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pearl99

In memory of Pearl, my labrador. RIP Pearl.
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Some people have stuck (wedged) a piece of cardboard or a box big enough at the top of stacked gates to have more height, that sounds kind of awkward (I've always had multiple gates to stack to start with having had dogs so I haven't done it,) but if it's doable, might be an option, to McGyver something more at the top. Then however you'd wind up putting it up and down to go through.
Don't know. A thought.
 

Beyond Confused

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I think I'm going to start trying with the baby gates tonight.
The top one was raised pretty substantially. My only worry is that Indy will try to jump over and crash through the hole between them, but I don't know what else to do.

Duncan just got his medicine, and then I was thinking I'd give him his food, let it digest for a few minutes and then put Indy in the hallway with his puzzle bowl for his dinner. I would sit on Duncan's side and give him the occasional treat and try to keep him calm.

Is this how it should work?

ETA:

Alrighty - here's the update we've been waiting for.

The baby gates are stacked with a very large gap in the center in order to make the structure taller. It is covered with a doubled over sheet, so there's no seeing through it.

After Duncan ate, I gave him a couple minutes, and then I decided to give it a go.

I closed the bedroom and living room/hallway doors, and I opened the bathroom door. I put Indy's puzzle bowl out and filled it with food. He walked out pretty confidently, faster than the first couple of times, but really, he didn't look like he was in a hurry...just doing his thing. I put his bowl close to the baby gates, and then I quickly exited.

Duncan was waiting on the other side of the LR/hallway door, so I said, "C'mon, Duncan!" He dutifully followed me, confidently, out to the kitchen area (other side of the baby gates. We could very clearly hear Indy chowing down. Duncan was SUPER confident. I'm not kidding. He walked right over to the baby gates, tail straight in the air, and circled all around me. I gave him a treat, and he promptly ate it down.

Maybe a minute into us being over there, I think Indy meowed a happy little meow...and then he tried to scale the gates, which caused him to ricochet back down. Duncan wasn't at all fazed, and I'm not exaggerating. He didn't back up, hiss, meow, drop his tail or anything. I just kept circling around, tail held high. I gave him one more treat, and he ate maybe 1/4 of it. The rest is still on the floor. Indy went back to chowing down.

After 4 minutes or so (I looked at my watch a little late to start with), Duncan just walked away like, "Nothing more to see here..." So I cut it off. I kept telling him what a good boy was, as I walked through the house back to the hallway.

I opened that door, and Indy was happy to see me. He was his typical, confident little self. I picked up his bowl and put it back in the bathroom and closed the door. I then opened the LR/hallway door so Duncan would be free to check it out, if he wanted. He wasn't really interested. The end of all that was maybe 5-10 minutes ago, and Duncan is perched on the arm of my recliner, just as he normally is.

I'm blown away by how well that went, and I'm super proud!

I'm calling my mom to brag now! :)
 
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calicosrspecial

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I think I'm going to start trying with the baby gates tonight.
The top one was raised pretty substantially. My only worry is that Indy will try to jump over and crash through the hole between them, but I don't know what else to do.

Duncan just got his medicine, and then I was thinking I'd give him his food, let it digest for a few minutes and then put Indy in the hallway with his puzzle bowl for his dinner. I would sit on Duncan's side and give him the occasional treat and try to keep him calm.

Is this how it should work?

ETA:

Alrighty - here's the update we've been waiting for.

The baby gates are stacked with a very large gap in the center in order to make the structure taller. It is covered with a doubled over sheet, so there's no seeing through it.

After Duncan ate, I gave him a couple minutes, and then I decided to give it a go.

I closed the bedroom and living room/hallway doors, and I opened the bathroom door. I put Indy's puzzle bowl out and filled it with food. He walked out pretty confidently, faster than the first couple of times, but really, he didn't look like he was in a hurry...just doing his thing. I put his bowl close to the baby gates, and then I quickly exited.

