What Were We Thinking?
So.... Last night, Dad went out with the puppies so that they could use the restroom before bed, only to be met with this:
She ran straight to Dad, but then Miss S chased her under the gate. Dad was very concerned about such a little kitty being outside alone and got Mom to go out and catch her. Mom was absolutely not convinced that we needed another cat. The puppies are very convinced that we need another cat, and she is convinced that she is Dad's cat. Kitty S and Kitty P are not impressed. We made her a little bed and set up up with food, water, goat milk and a litter box on the back porch. The puppies were way too interested for it to be safe to bring her straight into the house. Plus, she's not potty trained yet and hasn't been to the vet to get checked for worms. For right now, she has a screened in porch all to herself. Of course, she has been in the house several times already- on Dad's lap. She has met Miss B, Miss M and Mr. M. Miss B is the best with new animals. She's the most hyper when it comes to playtime, but she's the most submissive and laid back in general. She was interested in the kitty, but only just smelled her a little and then went about her business.
Miss M was convinced that the kitty needed to be her toy. We disagreed and kept her calm while watching the kitty on Dad's lap. Mr. M was surprisingly gentle with her. He was a little jealous that she was on Dad and decided that he needed to sit in Dad's lap too. The kitty was content to sit back and play with his ears.
She is very cute, I must admit. She has bursts of energy- running all over the place and playing with everything. Then she crashes. Currently, her favorite napping spot is a big flower pot. We probably should have called her Flower. Instead, we are calling her Kitty B.
Notice the ferocious yawn above, and then the crash position.
How could you say no to something this cute?
Soooo. Apparently cats hate the cones of shame even more than the dogs do. We put the cones on the night of their surgery thinking we should put them on in case they decided to groom to aggressively. By the next morning, the cones were nowhere to be found. We managed to find them a while later, but after looking at the kitties, we decided to leave the cones off. Their incision sites didn't look irritated and their tummies looked normal. Their appetites have been really strong. We normally only give them wet food once a day, but we've made an exception the last couple of days just to make sure that they are eating enough to get well quickly.
The puppies seem to know that they are supposed to be a little gentle with the cats. Mr. M chased them a little, but he didn't stay interested in them very long. Miss B and Mr. C were napping on our bed this morning, and the kitties both jumped up on the bed. The puppies were so excited to see them. They smelled them and gave them kisses. Kitty P decided the puppies should be awake and started swatting Miss B in the face to get her to play. Of course Miss B is always willing to oblige when it comes to playtime. She was the main reason we got more puppies in the first place. She has a ton of energy and used to bother Mr. C when he was ready to take a nap. We decided she needed another puppy to play with to use up some of her energy without wearing out Mr. C.
On another topic, it's hard to believe it, but the puppies graduate from the intermediate level of puppy school next week. It seems like just last week that they were starting their first lesson. - sigh- They grow up so fast.
Today at puppy school, there were people everywhere. We saw a really cute little blue nose pit bull puppy. The puppies really wanted to meet him or her, but his/her parents were a little nervous about our big puppies. I always think it's funny when people are scared of our puppies around their dogs. Our puppies love other dogs. They are convinced that anything small is their puppy and needs to be licked.
I didn't take any pictures in class, but here is one that we took on their first day of puppy school. We were just getting used to the tandem leashes and hadn't quite mastered the art of keeping them from getting tangled up together. Notice how small Miss M is standing behind Mr. C. She has even gone up a harness size since this was taken.
Cat Trees and Playtime
Now that the kitties are official, we decided that they needed something to climb on and scratch. We found a cool cat tree at Petsmart that we really liked, and as luck would have it, it was on sale. So far, they only sit in the top level when we put them up there, but they like the lower rest. They haven't totally figured out the climbing part yet. I guess we'll have to play with them a lit more on it.
The puppies like the cat tree too. The lower shelf is just the right height for them to look at the cats. Kitty S likes it because it is higher than the dining room chairs- so she can swat noses and play without them pushing her off the chair or getting too rough. The puppies, and by puppies I mostly mean Mr, M, sometimes forget that the kitties aren't puppies and that they don't like to play as rough.
The kitties and puppies are all making a lot of progress. The kitties are even starting to venture into the living room when the puppies are in their crates. Yesterday evening, Dad brought Kitty P into the living room and put her onto his chair. She just rolled over and went to sleep. Today, he brought her in while the puppies were all out. They didn't quite understand why they couldn't get up into his lap to visit with the cat, but were pretty good at staying down while the cat was there. The cat stayed there until we took the dogs out to the yard. We have had the cats for two weeks now and haven't' rushed things at all. Every once in a while, we have to intervene when the puppies get too excited, but usually the cats come right back out again for more. We are surprised at how calm the cats are and at how much the puppies like them.
