Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dog Lover Transitioning - Part Deux

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am now writing to you from my very own laptop!  Yay!

How fitting that packages that I've been waiting a long time for are finally arriving and my laptop is all fixed and happy (for now) just as Mercury is no long in retrograde, huh?

But onto the post!


It's May, and I'm pretty proud to say that I'm doing quite well at my 2010 Goals!

Remember this one?
2. Adopt 2 kitties with my boyfriend.

Well, that's another one we can check off the list.

The boyfriend and I officially have 2 kitties!!!
Little baby!
Though we had been planning for 2 kitties, we also felt very settled with Yoni in the house.  It just felt right, and I almost can't imagine what life was like without her.

Then, one Monday not so long ago (the 10th), I was on Craigslist looking for the usual stuff I look for - better apartments than the one we live in, jobs and experiments, and free stuff.  Once in a while, the boyfriend and I would check out the pets section, though we had only tried to pursue one kitten before to no avail.

So, here I was again, searching for kitties in the pet section.  I clicked on the location tab that was closer to where we lived, and suddenly a new listing popped up.

I clicked on it, and there he was.  This little 6 week old black fluffball, the last of his litter to be adopted.  I IMed the link to the boyfriend right away, urging him to call, if only to find out more information.

Within minutes, I receive a call from the boyfriend, saying that we could meet with this woman that day or the next day in a nearby town.  So, we planned to meet with her the next day in the evening.

It felt so surreal.  But it also felt really right.

Tuesday proved to be a long day.  I had a lot on my plate that day, between work, a teleconference call I needed to be on later that evening, and LOST.  But I was so excited and nervous about this new kitty.

We had started reading about how to properly introduce a new kitten into the household.  Though we had faith that our circumstances were working in our favor, we knew that we couldn't be 100% certain until the moment of truth.

As we drove closer to the meeting location, picking up kitty supplies on the way, I could feel myself getting extremely nervous.  I didn't want Yoni to be mad at us.  I wanted her to know that I still love her so much.  I didn't want this new little guy to have a hard time adjusting.  It was almost an intensified fear that I would make a horribly kitty-mama, similar to when we picked up Yoni.

We met this woman and her boyfriend at a Starbucks in Brookline.  The boyfriend had the little kitty in his jacket, and his friend sitting next to him had a little dog in his jacket.  I completely missed the memo on putting an animal in my coat for this meeting, so the boyfriend and I brought our pet carrier.  I realized later that it was the guy alternative to having a purse for a purse rat.

When the woman's boyfriend handed the kitty over to me, I was shocked at how small he was!  But I immediately fell in love.

He meowed, wide-eyed, all the way home.  The boyfriend named him Mencken, after H.L. Mencken.

I felt my anxiety growing even more the closer we got to our apartment.  As we stepped in front of our door, I said to the boyfriend, "This is it.  This is the moment of truth."  And all the advice about introducing a new kitty to an established kitty rushed into my head and flew out the window at the same time.
Initial encounter.
We established that the bedroom would be his safe space, so we set up the pet carrier and his supplies in the bedroom.  Yoni immediately went to sniff him.  She was tentative, unsure of what to make of him.  Thus began a cycle of Yoni sniffing him, batting at him, hissing, and running away.  For the most part, she watched him from the bed or from a distant spot.  But when he would make a strange noise, she would go right up to him and do the sniff-bat-hiss action.
Things settled, relatively speaking, and Mencken fell asleep in the boyfriends pile of clothes.  Perfect timing for LOST.
Knocked out!
He managed to do enough exploring to know the exact location of the litter box, but we all fell asleep soon after he settled on my boyfriend's side of the bed on his fuzzy rug.

At 3:30 in the morning, I suddenly woke up to a lot of movement.  I thought back to all the times when we introduced a new dog into the house, and how one of our dogs would always try to bite around the necks of the younger ones to show dominance.  I feared the worst.

Once my lights were on, I saw that it was Yoni, playing with the new toy we bought for Mencken.  I peeked under the bed, but I couldn't see him.  The boyfriend woke up, and I told him I couldn't see where he was.  We were both immediately anxious that something horrible had happened.

As the boyfriend looked around the bathroom and living room, I tried calling out to him in the bedroom.  Suddenly, a little black fuzzball crawled our from under the boyfriend's night stand.  He's so tiny, he fit under it!

But now that we were all awake, Yoni wouldn't leave him alone.  Mencken would go behind the bedroom door, and Yoni would try to reach under the door to get to him.  The hissing grew more frequent.  At this point, it was almost 5 in the morning.  The boyfriend said that we should just close the door with Yoni on the other side, but I couldn't bear to think of her being confined even if it was the larger part of the house.  So, I slept on the couch to keep Yoni company.
Do you spot Yoni?
Now, it's been a week since Mencken's been part of the family.  Yoni has taught him how to play chase with her, and he's starting to climb up to the window sill just to "tag" her.  He's extremely playful, almost too much so - especially when he's trying to play with your feet while you make coffee.  He's also working on controlling his legs, but it's hilarious to watch him run somewhat diagonally, like a little drunk man.  We call him a "foot terrorist."  The boyfriend and I love them both so much.

Yoni will still hiss and bat at him once in a while, especially if she's had enough play.  But he's still learning, and so are we.

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