Duncan was waiting on the other side of the LR/hallway door, so I said, "C'mon, Duncan!" He dutifully followed me, confidently, out to the kitchen area (other side of the baby gates. We could very clearly hear Indy chowing down. Duncan was SUPER confident. I'm not kidding. He walked right over to the baby gates, tail straight in the air, and circled all around me. I gave him a treat, and he promptly ate it down.

Maybe a minute into us being over there, I think Indy meowed a happy little meow...and then he tried to scale the gates, which caused him to ricochet back down. Duncan wasn't at all fazed, and I'm not exaggerating. He didn't back up, hiss, meow, drop his tail or anything. I just kept circling around, tail held high. I gave him one more treat, and he ate maybe 1/4 of it. The rest is still on the floor. Indy went back to chowing down.

After 4 minutes or so (I looked at my watch a little late to start with), Duncan just walked away like, "Nothing more to see here..." So I cut it off. I kept telling him what a good boy was, as I walked through the house back to the hallway.

I opened that door, and Indy was happy to see me. He was his typical, confident little self. I picked up his bowl and put it back in the bathroom and closed the door. I then opened the LR/hallway door so Duncan would be free to check it out, if he wanted. He wasn't really interested. The end of all that was maybe 5-10 minutes ago, and Duncan is perched on the arm of my recliner, just as he normally is.

I'm blown away by how well that went, and I'm super proud!

I'm calling my mom to brag now! :)
Sorry for not seeing this sooner.

"The top one was raised pretty substantially. My only worry is that Indy will try to jump over and crash through the hole between them, but I don't know what else to do." Yes, that is the worry and if he climbs it with the sheet on he will fine the gap. I am trying to think of how best to do this. I think monitoring is about the best option?

"Duncan just got his medicine, and then I was thinking I'd give him his food, let it digest for a few minutes and then put Indy in the hallway with his puzzle bowl for his dinner. I would sit on Duncan's side and give him the occasional treat and try to keep him calm." - I think that would be fine. The real point is for Duncan to feel comfortable, positive. So having Indy eat with his slow feeder is perfect. Then distracting Duncan in a positive way. I usually use a meal since it tends to keep them more occupied but treats and love is great as well. The main things are Indy is focused on something other than Duncan and Duncan is having a positive experience.

WOW!!!! That is great! Now I don't want to throw cold water on it but often we do see a positive the first time and as time goes by it devolves into negativity. So we will want to try to continue to replicate this. This was honestly AMAZING!!! But we need to keep reassuring. So keep doing this, for short time periods, distracting as needed. Making the positive associations and making the encounter as positive as possible. There will be some downs BUT they are going to be intro'd. I have no doubt now!!!

I am BEYOND super proud!!! I am so proud of you for all you have done AND I am proud of Duncan and Indy!!

I want to call your mom to brag about you all as well!!!

Just keep doing that, it is the quality of time not the length for now. Distract with food, love (safely), etc. If you sense any negativity just reassure, etc. Just keep watching the behavior, body language.

I am SO PROUD of you all!!

Let us know how today goes. Try another meeting today, maybe two tomorrow. We still want to take it slow, reinforce that the other cat is "cool" and not a threat and is positive.

We do want to make sure Indy doesn't climb out so monitor him if he is in the hall etc.

:hyper: :yess: :clap2:
 

Beyond Confused

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I tried again this morning, and it turned out the same as yesterday, only for a much longer period of time.

Duncan must've eaten shortly before I gave him his medicine, so he didn't appear to be hungry. It was clear he wasn't eating because he wasn't hungry vs he was worried about what was happening on the other side.

Anyway, Indy was completely focused on his puzzle bowl, and Duncan followed me right out to the other side of the gates. He' swarmed around me, tail held high, not one hiss or growl. In fact, at one point, he stretched and kicked out his back legs right in front of the baby gates and then continued walking. I must've sat on that floor for 10-15 minutes before Duncan wandered off.

