Introducing Cats - Logistics Questions.

foxxycat

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Yes try the cage...it will help improve their trust in one another...time is what is needed..sometimes it feels like its going so SLOW.

Also try swapping scents= poop/pee balls in each other's box, blankets, beds...every 3 days=do a switch...I currently have 2 cats=neither are ready to live together=last night new cat spent quite a bit time smelling the resident's cat poop in the box=I was just getting ready to clean it up=she ran over to investigate=so I watched from a distance-she didn't growl or anything..just kept sniffing...

Have you watched Jackson Galaxy's video on intros?
His big point is meal times at the same time and scent swaps.

We got 2 babygates=and a box that sits ontop as Lilah new kitty has jumped over both gates stacked. She sits and watches. My resident cat is now sitting safely away and watching..she wouldn't even look at her a week ago. It's been 6 weeks...very stressful 6 weeks with only one floor living...but from my view=whenever there's a scuffle, it almost looks like play-new cat's tail has been straight up when chasing Bee..Bee is of course slinking along the floor and tail down...Lilah is said to be 9 but I suspect she's 5=she has SO MUCH freaking energy and plays nonstop for half an hour at a time.

Playtime is a common theme I noticed in all of Jackson's videos.

This short video is a good into of getting cats to cohabit..

I have learned so much from Mr. Jackson.
 
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Yes try the cage...it will help improve their trust in one another...time is what is needed..sometimes it feels like its going so SLOW.

Also try swapping scents= poop/pee balls in each other's box, blankets, beds...every 3 days=do a switch...I currently have 2 cats=neither are ready to live together=last night new cat spent quite a bit time smelling the resident's cat poop in the box=I was just getting ready to clean it up=she ran over to investigate=so I watched from a distance-she didn't growl or anything..just kept sniffing...

Have you watched Jackson Galaxy's video on intros?
His big point is meal times at the same time and scent swaps.

We got 2 babygates=and a box that sits ontop as Lilah new kitty has jumped over both gates stacked. She sits and watches. My resident cat is now sitting safely away and watching..she wouldn't even look at her a week ago. It's been 6 weeks...very stressful 6 weeks with only one floor living...but from my view=whenever there's a scuffle, it almost looks like play-new cat's tail has been straight up when chasing Bee..Bee is of course slinking along the floor and tail down...Lilah is said to be 9 but I suspect she's 5=she has SO MUCH freaking energy and plays nonstop for half an hour at a time.

Playtime is a common theme I noticed in all of Jackson's videos.

This short video is a good into of getting cats to cohabit..

I have learned so much from Mr. Jackson.
The cage came today so I am going to assemble it this weekend. We have been swapping blankets, doing lots of baby gate time, and they will eat treats in close proximity without a gate.

They had a pretty good hour together this evening! After both had been fed and Twyla had her litter box time she went upstairs and started looking for Hooper. I let him out and he went downstairs while she was still exploring. Once she came downstairs they did the usual dance - she sits and watches and he chirps and meows, tries to get close and at one point rolled over and showed her his belly. He also followed her around, ate some of her food and used her litter box, she watched all this but did not get aggressive and I rewarded them both with treats that they ate about a foot apart. Twyla growled and hissed a couple of times but only went after him twice. One was just a "you're to close" chase, but the other was when he got close to my bedroom (her safe space) and she went after him and gave him a good swat. I try and encourage play but neither one is really relaxed yet.

I returned him to his room at a point where things were calm, but when I could tell that Twyla was losing patience overall. This was their longest interaction yet so I feel a bit better. I hope using the cage will help increase their comfort levels.
 
