We kept Boo isolated from the other pets in his first days with us by putting him in my wife’s large office in the basement and, since it doesn’t have a door, blocking the large opening into the room with a long piece of plywood. These pictures are from his second day with us, up top you can see him sleeping under the far corner of the futon, which for him was progress as he spent much of those early days hiding completely out of sight behind the desk.
Boo was already anxious and stressed from his weeks at the shelter and adjusting to a new home wasn’t going to be easy for the shy little fellow. But he was anxious in another way too — anxious to meet the other pets. The plywood blocked the exit but he could still hear and smell the pets on the other side, so right from the get go we had to be quick when entering or leaving the room, as a little black-and-white shadow might follow underfoot.
A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!
King Richard in Shakespeare’s Richard III
Ellie had an upset stomach this past week which led to a rather unfortunate if prodigious emptying of her bowels in the living room. The vet suggested we switch her to a bland diet of rice and cooked meat (no bernaise sauce) for a few days and thankfully there have been no more incidents. Erring on the safe side, we isolated her to the easily-cleanable part of the basement while we were at work and at night while we slept. She didn’t mind the imposition while we were gone but our champion snuggler was not pleased about the loss of bed privileges at night.
The morning after she had to be encouraged to eat (a surer sign of the apocalypse than any four horsemen) but otherwise her appetite has been fine. Her energy level and spirits have also been high the whole time and today we started slowly working her regular food back into her diet. So far so good!
She was allowed to rejoin us in bed at night after a few days of no accidents and I’m happy to report that she now moves over when I come to bed at night. I can’t say if her banishment to solitary affected the change but regardless I’m no longer wishing for a king-sized bed.
This past week we’ve made good progress on our slow introduction of Ellie to our world. She has free reign of the house as long as we’re home and this weekend was allowed to join us in the bedroom for the first time. No cats were eaten!
In fact, the cats continued to sleep on us just as they always have, with Ellie beside our bed on the dog bed my wife made for her. To show you just how well I know my cats, I thought the order of Ellie acceptance would go Scout -> Sam -> Emma. Exactly how it happened, except I got the order backwards.
The other day when my wife had the morning off, she and Ellie joined me on my walk to the train station. When it was time to part ways, I walked off and looked back to see her staring with such sorrow that you’d think I was drifting off to sea. It’s a cold soul that can turn from such a longing gaze but I knew the warm welcome I’d receive at the end of the day. Oh how her tail wags!