I left Indy out in the hallway area, and Duncan was just milling about. At one point, I was in the living room, and thought I heard hissing. I went to check, and nope. Duncan was happily sitting in the dining room window, and Indy was still working on his meal. He must've nudged the bowl around.

A bit later, I was walking through the dining room. I'm not sure if Indy let out a little meow (he basically squeaks), or what, but I could definitely hear him on the other side of the gates. I looked over, and I saw Duncan walking around right up near the gates. I didn't hear a peer from Duncan, and I didn't see or hear anything that indicated either was stressed or causing a problem. Duncan was kind of just sniffing around, tail slightly down. When I say his tail was slightly down, it wasn't straight down as if he was feeling threatened. It was just relaxed, slightly tipped up at the end. It wasn't straight up as it is when I call him and give him lots of love and attention. My point is, he just looks exactly as he always has before I brought Indy into the picture.

Eventually, I went to the bedroom to strip my bed and tidy up. Indy walked right in there with no hesitation. In typical cat fashion, he "helped" with stripping the bed by sprawling out on it.

After a while, maybe 3 minutes, he got a hint bite-y when I was petting him. I'm trying to break him of that habit, so I put him back in the bathroom and closed the door. He's been in there since.

I opened the LR/hallway door, and Duncan walked right in and straight into the bedroom. There was no stress as if he smelled Indy or anything. In fact, he could see I was about to make the bed, so he jumped up there and sprawled out, right where Indy had been.

That's where we are bright and early this Saturday morning.

My plan is to do the baby gate thing a few more times throughout the day. At some point, I will slightly lift the sheet, so they can see each other's feet. We'll see how that goes. I'll keep you updated. But so far, there has truly been no sign of stress on Duncan - he's currently sleeping in his carrier, and Indy is quiet in the bathroom. I'm thinking he's sleeping in his carrier as well. All is quiet and calm. Ahhhhhhhh!
 

calicosrspecial

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I tried again this morning, and it turned out the same as yesterday, only for a much longer period of time.

Duncan must've eaten shortly before I gave him his medicine, so he didn't appear to be hungry. It was clear he wasn't eating because he wasn't hungry vs he was worried about what was happening on the other side.

Anyway, Indy was completely focused on his puzzle bowl, and Duncan followed me right out to the other side of the gates. He' swarmed around me, tail held high, not one hiss or growl. In fact, at one point, he stretched and kicked out his back legs right in front of the baby gates and then continued walking. I must've sat on that floor for 10-15 minutes before Duncan wandered off.

I left Indy out in the hallway area, and Duncan was just milling about. At one point, I was in the living room, and thought I heard hissing. I went to check, and nope. Duncan was happily sitting in the dining room window, and Indy was still working on his meal. He must've nudged the bowl around.

A bit later, I was walking through the dining room. I'm not sure if Indy let out a little meow (he basically squeaks), or what, but I could definitely hear him on the other side of the gates. I looked over, and I saw Duncan walking around right up near the gates. I didn't hear a peer from Duncan, and I didn't see or hear anything that indicated either was stressed or causing a problem. Duncan was kind of just sniffing around, tail slightly down. When I say his tail was slightly down, it wasn't straight down as if he was feeling threatened. It was just relaxed, slightly tipped up at the end. It wasn't straight up as it is when I call him and give him lots of love and attention. My point is, he just looks exactly as he always has before I brought Indy into the picture.

Eventually, I went to the bedroom to strip my bed and tidy up. Indy walked right in there with no hesitation. In typical cat fashion, he "helped" with stripping the bed by sprawling out on it.

After a while, maybe 3 minutes, he got a hint bite-y when I was petting him. I'm trying to break him of that habit, so I put him back in the bathroom and closed the door. He's been in there since.

I opened the LR/hallway door, and Duncan walked right in and straight into the bedroom. There was no stress as if he smelled Indy or anything. In fact, he could see I was about to make the bed, so he jumped up there and sprawled out, right where Indy had been.

