Tales of Sora the Rescue Cat

gerardryan said:

We definitely need to restrict her screen time
deborahg said:

This cat WILL NOT get off my computer. 

LOL. I'll bet she isn't even facing the screen.  wink 

What is this "work" of which you speak?

She likes the mouse. No surprise.

More progress! Mr. Pearl (right) is still cranky but limits himself to grumping noises when Sora gets too near his bowl. No hissing, spitting or raised fur. I've come upon them sitting quite companionably together in the hall, smirking down at the dog. Now we have that hurdle to climb -- she's a barking, slavering mess. In the middle of the night Sora jumped the gate and sauntered downstairs for a look around, and Zilla went into a frenzy of barking and chasing until she jumped back. 

Having a hard time getting anything done today...I wonder why? 

PS Sora has adjusted swimmingly. She is really a mellow cat -- ignores my oldster when he hisses (not hissing any more), ignores my dog when she goes crazy. She's kind of the Dude of cats. She abides. 

So glad she is adapting so well! And I hope the dog gets on board before a nervous breakdown sets in.

As far as the dog is concerned, it really isn't the cats that are bothered, if you take my meaning...

Great job! And the dog will adjust (or she won't)

Yes, if the dog doesn't get on board they can remain in separate parts of the house. We crate the dog at night so the cats roam the whole place then. It's all good. We are so glad Sora has joined the family!

Today was a three-ring circus -- the dog came upstairs for the first time. We'd been keeping them on opposite sides of a gate on the stairs, and they'd progressed to the point where they were sitting right across from each other and giving each other the occasional dirty look, so I thought it was worth a try. 

Shockingly, the dog ignored her old nemesis, the older cat, who remained in full sight the entire time. (At our old house, we kept them separated for years!) She went straight for Sora, who hid under the couch and scratched out whenever possible. Zilla tried to get under that couch for a solid 15 minutes, barking like a maniac all the time. Sora didn't come out, even though there were plenty of places she could run to.

I finally brought the dog downstairs, where she lay on the floor panting like she'd run a marathon. Then I crated her and peace has returned. Still..wtf, Zilla? And why is Mr. Pearl suddenly unobjectionable? And most important, what do I do now? 

Give them more time, keep them separated for now. It can take quite awhile, from what I understand. The dog is reacting to the new thing. Mr. Pearl might have gotten her excited before, but he is such old news at the moment she only has eyes for Sora. 

I have no real experience introducing new cats to established dogs, only feline to feline, so perhaps someone like Calliope can be more help in a specific way.

Sora is such a beauty!!

The cat didn't move because she was terrorized. Fifteen minutes was way too long to tolerate the dog barking.  It was exhausting to her, because it takes a lot of energy to sustain that level of arousal (oh I know that is going to end up in horribly out of context quotes)

Gracie was 10 months old (and 72 pounds)when I brought her into my 2 cat household. I kept them separated while I was at work, and kept her leash on in the house when the gates were open, so I could grab her, and remove her from where the cats were (without getting too close to the business end of the dog or the cats)  

I just re-read the Jackson Galaxy article on introducing dogs and cats, http://jacksongalaxy.com/2010/10/01/introducing-dogs-and-cats/ and I was pretty much on the money keeping her leashed in the house.  You might try the Spirit essences he hawks---I have no experience with them, but I did see a marked difference in both cats when I was using the Feliway---and I never put much stock in that, either.

What kind of dog is Zilla? If she has a high prey drive, has lived with Mr. Pearl for a long time, and has always harassed him, I am not sure that she will ever have a better reaction to Sora.  You may never be able to live together like one big happy family, and may always have to be separated by doors or gates.  You will just have to be vigilant. 

You might try putting something imbued with Sora's scent (like bedding)into Zilla's crate (but don't be surprised if she pees on it, trying to overmark the cat's scent) and you can do the positive reinforcement technique that Jackson discusses, try keeping them separated (I would crate the dog, and lure the cat into the area.)  The concept is to make both the dog and the cat realize that good things happen when they are around each other.  If you can't get Zilla to stop barking (Gracie's command word is "Enough!") or to listen to you and keep a down/stay, then ,independent of the cat, you will need to reinforce the basic commands.

We all get a little complacent as the dogs grow older, but there are certain key obedience commands (Sit, Stay,Down, Wait, Leave it) that are life-saving commands, and need to be reinforced.  The day before Timmy attacked me, he attacked Charlotte, and Gracie. She was sleeping, I walked through the room  and I saw him jump on Gracie's side (she was in a very vulnerable position)---she jumped up,and I could read her mind (she wanted to shake some sense into him)---so I yelled "LEAVE IT" and, to my utter amazement, she turned and walked away.  Timmy lived to terrorize another day. 

This is, I know, a lot of work, but if you want harmony in your household, it will be worth the investment of time and love.   Good luck, @deborahg.  I hope something works.

They're back to peering at each other through the gate, and peace is restored. luckily there is room for all. 

deborahg said:

They're back to peering at each other through the gate, and peace is restored. luckily there is room for all. 


Ok I usually avoid MOL at ALL COSTS and only check in once every few months... I have to say hands down this is up there with one of my favorite threads I have ever seen on here... I kinda want you to make an actual for realzie blog!

Thank you! I do blog, though not about cats (for the most part): check out http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deborah-gaines/

Meanwhile, here's Sora giving me the paws down on my latest Zappo's purchases. 

PS No matter how I rotate it, can't get this to face the right way. 

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