Wednesday, September 30, 2009
One Step Back.
We're making progress with Hedge, the shy and elusive kitten, but grabbing him after dinner and brushing his teeth was a bit too much, too soon. We've backed off a little and are just letting him be for the moment, acknowledging him when we see him, but otherwise leaving him alone to find his own way into the group.
It's obvious that Hedge wants to be part of the family. Each day he spends more time out in the open, and when he does hide he doesn't run quite a fast to get there. Quint plays with Hedge whenever the little cat comes out of his cave, but Quint has also resumed some of his interaction with Carol and I as well, and both cats are less frantic about each other's presence in the house.
It's difficult to be patient with Hedge, to wait for him to accept us on his own terms, instead of enforcing the contact, but the new strategy seems to be working, so we'll keep it up until some other approach proves more effective. Quint was such a social animal from the first moment he arrived, rather easy-going and good natured, and it is a bit of an adjustment for us to take this new approach with Hedge. When Hedge first arrived, he was scared and insecure, and Quint was a bit confused by his presence and our intentions in bringing in this other cat, and probably a bit jealous. We are careful to treat Quint with extra care and attention during this adjustment period so that he doesn't feel that our relationship is in any danger and to alleviate any jealousy he might be feeling.
Slowly we are succeeding in recreating our little family around the added dynamic of this new kitten. I am very much enjoying the experience as Carol and I and Quint and Hedge learn to trust and accept each other. Any day now, I expect Hedge to jump up on the bed and sleep at our feet right alongside Quint.