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Beyond Confused

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Well, it finally happened - we had an escape from Alcatraz.

I was trying to slide my way out of the bathroom, and Indy broke free. Duncan was on the other side of the door. It all happened so fast, but here's what I'm pretty sure I saw - Indy came boldly marching out and he and Duncan came face to face for a couple seconds. Duncan backed up like, "what the heck?" But I don't think I heard any hissing. I threw my bath towel over Indy and quickly dropped him back in the bathroom and closed the door. He started screaming like he was in agony, poor fella. Duncan, as soon as it was over, let me pet him, and he followed me back and forth from the kitchen to the living room, etc. He doesn't seem stressed out, and he's currently sitting on the arm of the recliner next to me. It's dinner time for them, but because that just happened, I moved Duncan's bowl out of the hallway and put it next to the recliner, where it has been the past 2 years. I thought that trying to eat across from a screaming Indy wasn't a good thing. I have closed the hallway/living room door to give Duncan a little more space. If he wants, he can still get fairly close by going to the baby gates.
 

calicosrspecial

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Well, it finally happened - we had an escape from Alcatraz.

I was trying to slide my way out of the bathroom, and Indy broke free. Duncan was on the other side of the door. It all happened so fast, but here's what I'm pretty sure I saw - Indy came boldly marching out and he and Duncan came face to face for a couple seconds. Duncan backed up like, "what the heck?" But I don't think I heard any hissing. I threw my bath towel over Indy and quickly dropped him back in the bathroom and closed the door. He started screaming like he was in agony, poor fella. Duncan, as soon as it was over, let me pet him, and he followed me back and forth from the kitchen to the living room, etc. He doesn't seem stressed out, and he's currently sitting on the arm of the recliner next to me. It's dinner time for them, but because that just happened, I moved Duncan's bowl out of the hallway and put it next to the recliner, where it has been the past 2 years. I thought that trying to eat across from a screaming Indy wasn't a good thing. I have closed the hallway/living room door to give Duncan a little more space. If he wants, he can still get fairly close by going to the baby gates.
It does happen but I think it went really well. Of course we don't want this to happen but it does and we dream the result would be like this!!!

Like you said it happens fast and it is like a blur.

BUT here is what I like. Duncan's initial reaction was not to attack. GREAT sign!! You ended it before any negativity. So no negativity = a positive. Again, not something we would set out to have happen but if it does this is the result we dream of. Duncan rebounded quickly, no negative hangover. So you reassured him that everything is ok, normal, he is not at risk. GREAT!!!

Indy did really well. I am very proud of him as well. Now, it is not surprising that he screamed after it since he wants freedom. Doesn't seem like he was afraid either.

So when something like this happens I tend to do everything about the same as I did before. Since cats don;t like change keeping things consistent and "normal" is what I try to do. And I reassure, make positive associations, etc. Love (if safe). Just to reassure and let the cat know all is fine, nothing to worry about.

Overall, great job!!!

One thing we need to figure out is how to have Indy distracted while we have visual. Since the logistics of the access to the bathroom is a little tricky and we'll want you with Duncan in his territory to be able to distract him to make sure it stays positive we'll have to think about a slow feeder or something to keep Indy focused on something other than Duncan (and you). You could probably sneak treats through the openings as well but we just need to be prepared for how to try to get Indy distracted.

So overall, great job with them and I am actually encouraged by what I read. If you would have asked me how it would go I would have thought there would have been a negative encounter so this exceeds my expectations. Doesn't mean we are in the clear but it is another positive.

Please let me know about the Indy distraction ideas when we get to the visual and keep up the great work!!
 

Beyond Confused

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i actually have the perfect Indy distraction - I had to buy him one of those slow puzzle feeders because he would INHALE his food. He's got the hang of it now, though. It's still a challenge that will keep him busy.

As I was crawling into bed and trying to fall asleep, Duncan was still out and about. It sounded like they were playing at the bathroom door, and I didn't hear any hissing. I called Duncan's name, and he came trotting in the bedroom, and I closed the door. So that was good, too.

Nothing has happened today at all. Indy wants out in the absolute worst way, and it's so sad to hear him crying out. Duncan has just been napping here and then moving to nap there.
 
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Furballsmom

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Do you have a clock that ticks? Muffle it by wrapping a towel around it and put that in with him. This often works with both orphan kittens and lonely older cats :)
 

Beyond Confused

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Do you have a clock that ticks? Muffle it by wrapping a towel around it and put that in with him. This often works with both orphan kittens and lonely older cats :)
That's a cute idea.

