When we adopted Trixie in late January, we kept her in isolation in the guest bedroom for the first couple of weeks, then slowly began her introductions to the rest of the household. We took her introduction slowly not for her sake but rather for Sam and especially Boo, who were not happy with the arrival of their new sister. On the other hand, and despite the appearances in the top picture, Trixie wasn’t afraid of our dog Ellie, and Ellie gave her no reason to be.
We put a baby gate at the door to the bedroom so the cats could greet each other without the stress of being in the same room, but the scrawny little Trixie could slip right through the bars. It did slow her down, so we could mostly keep her in the room, but it served best at keeping the other pets out and making sure Trixie always had a sanctuary she could retreat to.
When I think of those weeks I think of this scene as much as anything, Ellie snuggling beside my legs. Not because that is unusual, as it isn’t, but because of what was happening on the other side of my legs …
I’ve loved Ellie since the day we adopted her, but I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of her than during Trixie’s first few weeks with us. She was extremely patient with the young cat, even when Trixie tried to initiate play by swatting her on the nose. She’d chomp her jaws together when Trixie was upsetting her and, even though they started out speaking different languages, Trixie soon learned what Ellie did and didn’t like. Sometimes in her excitement she’d forget her lessons but these two got along right from the get go, a relief since my wife was out of town for a week and I had to manage time with all the pets. She willingly put up with kitten mania as long as she could be by my side and befriended the kitten long before the other cats did.
And how did Trixie adapt to having a dog inches away from her? It didn’t keep her up at night. Or at all.