Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Life with Louie...Getting Used to the New Kittie

Our family is growing so fast! Our newest family member is Louie, a 4 month old Russian Blue kitten. He has proven to be a joy and a challenge so far, but is finally getting along for the most part with the cat and dog. There are some minor kinks, but since it hasn't even been a week yet we're ok with it.

We've learned so much in the few days that we've had our new kitten Louie so far that I thought I'd share them with you! Some things are obvious, some are serious, and some are just plain funny. Many cute pictures to enjoy as well. :)

 1. Kitten-proofing the house is harder than we thought. Kittens can fit in a lot of places, jump onto a lot of things, and aren't shy about chewing whatever they can get in their little mouths. We've had to change a lot of things that we didn't think about before hand such as where we burn candles, closing toilet lids and closets, leaving things out that he can chew on like garbage, paper, plastic...I could go on and on. Also, we've had to close doors to rooms like the laundry room that we just can't kitten proof because of the appliances.

**Funny Story: We have bathroom doors that aren't level, so they close if they're even nudged. Louie must've bumped the door, because it shut on him. Oblivious to him being trapped in the bathroom, we walked past and smelled....a smell. A terrible, terrible smell, like baby diapers. Uh....we don't have babies! We open the bathroom door to find the cat ready to run out, and look in the sink to find...a cat poop. In the sink. He pooped in our sink. We were so disgusted and laughing so hard we couldn't even be mad at him.
Louie in the Dryer

2. Move anything that jingles as far away from the bedroom as possible. The first 2 nights, we lost a lot of sleep. Half of it was the cats singing the song of their people at 3am, and the other half was the slew of jingly toys scattered upstairs. We learned really fast to move all the noisy toys downstairs and keep only the most quiet ones upstairs.

3. Sometimes dogs are just idiots. Louie was perfectly fine with Bandit. He actually slept with him the first or second day we had him. Then Bandit showed (about 100 times in the past few days) how much of an idiot he is by constantly trying to stand over him, sit on him, and knock him over or squish him with his giant head. We seriously have no idea if his motive is to eat Louie, play with him like a puppy (or chew toy), or if he is jealous, but we're constantly keeping an eye out just in case.

Bandit and Louie Napping
4. You can never just have a normal vet visit.  Sometimes I'm pretty sure that the vet is there to make money more than it's there to take care of animals. Every time we go we are being upsold by some sort of mandatory test or product that makes that $35 exam fee skyrocket to hundreds of dollars in the blink of an eye. And we're catching on to the fact that a lot of it is unnecessary...we try not to get mad about this one but for me right now it's not working at all.
Louie's First Vet Visit. He slept the whole time!
5. The more cat purrs, the better. There is nothing more relaxing than holding a purring kitten on your lap until he falls asleep in a little ball of fuzz. And with two cats instead of one, we get twice as many purrs! Something about those kittie purrs is so soothing and relaxing, I may just do an entire post on them soon.
Keeping Warm in James' Jacket

and a really big issue we had and thought we couldn't overcome...

How We Got our Two Cats to Get Along

1. Introduce Them Slowly. We didn't force the two cats to get together...let them get acquainted on their own terms at their own pace. It could take days like with us or months (like with my mom's cats).
2. Give Them Space to Retreat. We always made sure the cats had all they needed in separate rooms, so that when things got tense they could retreat and cool off.
3. Give the Resident Kitty Plenty of Lovin'. One thing that helped the hissing subside more quickly was making sure Reese, our older cat, got plenty of love and attention while the new kitten was around.
4. Feed Them Near Each Other. We started with feeding them their wet food in different rooms but nearby, and have slowly brought them closer together so that when we set them down to eat they're about a foot from each other. When they realize they can eat together, a lot of tension seems to drop.
5. Above All, Be Patient. The first day we brought Louie home, Reese sat under the bed and pouted for two days. She hissed, and growled, and ran away. But we just let her be and stayed calm and soothing, and eventually she got more curious than upset and decided to check him out. And, literally overnight, they were playing together. Granted she still growls at him occasionally and won't let him cuddle with her yet, but they'll get there eventually.

Louie and Reese Beginning to Play on their new Cat Condo.

Lots more funny stories and cute photos to come! What have you learned from your kitties? Feel free to comment below!

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