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Things are....interesting. Today they touched noses and did peaceful paw to nose touches through the gate. Twyla then came out and passed Hooper without incident. He slipped into the bedroom (her room) and I closed the door so he could explore a bit without being threatened. He then came out and there was the usual combination of sitting and watching each other and warning hisses and growls. She tends to sit still while he circles around her and tests the boundaries, so even though he is not the aggressor in a typical sense, it is his behavior that provokes her. They had treats together. After a while he decided to go back and explore the bedroom some more, Twyla followed and I could tell she was a little more tense but still managed to sit and watch as I tried to engage them in play. She wouldn't but just observed Hooper, who was under the bed. He then went into the walk in closet and she went after him and there was a bit of a battle that I was able to end with a "that's enough!" I usually don't intervene but was worried that one of them might get cornered and that provided Hooper a chance to escape. This was a huge intrusion on Twyla's most "special place" so her reaction was about what I expected. From what I have seen there is no fur flying or biting when they get physical, and Hooper will attempt to defend himself when cornered, but it is still happening at least once or twice every time they are together. I am trying to be more consistent about getting them together every day at least once and ideally two or three times, as I imagine the irregularity we have had up till now hasn't helped much.

I am doubtful that the cage is going to work. Hooper hates it, and climbs the sides and cries the whole time he is in it (this is without Twyla in the room). Of course Twyla will go in and explore it and eat the food in it, but she's not the one that needs contained! That's disappointing, because I thought it would help Twyla get used to him.
 

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the irregularity we have had up till now hasn't helped much.
Maybe a non-issue, I don't know if Twyla has been used to a schedule in her life of your leaving coming back feeding her repeat except for weekends which were themselves somewhat consistent? If not so much, or even if so, cats are so resilient that I think you're ok.

Hooper hates it, and climbs the sides and cries the whole time he is in it
oh baby Hooper! well drat. However, your post just above really does sound good, and I think you're on the right track with what you're doing, cage or no. Hang in there!!
 
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I finally caught a couple of videos with audio today. The longer one shows how Twyla gets when she is really annoyed. There was a lot of this today but no outright attacks. Any video interpretation is welcome!

She did not want to be cooped up in her room while Hooper was out but was not thrilled to be around him, though she did start eating right in front of him. She came out a couple of times and both times ended the sessions herself by asking to go back in her room.

*struggling with posting the videos. Will keep trying.
 
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I'm not seeing anything terrible, mostly a low comfort level between them.
 

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Those videos are very helpful.
Both cats are beautiful.:cloud9:

What I'm seeing is that Twyla is trying to get accustomed to little Hooper, but...perhaps since it is all very new to Twyla, and also because she is a senior cat, then she cannot move as fast as Hooper,... so she responds by growling.. then hissing at Hooper.
It's almost as though, Twyla does her growling beforehand, so that Hooper will not move, and so that she can get closer to him, for a thorough sniffing.

(I think I am in love with young Hooper, because he did not lash out, or even try to paw Twyla back.)
With Twyla trying to sniff his tail, and then that immediate hiss...(it actually made me jump)...so I appreciate that Hooper was very low- key, about the whole interaction.
Hooper seems to be very attentive to Twyla, and seems to be studying her.
(much the same way, that Twyla is observing him.)

The 2nd video makes me appreciate how Hooper handles the situation, ...since he looks, trills, chirps, and jumps down, to hide behind the pillow. He is a very smart cat for trying to get out of the line-of-sight, of Twyla.
Both of your cats will get to a place of comfort....It will just take a lot of time.
 

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**The question now would be...how to get Twyla to relax...around Hooper...and reduce her 'fight' response.

As a senior cat, she may have decreased hearing as well, so her growling may seem louder than usual.
Also decreased eye-sight, and reflexes,...may make her more jumpy-grumpy than usual.
(my cats hate black socks on the floor, or anything dark...such a purse or bag... and get very nervous around them.
I'm thinking they think it's some sort of animal, so perhaps they use 'movement'....more than stationary eyesight as a warning.)

You've already mentioned 'Feliway diffusers,'....and members, here, have written that Feliway sprays have helped, while taking their cat to the vet....but I have never used any 'cat pheromones' ....so cannot really say ...how well they work.
You're better on commenting how well the Felliway has helped.

I think what you should continue to do, is:
(1) have many play sessions with Hooper...since he will need to expend his energy.
Using wand toys with toys at the end, or ping pong balls, will help tire him out.
(2) have gentle play sessions with Twyla, so she does not feel left out, and does not get overly tired.

(3) You also mentioned that 'interactive cat toy' ....that Twyla seemed to covet....in a previous photo.
Can you use something like this, when both cats are in the same room, to get them interested in playing near each other.
(**If Twyla seems to be getting more annoyed than in the videos, ....then just have some sort of blanket, towel, pillow,... near you, to block her line-of-sight to Hooper....or distract her from being super focused on him.)

