apartment well, the living room faces north and has a balcony, 8 sq metres, wood panelled, vinyl floor, double glazed and insulated with 5 cushioned shelves for kitties. Still got a big ficus and palm there but they will be coming in for winter soon right now it's chilly but we have a 500w heater for belle and Aza overnight. The bedrooms face south and share a finished balcony also double glazed, 8 sq metres and as long as the sun is still out its OK for daytime. Cora is away in a bedroom for most of the day so she gets the apartment at night. This is not a typical soviet apartment but was built at the very end of that era for the privileged, pretty good quality and loads of space 😊
Great. Sounds like there is no risk of them falling, etc. Great

I understand now that it is really another room, more like a 3 season room and that is why added heat is needed. Understand. just make sure the heating unit doesn't have risk of starting a fire, etc. You obviously are intelligent so I believe you are already aware of that. But never hurts to bring up things.

Keep up the great work!!! Keep focusing on the basics and let's get them successfully intro'd. :)
 
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Hi Guys,

Not much new happening here yet, we are still introducing for 15 minutes at a time most days and site swapping for several hours at a time every day. We haven't had any fights or nastiness but at the same time we are very tense when the girls are together.

Paul
 

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Hi Guys,

Not much new happening here yet, we are still introducing for 15 minutes at a time most days and site swapping for several hours at a time every day. We haven't had any fights or nastiness but at the same time we are very tense when the girls are together.

Paul
"Not much new happening here yet," - Ok

" we are still introducing for 15 minutes at a time most days and site swapping for several hours at a time every day." - Perfect

" We haven't had any fights or nastiness " - GREAT THAT is SO IMPORTANT.

Keep making positive associations, positive encounters, and building their confidence through Play, Food, Height and Love (safely).

"but at the same time we are very tense when the girls are together." - Cats take on our emotions so try your best to be as calm and confident around them as possible. If we feel like all is well they just might feel the same way. So if all is going well just feel their energy and go with it.

So just keep making positive associations (food), positive encounters, and building their confidence through Play, Food, Height and Love (safely). Keep those emotions positive, let them feel the love you have for them. And just enjoy them.

Sounds like they are doing well. Keep up the great work!!
 
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its been a while since my last update so here goes, we are still after 4 months living in a divided apartment, luckily the electric heating and a (so far) mild winter has made this workable. In general introductions are lasting longer and we have fed all 3 cats in the hall together a couple of times. This has been a challenge as Cora eats really fast and then wants to play, she has tapped both Aza and Belle on the tail a couple of times and got a " leave me alone" hiss which she respected. Belle is still tending to stay apart but both Cora and Aza have played with their favourite toys while the other has been nearby. All the girls have been in close quarters which would have certainly caused a fight earlier. However we are not out of the woods yet. Tonight after eating Cora played a bit but when Belle went to Alina's bed Cora came to see what was going on and we had a more real fight - hisses, some screaming and paws waving like mad - the main aggressor seems to have been Belle but I couldn't really be sure of anything other than Aza was not involved, the good news is that they seperated easily, there was no damage and all the girls were very calm afterwards all be it in seperate rooms.

We are planning tomorrow to do an introduction with treats and skip the "meal in one room" intro until we have had a couple of good days in a row. In case anyone is wondering my room is being kept as a buffer zone because cats can get under my bed easily and I don't want to have to try to break up a fight under the bed. Please keep the prayers coming as it looks like by mid December all the girls will have to sleep indoors and that is closer than I like.

Paul and Alina
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its been a while since my last update so here goes, we are still after 4 months living in a divided apartment, luckily the electric heating and a (so far) mild winter has made this workable. In general introductions are lasting longer and we have fed all 3 cats in the hall together a couple of times. This has been a challenge as Cora eats really fast and then wants to play, she has tapped both Aza and Belle on the tail a couple of times and got a " leave me alone" hiss which she respected. Belle is still tending to stay apart but both Cora and Aza have played with their favourite toys while the other has been nearby. All the girls have been in close quarters which would have certainly caused a fight earlier. However we are not out of the woods yet. Tonight after eating Cora played a bit but when Belle went to Alina's bed Cora came to see what was going on and we had a more real fight - hisses, some screaming and paws waving like mad - the main aggressor seems to have been Belle but I couldn't really be sure of anything other than Aza was not involved, the good news is that they seperated easily, there was no damage and all the girls were very calm afterwards all be it in seperate rooms.