I will add that I have built in speakers in the bathroom, so he's got a Christian radio station going 24/7...some talk, some music.
 

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i actually have the perfect Indy distraction - I had to buy him one of those slow puzzle feeders because he would INHALE his food. He's got the hang of it now, though. It's still a challenge that will keep him busy.

As I was crawling into bed and trying to fall asleep, Duncan was still out and about. It sounded like they were playing at the bathroom door, and I didn't hear any hissing. I called Duncan's name, and he came trotting in the bedroom, and I closed the door. So that was good, too.

Nothing has happened today at all. Indy wants out in the absolute worst way, and it's so sad to hear him crying out. Duncan has just been napping here and then moving to nap there.
"I had to buy him one of those slow puzzle feeders because he would INHALE his food. He's got the hang of it now, though. It's still a challenge that will keep him busy." - Perfect, exactly what I was hoping. When we do the visual doing it during feeding time (when they are hungry so they might be more focused on the food instead of the other cat) is a good thing.

"As I was crawling into bed and trying to fall asleep, Duncan was still out and about. It sounded like they were playing at the bathroom door, and I didn't hear any hissing." - Terrific. Great to hear.

"I called Duncan's name, and he came trotting in the bedroom, and I closed the door. So that was good, too." - Awwwww, that is GREAT!!!

"Nothing has happened today at all." - Great. Positive "encounters".

"Indy wants out in the absolute worst way, and it's so sad to hear him crying out." - I know. Hopefully it will not be long. Great ideas on the clock and the radio. But it is hard to replace love.

"Duncan has just been napping here and then moving to nap there." - This is great to hear. Duncan is our challenge and it sounds like he is doing really, really well.

There will be some issues when we go visual. We'll want to keep the negativity short in duration and distract them. And we'll try to end on a positive note. It is not the length of time right now it is all about the quality of the time.

I am so proud of you and Duncan and Indy. Keep up the great work!!!
 

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The ticking clock mimics a heartbeat, which might help him to feel a little less stressed. There are heartbeat toys as well, but I didn't know if you wanted to buy something since he should be out and about fairly soon? Nonetheless, here's a partial post from Buffster7 Buffster7

That toy you got her - they work! I had one that I brought to the vet and left in Finn's cage after I trapped him and he was being neutered. Remember when I went to visit and he was SO STRESSED? The toy I got him was a plush toy like yours but instead of a heartbeat, it purrs. He visibly relaxed and to this day, if I put that toy near him and it starts to purr, he'll go over and start making biscuits on him. I bet Wanda Heart loves her heartbeat toy forever, now!

Can you try some spotify classical harp music for cats in the bathroom?
 
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Beyond Confused

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In preparation for this weekend, I have hung a sheet over the baby gates. While Duncan was sleeping on the living room sofa, I closed the door between the living room and the hallway. The baby gates blocked the other end. Indy had free reign of the bathroom, hallway, and bedroom, while I cleaned the bathroom.

He walked out semi-cautiously, walked to the bedroom, peeking around corners before proceeding. I walked around the room, scaring himself by getting too close to a bowl of water, my hair brush, the curtains, etc. In no time, though, he was sprawled out on the bed.

I'd say he was maybe out for 30 minutes. Duncan slept through it all.

Since the weekend is coming up, should I start letting Indy in the hallway for a few minutes at a time? The sheet would block them from seeing it each, but they would be able to hear each other and I would assume - smell each other?
Would this be a good next step before we start the actual reveal, or no?
 

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...aaaaaand I think I might need a 3rd gate, unless I can move the top one up quite a bit. It's completely covered by a sheet, so I think that might be okay. Any thoughts?
 

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I believe the sheet makes the whole thing appear solid, so you should be able to move the top one up and they won't be aware of the gap.
 

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He hopped over the 2 baby gates, and I found him wandering around the kitchen. Luckily, Duncan was still hanging out in the living room. indy is back in the bathroom now.
 

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In preparation for this weekend, I have hung a sheet over the baby gates. While Duncan was sleeping on the living room sofa, I closed the door between the living room and the hallway. The baby gates blocked the other end. Indy had free reign of the bathroom, hallway, and bedroom, while I cleaned the bathroom.

He walked out semi-cautiously, walked to the bedroom, peeking around corners before proceeding. I walked around the room, scaring himself by getting too close to a bowl of water, my hair brush, the curtains, etc. In no time, though, he was sprawled out on the bed.

I'd say he was maybe out for 30 minutes. Duncan slept through it all.