Another toy that seems to be popular is this one:
(I think I've seen the smaller version at Walmart, as well.)

(4) And continue what you are doing with giving praise and treats after every good cat interaction.

(ps....For all I know....Twyla may have been trying to protect that tall plant, from Hooper trying to climb it. :think: :nono: :biggrin:
It would be so amazing to know what each growl means.
Much the same, as trying to keep him out of her 'walk-in closet'...errr...secret space. :blush: )
 
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**The question now would be...how to get Twyla to relax...around Hooper...and reduce her 'fight' response.

As a senior cat, she may have decreased hearing as well, so her growling may seem louder than usual.
Also decreased eye-sight, and reflexes,...may make her more jumpy-grumpy than usual.
(my cats hate black socks on the floor, or anything dark...such a purse or bag... and get very nervous around them.
I'm thinking they think it's some sort of animal, so perhaps they use 'movement'....more than stationary eyesight as a warning.)

You've already mentioned 'Feliway diffusers,'....and members, here, have written that Feliway sprays have helped, while taking their cat to the vet....but I have never used any 'cat pheromones' ....so cannot really say ...how well they work.
You're better on commenting how well the Felliway has helped.

I think what you should continue to do, is:
(1) have many play sessions with Hooper...since he will need to expend his energy.
Using wand toys with toys at the end, or ping pong balls, will help tire him out.
(2) have gentle play sessions with Twyla, so she does not feel left out, and does not get overly tired.

(3) You also mentioned that 'interactive cat toy' ....that Twyla seemed to covet....in a previous photo.
Can you use something like this, when both cats are in the same room, to get them interested in playing near each other.
(**If Twyla seems to be getting more annoyed than in the videos, ....then just have some sort of blanket, towel, pillow,... near you, to block her line-of-sight to Hooper....or distract her from being super focused on him.)

Another toy that seems to be popular is this one:
(I think I've seen the smaller version at Walmart, as well.)

(4) And continue what you are doing with giving praise and treats after every good cat interaction.

(ps....For all I know....Twyla may have been trying to protect that tall plant, from Hooper trying to climb it. :think: :nono: :biggrin:
It would be so amazing to know what each growl means.
Much the same, as trying to keep him out of her 'walk-in closet'...errr...secret space. :blush: )
Thank you for your observations! I would say that Twyla's hearing is still really good, but her vision may not be quite as sharp due to normal aging. One of the big struggles is difference in energy levels - she will have bursts of crazy high activity but is pretty chill the rest of the time - so his constant activity definitely gets on her nerves. I will say that she quickly goes back to her old self once he is out of her sight and both of them have healthy eating and bathroom habits, so I don't think her overall stress level is too bad. She was just really happy being an only spoiled cat and now she has to adjust her routine and learn to share her space and her person.

Hooper's behavior in the videos is very typical of how he behaves with her. Not aggressive, though he follows her around all the time. The chirps and trills are how he speaks to her, he meows at me.

I do use the interactive toy with them, and it definitely helps to shift their focus from each other, as does using wand toys. I don't really think the Feliway helps much, but it doesn't hurt either.

I plan to keep on with introductions at a pace that works for her, even though it seems painfully slow!
 

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Thank you for your observations! I would say that Twyla's hearing is still really good, but her vision may not be quite as sharp due to normal aging. One of the big struggles is difference in energy levels - she will have bursts of crazy high activity but is pretty chill the rest of the time - so his constant activity definitely gets on her nerves. I will say that she quickly goes back to her old self once he is out of her sight and both of them have healthy eating and bathroom habits, so I don't think her overall stress level is too bad. She was just really happy being an only spoiled cat and now she has to adjust her routine and learn to share her space and her person.
Yes, so true, ...the differences in energy levels will definitely account for the growling and hissing, too. As will the differences in play styles. Twyla may not want to tumble and wrestle, but rather chase and strike. I'm not seeing an overly stressed cat in Twyla.