We are planning tomorrow to do an introduction with treats and skip the "meal in one room" intro until we have had a couple of good days in a row. In case anyone is wondering my room is being kept as a buffer zone because cats can get under my bed easily and I don't want to have to try to break up a fight under the bed. Please keep the prayers coming as it looks like by mid December all the girls will have to sleep indoors and that is closer than I like.

Paul and Alina
Kiev
Great to hear from you. With the recent news I have been thinking about you and hope all is going to be well.

"its been a while since my last update so here goes, we are still after 4 months living in a divided apartment, luckily the electric heating and a (so far) mild winter has made this workable. " - Ok

"In general introductions are lasting longer and we have fed all 3 cats in the hall together a couple of times." - That is great

" This has been a challenge as Cora eats really fast and then wants to play," - Yes, often the challenge. Can you engage her away from the others without bothering the others?

" she has tapped both Aza and Belle on the tail a couple of times and got a " leave me alone" hiss which she respected." - Well, that is actually really positive!!! That could be negative in a lot of ways nd the fact it doesn't go negative is really positive.


" Belle is still tending to stay apart" - That is ok. Is she acting different otherwise?

"but both Cora and Aza have played with their favourite toys while the other has been nearby." - GREAT!!!!

" All the girls have been in close quarters which would have certainly caused a fight earlier." - Great, that builds trust.

" However we are not out of the woods yet." - Ok

" Tonight after eating Cora played a bit but when Belle went to Alina's bed Cora came to see what was going on and we had a more real fight - hisses, some screaming and paws waving like mad - the main aggressor seems to have been Belle but I couldn't really be sure of anything other than Aza was not involved," - Ok, not surprising as Belle seems less confident. But as long as it wasn;t a "real" fight (blood, etc) then it shouldn't be an issue and could build some trust. Make sure you try to make a positive association with Belle and Cora and try to make their encounters as positive as possible. Belle needs to feel more trust and confidence. But I am glad that Cora was not aggressive and that should help Belle trust more in time.

" the good news is that they seperated easily, there was no damage and all the girls were very calm afterwards all be it in seperate rooms." - Ok, that is great news!!!! How they rebound is VERY important.

It sounds like it was just an unfortunate situation. But one that might actually end up positive. Keep working on increasing Belle's confidence (Play, Food, Height and Love safely).

"We are planning tomorrow to do an introduction with treats and skip the "meal in one room" intro until we have had a couple of good days in a row." - OK, that is fine.

" In case anyone is wondering my room is being kept as a buffer zone because cats can get under my bed easily and I don't want to have to try to break up a fight under the bed. " - Exactly. Can you block under the bed at all?

" Please keep the prayers coming as it looks like by mid December all the girls will have to sleep indoors and that is closer than I like." - Will do but I get a sense it may go a lot better than you may realize.

Feel free to post anytime. Great job. Sounds like they are doing fantastically. Keep up the great work. AZA and Cora seem like they are really great and if you can work on Belle to build her confidence that would be great.

Keep up the great work!!!
 
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Paul9856

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Thanks for your reply, we are generally successful drawing Cora away from the other girls but everytime she is wanting to play which seems like a good thing. Belle is a difficult child, we got her from a breeder at a cat show and she does not fit the breed standard for scottish folds, she is not at all cuddly or playful, she has always been extremely picky over food and unresponsive ignoring attempts to get her to play unless it suited her. When Aza arrived she immediately jumped into playing and Belle just stepped back and let her do all that hard work and that has been the last 4 years or so. We have found a couple of new toys which are getting a reaction from Belle but hi energy play is not in her vocabulary and cuddling is definitely out. I have seen Jackson's programs (which seem a bit too miraculous to be real) and I have been aware of the under bed blocking but while we do have a big apartment we don't have any materials to block off the bed so that is unfortunately out.
 
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