That's where we are bright and early this Saturday morning.

My plan is to do the baby gate thing a few more times throughout the day. At some point, I will slightly lift the sheet, so they can see each other's feet. We'll see how that goes. I'll keep you updated. But so far, there has truly been no sign of stress on Duncan - he's currently sleeping in his carrier, and Indy is quiet in the bathroom. I'm thinking he's sleeping in his carrier as well. All is quiet and calm. Ahhhhhhhh!
"I tried again this morning, and it turned out the same as yesterday, only for a much longer period of time." - Awesome.

"Duncan must've eaten shortly before I gave him his medicine, so he didn't appear to be hungry. It was clear he wasn't eating because he wasn't hungry vs he was worried about what was happening on the other side." - Understandable but very good it waasn;t because of Indy.

"Anyway, Indy was completely focused on his puzzle bowl" - Perfect, Indy is really doing his part!!! AWESOME!!

" and Duncan followed me right out to the other side of the gates. He' swarmed around me, tail held high, not one hiss or growl." - Such a great sign, great body language.

" In fact, at one point, he stretched and kicked out his back legs right in front of the baby gates and then continued walking." - Again, REALLY positive body language. The stretch is a really positive action.

" I must've sat on that floor for 10-15 minutes before Duncan wandered off." - Perfect, GREAT job!!! And the fact he left is a great thing. Really well done!!

"I left Indy out in the hallway area, and Duncan was just milling about. At one point, I was in the living room, and thought I heard hissing. I went to check, and nope. Duncan was happily sitting in the dining room window, and Indy was still working on his meal. He must've nudged the bowl around." - At this point I would like you to be pretty hands on able to distract if needed. We need to try to avoid or minimize any negative encounter chances if possible. If Duncan is with you then it isn;t necessary but Indy may climb the gate and things could go wrong.

"A bit later, I was walking through the dining room. I'm not sure if Indy let out a little meow (he basically squeaks), or what, but I could definitely hear him on the other side of the gates. I looked over, and I saw Duncan walking around right up near the gates." - Yes, that will happen. I do think pretty close monitoring is important at this point.

"I didn't hear a peer from Duncan, and I didn't see or hear anything that indicated either was stressed or causing a problem. Duncan was kind of just sniffing around, tail slightly down. When I say his tail was slightly down, it wasn't straight down as if he was feeling threatened. It was just relaxed, slightly tipped up at the end. It wasn't straight up as it is when I call him and give him lots of love and attention. My point is, he just looks exactly as he always has before I brought Indy into the picture." - That is good. Just try to reduce the risk of a negative encounter and reassure him, make it positive and let him know Indy does not pose a threat.

"Eventually, I went to the bedroom to strip my bed and tidy up. Indy walked right in there with no hesitation. In typical cat fashion, he "helped" with stripping the bed by sprawling out on it." - Hahahaha, yep!!

"After a while, maybe 3 minutes, he got a hint bite-y when I was petting him. I'm trying to break him of that habit, so I put him back in the bathroom and closed the door. He's been in there since." - He probably got a bit overstimulated. Just watch his body language and if he is "amped up" pull out a toy to get some of that energy out of him.

"I opened the LR/hallway door, and Duncan walked right in and straight into the bedroom. There was no stress as if he smelled Indy or anything. In fact, he could see I was about to make the bed, so he jumped up there and sprawled out, right where Indy had been." - Awesome. Indy's scent sure is ok in Duncan's mind. He knows the scent doesn't pose a threat. Great. That is what scent swapping is all about to get to that result.

"That's where we are bright and early this Saturday morning." - What a beautiful way to start the day!!! And the fact your emotions are so positive are definitely helping them as well. Great job!!

"My plan is to do the baby gate thing a few more times throughout the day." - Just take it slow. I would do another one sometime later then do two more tomorrow and the day after.

