Sunday, November 7, 2010

Friction

Bobby relaxes enough to chase some markers around the dining area.
There is good news and bad news from the van Roosendaal household. The good news is that Bobby is settling in well. He is getting more comfortable in the house and is straying farther and farther into the house and not just sticking by the cat door. He still won't allow much touching - he'll allow a quick ear scratch but that's it - but he doesn't run or cower when we walk by him.

The bad news is, by coming farther into the house he is invading the other cats' space - and they don't like it.

Bobby has taken over Diedra's favorite box in the kitchen - even though he really doesn't fit in it.
Ashi, Diedra and Tyrone were more than happy to let Bobby come in and grab food. It actually surprised me that they never tried to chase him out or block him from coming in - Ashi is our door warden and she will sit by that cat door and block any and all comers for hours on end. But she never stopped Bobby from coming in that I know of and Tyrone and Diedra would just sit and watch him snarf their food.

Now that he is invading their sleeping space, though, they are starting to throw fits. I was woken up at about 6 a.m. the other day because Tyrone was hissing and growling at Bobby outside my bedroom door. And Diedra has lost her favorite box - the one we left for her on the corner of the kitchen counter - because Bobby keeps sleeping in it. I actually found her in the box on top of the fridge where we keep the potatoes. It can't have been comfortable (did I mention it's where we keep the potatoes?) but if Bobby was going to take her box on the counter then she had to find a better box in an even higher spot, comfort be damned!

Ashi love sitting by the sliding door in the back. She can soak up sun and guard the cat door at the same time.
All we can do is wait as the cats try to rework their hierarchy and decide among themselves who is the most dominant and who will get the premium sleeping spots. Diedra's being subtle about it: She hasn't confronted anyone directly but she keeps finding higher spots to claim (the top of the fridge, the back of the recliner, on top of my file cabinet), which is a statement that she thinks she is the top cat. Tyrone is facing the problem more directly and keeps trying to pick fights with Bobby. Bobby isn't fighting back at this point, which is a good sign that they'll be able to settle things amicably at some point. Ashi, of course, only cares about the food and has tried to block Bobby from getting to the food dishes a couple of times. Hopefully she'll realize soon that having him around won't interfere with her food access and she'll settle down.
Diedra peers down from her new spot in the potato box on top of the fridge.
I've been doing what I can to smooth the transition. I will distract them when they start getting into a confrontation and I make a point of feeding them treats when they're together so they associate the good noms with being around each other. The only other thing I can do is wait it out.

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