I know that most people will tell you that cats are easier to take care of than dogs, and in certain aspects, that is probably true. You don't have to take cats outside for exercise or to do their business. You don't need to take them to any training classes. They don't need quite as much attention on a daily basis. But that is pretty much where the easiness ends. You don't usually need to bathe cats. This is true, but when you do have to bathe them, the situation is extremely unpleasant. They seem to hate baths, and on top of that, they were probably super dirty and super smelly for you to want to bathe them in the first place. They also aren't as good with going around to visit other people as dogs are.
Today was an excellent example of how cats are not easier than dogs. The kitties had their first vet appointment today so that we could get them started on their kitty shots. We took the puppies along too so that they could be weighed for their heart worm prevention medicine, which is given by weight. A short way into the trip, we started smelling something rather foul, and one of the cats started meowing. We were really hoping that one of the dogs was just gassy, but the smell didn't go away. In fact, it seemed to get worse. The puppies all started crowding as close to us as they could- I think to distance themselves from the cats and the trouble they felt would follow. We were very early for our appointment and decided that it would be best to stop by Grandma and Grandpa's to clean off the cats and wash out the carrier instead of taking poopy cats to the vet- kind of like when you brush your teeth before going to the dentist.
Seriously. Cleaning cat poop off of two long haired cats and out of a small kennel makes you really appreciate having dogs. The smell was so bad that I had to even close the bathroom door and open the window to get the smell out of the bathroom but not let it into the rest of the house. The cats had poop all in their fur. I couldn't just wipe them off with a paper towel because it wasn't coming off. I ended up washing them off in the sink with hand soap. They were not happy at all. I was wishing they were dogs at that point.
Another way dogs are easier than cats is that when you go to the vet, you don't have to keep the dogs in a kennel. Our puppies are a little different than most of the dogs we have met. Our puppies absolutely love going to the vet. They get super happy as soon as we get there and pull us toward the door to go in. When they were young, we couldn't take them in public yet because their puppy shots weren't done. So going to the vet was a total treat. They got to visit with other people and see other puppies. Everyone at the vet's office pays attention to them when they go there. They get petted and talked to, and sometimes they even get treats. The vet office is awesome.
The cats don't really seem to agree. Kitty P was okay with the vet- except for the fecal sample part. Kitty S was not really enjoying her time there. She did not appreciate the exam or the blood sample, and especially loathed the fecal sampling. Other than that, they were fairly indifferent and went about cleaning themselves the rest of the visit. I could hear the puppies in the waiting room with Dad visiting with everyone. Apparently, the puppies were very concerned that Mom took the kitties in the examining room and kept trying to go check on them.
After the vet visit, we went back to Grandma and Grandpa's. The cats pretty much just slept in their kennel the whole time. The puppies made themselves right at home after saying hi to everyone and giving them puppy kisses. They now know where Grandma keeps the plastic jugs that need flattening and went ahead and got all of the flattening out of the way- anything to help Grandma. Then Grandma made popcorn. Mr. C was intrigued by the air-pop machine. It was loud, but stuff kept coming out. It looked promising. After all, Grandmas seem to be very good at sharing.
All of his patience paid off. Again and again and again. As it turns out, the puppies really like popcorn.
Mr. M got a little sleepy but didn't have his normal nap spot. So instead, he cuddled up next to Mom's purse and outer shirt. Miss B crawled up into Dad's lap but found that it was just too small to make a good napping place.
The puppies were very concerned about the kitties and kept walking over to their kennel to check on them. When we got home, the puppies went straight to the kitties' area to check on them and make sure that they were still there. I think that they were worried that the cats might not be there anymore. Even though the cats don't always want to play with them, the puppies have decided that the cats belong here. The kitties were okay about seeing the puppies too. Kitty P even played with Mr. M through the child gate. I've never actually seen her play with the dogs before. So I guess they are okay with the puppies too.