"At some point, I will slightly lift the sheet, so they can see each other's feet. We'll see how that goes." - I think I would probably do that Wednesday or Thursday.

" I'll keep you updated." - Great.

" But so far, there has truly been no sign of stress on Duncan " - Perfect. THAT is so important given his health issues.

"- he's currently sleeping in his carrier, and Indy is quiet in the bathroom. I'm thinking he's sleeping in his carrier as well." - Perfect!!

"All is quiet and calm. Ahhhhhhhh!" - Yes. When we get visual there will be some bumps but we can handle them. They passed the test!!!

I am not at all worried. It all comes down to knowledge and effort. We have everything covered. And even better, the cats are doing their part (which often times they don't). We have a ways to go but we'll get to the destination.

Great job!!! You should be glowing right now!!! I know I am!!! :D
 

calicosrspecial

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I want to add one thing about hissing.

Hissing is communication in my view. It can be an annoyance communication, an anger communication, a fear communication, etc.

What is important is what happens after. Does the other cat understand and diffuse the situation? Does the other cat escalate the tension leading to a negative confrontation? And how long after does any negativity last (a fast rebound is less concerning than lingering tension or negativity).

So when you hear hissing try to distract or diffuse then reassure but also watch the reaction, the body language of the other cat. Don't worry or stress about the hissing, keep focused and work on turning it into a neutral or positive encounter.

I don't personally worry about hissing too much, I watch for what happens after. If a person is prepared then the person's emotions can help de-escalate the tension. I see a lot of people react negatively and stress and freak out about it and those emotions can make the situation worse. But once they understand what hissing is really all about the people understand and any hissing is handled in a better way.
 

Beyond Confused

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I have tried and tried and TRIED to upload videos, and nothing is working tonight. My patience has worn extremely thin.

I managed a picture, that's it.

It went well. Not one hiss or growl from Duncan. In fact, before I let Indy out of the bathroom, I saw Duncan milling around the gates, waiting for the main attraction to start.

Duncan had his tail fully upright or like you see in this pic the whole time.

Even at the end, Indy started screaming (which was one of the videos), and Duncan just stood in the kitchen in a stance similar to the picture, even stopped to give himself a bath during Indy's rant.

THEN...Indy scaled the heightened gates. ha! Duncan was just fine. I snatched Indy over the top of the gates, and carried him through the kitchen. I'm sure Duncan saw him, but he was fine. I put Indy back in the bathroom, and everyone was calm like nothing had happened.

I'll try to get those two videos up, but it won't be until tomorrow, if I do. I have a 6am class tomorrow, and I need to get to bed.

Have a good night, everyone!
 

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calicosrspecial

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I have tried and tried and TRIED to upload videos, and nothing is working tonight. My patience has worn extremely thin.

I managed a picture, that's it.

It went well. Not one hiss or growl from Duncan. In fact, before I let Indy out of the bathroom, I saw Duncan milling around the gates, waiting for the main attraction to start.

Duncan had his tail fully upright or like you see in this pic the whole time.

Even at the end, Indy started screaming (which was one of the videos), and Duncan just stood in the kitchen in a stance similar to the picture, even stopped to give himself a bath during Indy's rant.

THEN...Indy scaled the heightened gates. ha! Duncan was just fine. I snatched Indy over the top of the gates, and carried him through the kitchen. I'm sure Duncan saw him, but he was fine. I put Indy back in the bathroom, and everyone was calm like nothing had happened.

I'll try to get those two videos up, but it won't be until tomorrow, if I do. I have a 6am class tomorrow, and I need to get to bed.

Have a good night, everyone!
Don't worry. I have no idea to upload videos. I know you will figure it out though. No need to stress about it. If it happens that is great if not we can work around it. It will be fine.

My goodness he is adorable!!! Can't get enough of him (them).