I actually think that Twyla enjoys having Hooper around. I know this might sound strange, but if you watch her, and see that she is not withdrawn, but rather wants to engage with him, then it looks more like Twyla is just asserting her dominance, in her domain.
It totally makes sense that Hooper's constant activity would get on her nerves.
(It would be like having to referee a sports match, ...when you don't really like soccer, football, hockey. Okay, that's a bad example...but I cannot think of a 'cat-example', right now.)
Hooper's behavior in the videos is very typical of how he behaves with her. Not aggressive, though he follows her around all the time. The chirps and trills are how he speaks to her, he meows at me.
That is so interesting, how he communicates differently with you, by meowing.
I plan to keep on with introductions at a pace that works for her, even though it seems painfully slow!
(Yes, I remember when I had to introduce my rainbow cat to our new puppy...that took 9 months.
And my rainbow senior cat being introduced to new kittens took about 3 months. They would never actually play together, but when the senior cat decided to sleep near the kittens...then I knew he had accepted them. It was all up to him, though. It seemed to happen out of the blue...but in reality...it was very, very gradual.)

I was curious about how each cat acts with you, ...when they are both in the same room?
And also when they are in separate rooms?
Are they able to lay beside you? Enjoy getting pats, strokes, or brushes?
Can they just relax and sleep, on their own cat beds, near you?

If you could teach Hooper, to allow you to pet and rub him all over, so as to get him all used to human touch,...
then it will be easier for you to deal with him later, for trimming claws, or whatever else you'd have to do.
I know that some cats do not like to be touched everywhere, but if you start young, and find what spots he likes, then it may make it easier in the future. Sometimes, first using a soft towel, helps...to not get bitten.
 
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Twylasmom

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Yes, so true, ...the differences in energy levels will definitely account for the growling and hissing, too. As will the differences in play styles. Twyla may not want to tumble and wrestle, but rather chase and strike. I'm not seeing an overly stressed cat in Twyla.

I actually think that Twyla enjoys having Hooper around. I know this might sound strange, but if you watch her, and see that she is not withdrawn, but rather wants to engage with him, then it looks more like Twyla is just asserting her dominance, in her domain.
It totally makes sense that Hooper's constant activity would get on her nerves.
(It would be like having to referee a sports match, ...when you don't really like soccer, football, hockey. Okay, that's a bad example...but I cannot think of a 'cat-example', right now.)

That is so interesting, how he communicates differently with you, by meowing.

(Yes, I remember when I had to introduce my rainbow cat to our new puppy...that took 9 months.
And my rainbow senior cat being introduced to new kittens took about 3 months. They would never actually play together, but when the senior cat decided to sleep near the kittens...then I knew he had accepted them. It was all up to him, though. It seemed to happen out of the blue...but in reality...it was very, very gradual.)

I was curious about how each cat acts with you, ...when they are both in the same room?
And also when they are in separate rooms?
Are they able to lay beside you? Enjoy getting pats, strokes, or brushes?
Can they just relax and sleep, on their own cat beds, near you?

If you could teach Hooper, to allow you to pet and rub him all over, so as to get him all used to human touch,...
then it will be easier for you to deal with him later, for trimming claws, or whatever else you'd have to do.
I know that some cats do not like to be touched everywhere, but if you start young, and find what spots he likes, then it may make it easier in the future. Sometimes, first using a soft towel, helps...to not get bitten.
When I am in the same room with both cats, Hooper wants to know where I am and sometimes uses me as a human shield. Twyla acts normal, except for being wary of Hooper. Separately they are both very affectionate, Twyla loves to snuggle and I can pick Hooper up and give him love and vigorous pets. He can be a little nippy. He will crawl on my lap and sleep, but rarely, because he is so active.

We just had a short interaction this evening. Only a couple of growls from Twyla, she mostly stayed in one place and watched Hooper bounce around. Two really positive things happened. Hooper went into my bedroom and explored and she didn't follow him and later she batted a soccer ball back and forth with me while he watched. They had treats and I ended it on a positive note.
 