Since the weekend is coming up, should I start letting Indy in the hallway for a few minutes at a time? The sheet would block them from seeing it each, but they would be able to hear each other and I would assume - smell each other?
Would this be a good next step before we start the actual reveal, or no?
"In preparation for this weekend, I have hung a sheet over the baby gates. While Duncan was sleeping on the living room sofa, I closed the door between the living room and the hallway. The baby gates blocked the other end." - Great.

"Indy had free reign of the bathroom, hallway, and bedroom, while I cleaned the bathroom." - Cool.

"He walked out semi-cautiously, walked to the bedroom, peeking around corners before proceeding." - Totally normal.

"I walked around the room, scaring himself by getting too close to a bowl of water, my hair brush, the curtains, etc." - Totally normal again.

"In no time, though, he was sprawled out on the bed." - Hahahahaha, wouldn't he?

"I'd say he was maybe out for 30 minutes. Duncan slept through it all." - Interesting. Very good.

"Since the weekend is coming up, should I start letting Indy in the hallway for a few minutes at a time?" - I think that would be great if Duncan is in the living room with the door closed.

"The sheet would block them from seeing it each, but they would be able to hear each other and I would assume - smell each other?" - Oh, Where are the gates exactly?

"Would this be a good next step before we start the actual reveal, or no?" - Well, with something positive (food) and the ability to distract then yes. Not a lot of human interference? I would not. I would be there to make a positive association (food) and distract as needed to keep them focused on something other than each other. Keeping it as positive as possible.

"He hopped over the 2 baby gates, and I found him wandering around the kitchen. Luckily, Duncan was still hanging out in the living room. indy is back in the bathroom now." - Oh my. Well, I guess another gate is needed. :/ Was Duncan still sleeping? Do you think he knew Indy was out and about?

Indy, he is one character. Not lacking confidence. Because Duncan hasn't attacked yet and Indy has "positive encounters" when he is out he is pretty confident. Let's hope he stays confident when he does see Duncan (early on he probably will not and it depends on how Duncan reacts so Duncan's confidence and territorial security is really important).
 

Beyond Confused

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So the layout of the area is bedroom at one end of the small hallway, living room just to the right. There's a door that I can close between the hallway and the living room.
On the left side of the hallway is the bathroom, and then the hallway opens to the kitchen.

So where the hallway opens to the kitchen, that's where I have the baby gates.

Duncan slept most of the day away on the sofa in the living room. When Indy jumped the gates, Duncan was still on the couch, in the process of waking up. I grabbed Indy up, and I had to walk through the living room to put him back in the bathroom (because I couldn't climb over the gates. Duncan may or may not have noticed I was carrying Indy, but I walked through quickly.

I put Indy back in the bathroom, and Duncan was up and about shortly after. He didn't seem to notice or care about anything that had happened.

My dad is coming over tomorrow to help me separate the gates. I refuse to spend another $16 for temporary baby gates when I know I'll only be able to get $5 a piece at a garage sale!
I'm thinking that we'll lift the bottom gate up some, and then put a pretty significant gap between them. They're covered with a sheet, so I doubt they'll notice.
 

calicosrspecial

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So the layout of the area is bedroom at one end of the small hallway, living room just to the right. There's a door that I can close between the hallway and the living room.
On the left side of the hallway is the bathroom, and then the hallway opens to the kitchen.

So where the hallway opens to the kitchen, that's where I have the baby gates.

Duncan slept most of the day away on the sofa in the living room. When Indy jumped the gates, Duncan was still on the couch, in the process of waking up. I grabbed Indy up, and I had to walk through the living room to put him back in the bathroom (because I couldn't climb over the gates. Duncan may or may not have noticed I was carrying Indy, but I walked through quickly.

I put Indy back in the bathroom, and Duncan was up and about shortly after. He didn't seem to notice or care about anything that had happened.

My dad is coming over tomorrow to help me separate the gates. I refuse to spend another $16 for temporary baby gates when I know I'll only be able to get $5 a piece at a garage sale!
I'm thinking that we'll lift the bottom gate up some, and then put a pretty significant gap between them. They're covered with a sheet, so I doubt they'll notice.
"So the layout of the area is bedroom at one end of the small hallway, living room just to the right. There's a door that I can close between the hallway and the living room. On the left side of the hallway is the bathroom, and then the hallway opens to the kitchen. So where the hallway opens to the kitchen, that's where I have the baby gates." - Ok, thank you. That does make it a lot easier to work with. So you can get into the hallway through the door between the hall and the living room. Great. That makes it a lot easier.