"It went well. Not one hiss or growl from Duncan. In fact, before I let Indy out of the bathroom, I saw Duncan milling around the gates, waiting for the main attraction to start." - Great. Again, a hiss or even a growl is not all that much to worry about. The response of the other cat and what happens next for each of them is the important thing. Hahaha, Duncan "waiting for the main event". Too funny. But he does seem to kind of like it it seems.

"Duncan had his tail fully upright or like you see in this pic the whole time." - Perfect. Yes, the pic his body language looks great. Another positive piece of info.

"Even at the end, Indy started screaming (which was one of the videos), and Duncan just stood in the kitchen in a stance similar to the picture" - This is really impressive. Usually the resident cat would run to the gate. Duncan is impressively accepting the sounds.

"even stopped to give himself a bath during Indy's rant." - THIS is AMAZING and a great sign. That is a positive body language sign and a sign of being comfortable., confident and trusting.

I do expect some issues when we get to visual but the base we are building off of seems very solid which is incredibly helpful.

"THEN...Indy scaled the heightened gates. ha!" - Yep, I had a feeling it might happen.

"Duncan was just fine." - Amazing. I do not see that often at this point in intros.

"I snatched Indy over the top of the gates, and carried him through the kitchen." - Good job. Avoiding a potential negative is a positive.

"I'm sure Duncan saw him, but he was fine." - I am guessing because you handled it very well.

"I put Indy back in the bathroom, and everyone was calm like nothing had happened." - Awesome, great job handling this.

"I'll try to get those two videos up, but it won't be until tomorrow, if I do. I have a 6am class tomorrow, and I need to get to bed. " - Sounds good. I know a lot of people use YouTube and then post the link here. Might be easier?

Hope you had a great night. Given how well the cats did yesterday I would have slept well. Doesn't get any better than your day yesterday!!
 

Beyond Confused

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Don't worry. I have no idea to upload videos. I know you will figure it out though. No need to stress about it. If it happens that is great if not we can work around it. It will be fine.

My goodness he is adorable!!! Can't get enough of him (them).

"It went well. Not one hiss or growl from Duncan. In fact, before I let Indy out of the bathroom, I saw Duncan milling around the gates, waiting for the main attraction to start." - Great. Again, a hiss or even a growl is not all that much to worry about. The response of the other cat and what happens next for each of them is the important thing. Hahaha, Duncan "waiting for the main event". Too funny. But he does seem to kind of like it it seems.

"Duncan had his tail fully upright or like you see in this pic the whole time." - Perfect. Yes, the pic his body language looks great. Another positive piece of info.

"Even at the end, Indy started screaming (which was one of the videos), and Duncan just stood in the kitchen in a stance similar to the picture" - This is really impressive. Usually the resident cat would run to the gate. Duncan is impressively accepting the sounds.

"even stopped to give himself a bath during Indy's rant." - THIS is AMAZING and a great sign. That is a positive body language sign and a sign of being comfortable., confident and trusting.

I do expect some issues when we get to visual but the base we are building off of seems very solid which is incredibly helpful.

"THEN...Indy scaled the heightened gates. ha!" - Yep, I had a feeling it might happen.

"Duncan was just fine." - Amazing. I do not see that often at this point in intros.

"I snatched Indy over the top of the gates, and carried him through the kitchen." - Good job. Avoiding a potential negative is a positive.

"I'm sure Duncan saw him, but he was fine." - I am guessing because you handled it very well.

"I put Indy back in the bathroom, and everyone was calm like nothing had happened." - Awesome, great job handling this.

"I'll try to get those two videos up, but it won't be until tomorrow, if I do. I have a 6am class tomorrow, and I need to get to bed. " - Sounds good. I know a lot of people use YouTube and then post the link here. Might be easier?

Hope you had a great night. Given how well the cats did yesterday I would have slept well. Doesn't get any better than your day yesterday!!

After I got home from the gym this morning, we tried again. I put Indy's bowl out, and Duncan came right around to the other side with me. He was totally fine again. Sometimes, he was curious, other times, I started to walk away. I'd call him back, and he'd always come. Rinse and repeat.