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We just had a short interaction this evening. Only a couple of growls from Twyla, she mostly stayed in one place and watched Hooper bounce around. Two really positive things happened. Hooper went into my bedroom and explored and she didn't follow him and later she batted a soccer ball back and forth with me while he watched. They had treats and I ended it on a positive note.
Twyla batted an actual soccer ball.??!! Wow. I don't think I'm giving Twyla enough credit...in the 'energy-department', then.
Wow, again. Unless you are talking about some small, miniature-type of soft soccer ball, then it is still impressive, but more inline with my cats.
(The most mine have ever done is bat a ping-pong-ball back to me, or one of those little jingle-cat-balls. I end up getting more exercise, then they do.)

Hooper 'bouncing' around must be amazing and entertaining to watch. :blush: :cloud9:

So Twyla not following Hooper, and ummm....'reprimanding' him for entering her space...is truly a positive step.
Sounds like she is slowly accepting him, and his 'fast, bouncy, ways', and seeing that he is not really a threat to her space.
(Either that, or she has already hidden all her good toys from him, and so he can explore what he wants.:wink:)
When I am in the same room with both cats, Hooper wants to know where I am and sometimes uses me as a human shield. Twyla acts normal, except for being wary of Hooper. Separately they are both very affectionate, Twyla loves to snuggle and I can pick Hooper up and give him love and vigorous pets. He can be a little nippy. He will crawl on my lap and sleep, but rarely, because he is so active.
Hooper using you as a 'human shield' ...sounds like such a smart move on Hooper's part. :lol:
Using his human, for both protection, and part of a game...is good strategy, when you think about it.

When he becomes nippy, then just place a cat toy into his mouth, or tell him a firm "no". :think:
Hooper is very attentive, so he will learn quite quickly.
 
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We are making some progress, but it is slow. Yesterday they were together for an hour and a half (longest interaction yet) and slightly shorter time today (though may do another session later). They will spend a lot of time sitting and looking at each other, and sometimes will play with separate toys or take turns with a wand toy. I also give them times when I am nearby but out of sight, which is a big step.There is still lots of hissing, swatting and chasing but it is clear that Twyla is trying to set boundaries and Hooper is trying to push them.Yesterday he approached her while she was using the litter box and she just hissed and finished her business. It is always clear when she has had enough and then I give her some privacy.
So I think we will get there eventually. I am off all week so I hope that by the end of the week we can get to three or four hours together per day.

The big issue is the bedroom. Hooper constantly goes in there and that is where the majority of the conflict occurs. That is where Twyla spends most of her time and where she sleeps so she really doesn't like that but I do think she needs to get used to him coming in there.

At the moment they also eat separately but I do feed them treats or split a Sheba and they can eat in close proximity without problem. Twyla is on prescription dry and gets medicine in her wet food and Hooper is still on kitten dry food so they need to eat meals separately. I tried feeding together but each one wants the others food!

Here is a picture of Hooper chilling on my lap like a big boy!
IMG_0129.JPG
 

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Beautiful photo of Hooper. :)
I really enjoy reading your updates, about Twyla and Hooper.

Glad that Twyla is setting those 'boundaries' for young Hooper.
No way should he be bothering her, while she's in her litter-box....what is he thinking. :headshake:

The big issue is the bedroom. Hooper constantly goes in there and that is where the majority of the conflict occurs. That is where Twyla spends most of her time and where she sleeps so she really doesn't like that but I do think she needs to get used to him coming in there.
I agree that in these early stages of 'getting to know each other'....that Twyla does need to accept that Hooper is here to stay in her environment, is not a threat, and will not compete for her resources.

(But I do wonder how our cats feel, or how their instincts kick-in, ...when they happen to see another cat laying on their human, laying in their cat-bed, or just walking around and wanting to play,...while they just want to sleep. I guess those are all different questions, and don't really help in your situation, but I still think about how fascinating the behaviour of cats can teach us.)

I guess our cats really teach us things like patience, how to pay attention, and how to adjust and accept changes.
Though, with our cats, ....their 'time-frames', and 'perceived threats' are just different.

With Twyla, to overcome her 'instincts' in her own room, will take time, plenty of positive associations, when she no longer sees Hooper as bothersome.
Maybe, too, she sees her room, as your room, as well,....so she is not really ready to 'share her human.'....just yet. :think:
Hopefully that will come in the future.