"Duncan slept most of the day away on the sofa in the living room. When Indy jumped the gates, Duncan was still on the couch, in the process of waking up. I grabbed Indy up, and I had to walk through the living room to put him back in the bathroom (because I couldn't climb over the gates. Duncan may or may not have noticed I was carrying Indy," - Pretty amazing. Maybe he didn't hear him but............. a good sign either way.

"but I walked through quickly." - Just try to act as normal (the same) as you usually do. It is easy to panic etc but the more cool and calm you can be the more the cats will be like "oh, everything is ok".

"I put Indy back in the bathroom, and Duncan was up and about shortly after. He didn't seem to notice or care about anything that had happened." - That is really good.

"My dad is coming over tomorrow to help me separate the gates. I refuse to spend another $16 for temporary baby gates when I know I'll only be able to get $5 a piece at a garage sale!" - Totally understandable.

"I'm thinking that we'll lift the bottom gate up some, and then put a pretty significant gap between them. They're covered with a sheet, so I doubt they'll notice." - Try to keep the bottom one as close to the ground. Maybe an inch or two off and then gap the two with the sheet. It will look more impossible. I just don't want anyone going underneath the ground gate.
 

Beyond Confused

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"So the layout of the area is bedroom at one end of the small hallway, living room just to the right. There's a door that I can close between the hallway and the living room. On the left side of the hallway is the bathroom, and then the hallway opens to the kitchen. So where the hallway opens to the kitchen, that's where I have the baby gates." - Ok, thank you. That does make it a lot easier to work with. So you can get into the hallway through the door between the hall and the living room. Great. That makes it a lot easier.

"Duncan slept most of the day away on the sofa in the living room. When Indy jumped the gates, Duncan was still on the couch, in the process of waking up. I grabbed Indy up, and I had to walk through the living room to put him back in the bathroom (because I couldn't climb over the gates. Duncan may or may not have noticed I was carrying Indy," - Pretty amazing. Maybe he didn't hear him but............. a good sign either way.

"but I walked through quickly." - Just try to act as normal (the same) as you usually do. It is easy to panic etc but the more cool and calm you can be the more the cats will be like "oh, everything is ok".

"I put Indy back in the bathroom, and Duncan was up and about shortly after. He didn't seem to notice or care about anything that had happened." - That is really good.

"My dad is coming over tomorrow to help me separate the gates. I refuse to spend another $16 for temporary baby gates when I know I'll only be able to get $5 a piece at a garage sale!" - Totally understandable.

"I'm thinking that we'll lift the bottom gate up some, and then put a pretty significant gap between them. They're covered with a sheet, so I doubt they'll notice." - Try to keep the bottom one as close to the ground. Maybe an inch or two off and then gap the two with the sheet. It will look more impossible. I just don't want anyone going underneath the ground gate.
Good point! Duncan was sleeping in the LR again this afternoon, so I closed the LR/hallway door, and I allowed Indy in the bedroom. I wanted to clip his nails, which, from a previous experience with him, I knew it wasn't going to be pretty. I wanted as much space to work as possible. :)

Anyway, at one point, I walked in the bathroom to wash my hands, just in time to see him scale the baby gates. My dad still hasn't made it over yet. He's an athletic little guy! I snatched him before he could go over, so he's safely back in the bathroom.

I really hope this introduction goes well...and QUICKLY. Poor Indy was up a good chunk of last night, losing his mind in the bathroom. He wants out so badly.
 

calicosrspecial

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Good point! Duncan was sleeping in the LR again this afternoon, so I closed the LR/hallway door, and I allowed Indy in the bedroom. I wanted to clip his nails, which, from a previous experience with him, I knew it wasn't going to be pretty. I wanted as much space to work as possible. :)

Anyway, at one point, I walked in the bathroom to wash my hands, just in time to see him scale the baby gates. My dad still hasn't made it over yet. He's an athletic little guy! I snatched him before he could go over, so he's safely back in the bathroom.

I really hope this introduction goes well...and QUICKLY. Poor Indy was up a good chunk of last night, losing his mind in the bathroom. He wants out so badly.
Indy climbed it with the sheet covering the gates?

Well, I hope so too but they will determine it. Don;t worry about Indy, he will be fine. Duncan is really the concern. It has to be as stress free as possible so he doesn't have health issues. Indy will calm down when he realizes he has to stay in there for now.

Hang in there. I know it is hard to see a cat wanting out but for the best for everyone involved it has to be this way for now.
 
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