I'd say that we sat down there for 10-15 minutes again.

I did cheat for a split second because I was curious to see Duncan's reaction. I pulled up one little corner of the sheet, not very high off the ground. He was really curious, so he came over and peeked. He growled a little and then hissed. I dropped the sheet, and then he totally went back to normal before walking off. Indy was so busy chowing down that I don't even think he noticed. After that, Duncan was the same as always. I promptly went in and put Indy back in the bathroom, and then Duncan came to sit on the arm of the recliner with me.

Indy was screaming so loudly. He REALLY does not like being alone!!!
I tried to ignore him at first. Usually, he'll settle down, but he just kept at it today, so I gave in. I grabbed my laptop, and then the two of us went to hang out in the bedroom. He explored and drank some water from one of Duncan's bowls. He came looking to snuggle for a couple minutes, and eventually, he settled right in on the bed. I'd say we were in there maybe 30-45 minutes. I started feeling guilty about Duncan being out here alone, especially since the bed is his place.
I put Indy back in the bathroom, and he's been silent ever since.

Duncan joined me in the bedroom. He stole my spot on the bed, so I'm in the living room, and he's happily curled up on the bed.

We'll do dinner and a "movie" tonight, or lack thereof. I doubt I'll be lifting the sheet again this time.
Actually, we'll probably do that a couple more times tonight, since I usually give Indy 3 meals a day.
 

calicosrspecial

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After I got home from the gym this morning, we tried again. I put Indy's bowl out, and Duncan came right around to the other side with me. He was totally fine again. Sometimes, he was curious, other times, I started to walk away. I'd call him back, and he'd always come. Rinse and repeat.

I'd say that we sat down there for 10-15 minutes again.

I did cheat for a split second because I was curious to see Duncan's reaction. I pulled up one little corner of the sheet, not very high off the ground. He was really curious, so he came over and peeked. He growled a little and then hissed. I dropped the sheet, and then he totally went back to normal before walking off. Indy was so busy chowing down that I don't even think he noticed. After that, Duncan was the same as always. I promptly went in and put Indy back in the bathroom, and then Duncan came to sit on the arm of the recliner with me.

Indy was screaming so loudly. He REALLY does not like being alone!!!
I tried to ignore him at first. Usually, he'll settle down, but he just kept at it today, so I gave in. I grabbed my laptop, and then the two of us went to hang out in the bedroom. He explored and drank some water from one of Duncan's bowls. He came looking to snuggle for a couple minutes, and eventually, he settled right in on the bed. I'd say we were in there maybe 30-45 minutes. I started feeling guilty about Duncan being out here alone, especially since the bed is his place.
I put Indy back in the bathroom, and he's been silent ever since.

Duncan joined me in the bedroom. He stole my spot on the bed, so I'm in the living room, and he's happily curled up on the bed.

We'll do dinner and a "movie" tonight, or lack thereof. I doubt I'll be lifting the sheet again this time.
Actually, we'll probably do that a couple more times tonight, since I usually give Indy 3 meals a day.
"After I got home from the gym this morning, we tried again. I put Indy's bowl out, and Duncan came right around to the other side with me. He was totally fine again. Sometimes, he was curious, other times, I started to walk away. I'd call him back, and he'd always come. Rinse and repeat." - Great. Exactly correct. Rinse and repeat. All about repetition to build trust. No negativity = positive. I love that he walks away and then comes back. Sounds like he isn't worried.

"I'd say that we sat down there for 10-15 minutes again." - Perfect. That is a good amount of time AND it is quality, positive time. Doesn't get much better. Sometimes if we keep (force?) them to stay longer it can get a little negative as cats like to do things on their terms (that is why we like to make them think they are doing things on their terms). 10-15 minutes is great. And the msot important thing it is positive time, quality time.