Looking forward to seeing some photos of Twyla, too. (Just to balance out the cute Hooper shot.):)
 
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I was able to get some decent pictures of the two of them today. In the next to last one he got about one step closer and then shied away from her. The last one is just Twyla looking pretty, Hooper was out of frame on the right. Any photo interpretations welcome! As usual, she got fed up after about 45 minutes and went in her room, after which she hissed at him through the door. This was their second time together today.

As you can see, they can get fairly close to each other without any hostility. But when Hooper crosses a line, she lets him know it. Last night I was able to close Hooper in the guest room and Twyla got to thoroughly explore his room. There was some growling and hissing initially but then she just sniffed everything thoroughly and face marked a couple of things.

Hooper did the litter box stalking thing again this morning. I have three litter boxes but Twyla will only use the " public" one, of course!

I keep hoping for a big breakthrough but my guess is it is just going to be a painfully slow process.
 

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Last night I was able to close Hooper in the guest room and Twyla got to thoroughly explore his room. There was some growling and hissing initially but then she just sniffed everything thoroughly and face marked a couple of things.
This is definitely progress. Twyla being able to thoroughly sniff, and face mark, will help in her acceptance of Hooper.
Hooper did the litter box stalking thing again this morning. I have three litter boxes but Twyla will only use the " public" one, of course!
The "public" one, must be the ideal one, I guess.
Right location, easy access, ....makes a statement...to mark her territory...so that the other cat will know ...who's the boss.
If you happen to be there, while the 'stalking the box' happens, just gently lift Hooper up, and place him away.
He will eventually understand, with repetition.

Your photos are indeed amazing.
What I am seeing are cats that can be within 5 feet of each other....in the same room....and fairly relaxed.
Of course, I don't hear the growling or hissing, through the photo, ...but if it has lessened in duration, and intensity....then any small improvement is fantastic.
 

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(Here are my 'goofy' takes on the photos. Feel free to skip over, since they are in no way scientific.)
I use humour to offset stress. And I hope that you can also find humour in some of the antics that your cats do.
While you are in the midst of this whole process, then that may be very, very difficult to do.

136: The imaginary line has been drawn. Please don't cross it. Much like the beginning of any sporting match.
137: Yeah, I'm not going to get that green spring. Neither will I.
138: (this is one of my favorites, since it reminds me of "the Rutles"...which is a parody of the Beatles. In the movie, the character of Paul, is playing the piano, singing a song to Bianca Jagger, who has absolutely no interest in the song, or the singer.
Twyla has that same expression, while Hooper can play the role of Paul.)
139: Looks to be a scene from 'dancing with the stars' of the 'paso doble'
140:There must be an 'off switch' to this guy.)
I keep hoping for a big breakthrough but my guess is it is just going to be a painfully slow process.
In all seriousness, Twylasmom Twylasmom , ...whatever you are doing....keep at it.
If this process started in September or August, ....then whatever you are doing is truly working.
I'm so impressed that your cats can be in the same room, together, at this point in time.

My serious take on your photos,... is that your process works.:)
 
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(Here are my 'goofy' takes on the photos. Feel free to skip over, since they are in no way scientific.)
I use humour to offset stress. And I hope that you can also find humour in some of the antics that your cats do.
While you are in the midst of this whole process, then that may be very, very difficult to do.

136: The imaginary line has been drawn. Please don't cross it. Much like the beginning of any sporting match.
137: Yeah, I'm not going to get that green spring. Neither will I.
138: (this is one of my favorites, since it reminds me of "the Rutles"...which is a parody of the Beatles. In the movie, the character of Paul, is playing the piano, singing a song to Bianca Jagger, who has absolutely no interest in the song, or the singer.
Twyla has that same expression, while Hooper can play the role of Paul.)
139: Looks to be a scene from 'dancing with the stars' of the 'paso doble'
140:There must be an 'off switch' to this guy.)

In all seriousness, Twylasmom Twylasmom , ...whatever you are doing....keep at it.
If this process started in September or August, ....then whatever you are doing is truly working.
I'm so impressed that your cats can be in the same room, together, at this point in time.

My serious take on your photos,... is that your process works.:)

Your photo interpretations are spot on! Thanks for the laugh!
 
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