"I did cheat for a split second because I was curious to see Duncan's reaction." - Just try to be patient. It is best to avoid negativity as much as possible and reinforce positives (associations and encounters).

" I pulled up one little corner of the sheet, not very high off the ground. He was really curious, so he came over and peeked. He growled a little and then hissed." - Yep, totally normal and expected.

" I dropped the sheet, and then he totally went back to normal before walking off." - I love that he went back to totally normal and then walked off. That is why a hiss and a growl isn't the whole story. Hissing or growling is communication and how it is received is what is important in addition to how the cat that hissed or growled rebounds after that incident. Sounds like overall Duncan was fine and I would call it a neutral to positive encounter. I am happy with how you and Duncan (and Indy) handled this though I do want to hold off on visual for a few more days.

"Indy was so busy chowing down that I don't even think he noticed." - This probably helped a lot. Indy didn't escalate the situation. Probably more because he was distracted but that is why we use food in these intros. The fact Indy didn;t escalate probably helped Duncan say "ok, everything seems ok". Which is exactly what we are looking for.

"After that, Duncan was the same as always." - great.

" I promptly went in and put Indy back in the bathroom, and then Duncan came to sit on the arm of the recliner with me." - Very good. If Indy couldn't climb the gates then I would have left him out and distracted them but given Indy's desire to scale them you did great.

"Indy was screaming so loudly. He REALLY does not like being alone!!!" - Totally normal and a good sign he is feeling confident and not threatened by Duncan.

"I tried to ignore him at first. Usually, he'll settle down, but he just kept at it today, so I gave in. I grabbed my laptop, and then the two of us went to hang out in the bedroom. He explored and drank some water from one of Duncan's bowls. He came looking to snuggle for a couple minutes, and eventually, he settled right in on the bed. I'd say we were in there maybe 30-45 minutes." - That is fine. I have no issue with helping Indy settle down.

"I started feeling guilty about Duncan being out here alone, especially since the bed is his place." - You should not feel guilty at all. It is a balance issue. You can't be in two places at once. We'll maximize the time spent with each building confidence and if we see some slippage in one cat we will adjust the time spent.

"I put Indy back in the bathroom, and he's been silent ever since." - Perfect.

"Duncan joined me in the bedroom. He stole my spot on the bed, so I'm in the living room, and he's happily curled up on the bed." - Perfect. I was thinking Duncan would be fine and it sounds like he was which is great. And after having to spend time with Indy just giving Duncan some extra love and attention that is always good. But it sounds like Duncan did really, really well. So no guilt should be felt and if you don;t believe me believe Duncan and his actions. Duncan seemed to be just fine and normal. And that is because of the confidence and love you have given him.

"We'll do dinner and a "movie" tonight, or lack thereof." - Perfect.

"I doubt I'll be lifting the sheet again this time." - Great. I think Tuesday or Wednesday. And now you are more prepared and work on distracting in a positive way and reassuring him that everything is ok.

"Actually, we'll probably do that a couple more times tonight, since I usually give Indy 3 meals a day." - That sounds great.

Overall, I am really please with how things are going. Much better than I could have dreamed. Our next test will be the visual and how easily Duncan is distracted. how negativity can be avoided, etc. We'll have a few rocky days but we will learn a lot about what we need to do. I am not at all worried. In fact, I am highly confident.

Keep up the great work!!
 

Furballsmom

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I may have missed it, did you have a chance to try a heartbeat toy or a purr toy?
 

Beyond Confused

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I may have missed it, did you have a chance to try a heartbeat toy or a purr toy?
Oh, no. I don't have the money for that, and I don't have a ticking clock.

He DOES have an entire treasure trove of toys in the bathroom, and I love going in every morning to see which ones he's chosen to snuggle with.

He also has soft music playing all hours of the day.

The only time he really has an issue is when he's had a taste of freedom, and then I put him back in the bathroom. It's like he just can't understand why he can't be out. He's fun, and he just wants Duncan to love him! :)
 
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