Our zoo has been doing well the last few days. It's mostly been more of the same. The weather has been too cold/ drizzly to go for walks on the beach. So we have just been taking it easy with the new kitties. We leave the door to the hallway open more now, while keeping the child gate in place. That way the puppies and kitties can see each other more. I think there may be something slightly off with the kitties though. The puppies will chase them slowly down the hall until they are cornered and have no where to go to avoid eager puppy tongues. We take all of the dogs back toward the kitchen and close the hall door, but within a few minutes, the kitties are right by the door, playing with the puppies through the opening again. I'm convinced that they really just like teasing the puppies. The puppies have been really frustrated with the kittens lately. They don't understand why the kitties don't want to be slobbered all over first thing in the morning. "They are just good morning kisses," protested Mr. M when we wouldn't let him chase Kitty S down to lick her.
For the most part, the puppies respect the baby gate (apparently there is a first time for everything), but a couple of days ago, one of them realized that they could pull the gate down. We heard all kinds of commotions coming from the bathroom. Dad started thinking the worst. When I went to check, the commotion had been the cats moving the trash can to hide behind it, and the dogs pushing the cat dishes around with their noses as they ate all of the cat food. Luckily, they don't understand what the litter box is yet! When I came in, Miss S just knew she was going to be in trouble and cuddled up on the cat bed with Kitty P. Kitty P didn't know what to think about having a dog in her bed but didn't even growl! Progress! Today, Kitty P even let Mr. C smell her without growling, hissing or swatting at him. Double progress!
Kitty S decided she wanted to hang out in Dad's office. Miss M kept a close eye on her.
This morning we made a wonderful discovery. We have several of the grated dividers that came with our puppy crates. They have just been sitting in a spare room. We really didn't want to throw them away because they seemed useful. We discovered that we can use the grated divider in the doorway to the hall instead of closing the door. That way the animals can all see each other and the cats don't have to feel closed off in the hall. We left an opening big enough for the cats to come through if they want to be in the kitchen and so that they could escape if they felt the need. So far it has been a lot calmer since we put up the grate. The puppies seem to get more worked up if they can hear the cats but not see them than they do when they can still see the cats, even if they can't actually get to them.
Miss B has been avoiding the kittens for the most part unless we are in the room. I think she knows that if she messes with the cats she'll be in trouble. She is extremely talented at finding ways to get herself and the others in trouble and has apparently decided that she doesn't want anything to do with cat trouble on top of her usual antics. Plus, she's pretty sure that Santa would put her on the naughty list if she roughed up the cats.
We gave her some individual time with the cats the other day, and we were surprised at how well she did. She is normally our barker, but she is surprisingly timid around the kittens. She did a lot of watching from a distance, and a lot of laying down on the ground being submissive. She really wanted them to play with her, but cats are scary!
Warm Fuzzy Updates
Kitty S and Kitty P have been making themselves at home. They really like having their own safe space in the bathroom, and really like exploring in the house. The puppies are practically beside themselves. Every morning now, they run straight to the bathroom door to see if we will open it so that they can play with the kitties. Kitty S is really warming up to the puppies and loves the opportunity to play with them under the dining room table. Kitty P is warming up a little. She doesn't mind being in the same room with the dogs, or even inches away- as long as they don't try to lick her or play with her at all. She's not that kind of cat...
Today, Mr. M got to play with Kitty S for a little while. This was his first time really up close with the kitties, so Mom wanted to give them her full attention in case he got a little too excited- hence the lack of pictures. He did surprisingly well. Then Miss M got to visit with them again. She really didn't understand why Kitty S didn't appreciate all of her puppy kisses. After all, they hadn't seen each other all night. Miss M did the logical puppy thing, seeing Kitty S first thing in the morning- she chased her under something and then licked her, tail going wild. She was soooo excited to see her kitty friend.
A little later in the morning, Mr. C was allowed to play with the kitties for a while. This time, we got out the camera since we were convinced that he wasn't going to eat the cats.
We decided that the cats were doing well enough to go ahead and put collars on them. So, they are now officially part of the family. They didn't even mind us putting the collars on, which surprised us, and haven't tried to take them off at all.
In the afternoon, we decided to go ahead and let Miss S meet the cats. Up until this point, she had only seen them through the baby gate because she was just too excited. We were really surprised at how well she did with them. Kitty P even came out to see her. When Miss S got too close, Kitty P just growled at her and she backed off. After that, she would look at Kitty P but give her plenty of room whenever she walked by. Miss S was content to play with Kitty S, and the feeling seemed to be mutual.
Once the introductions were out of the way, it was time to get down to the important stuff: PLAYTIME.
If you weren't paying attention, you would think that the dogs were harassing the kitties, but as soon as the puppies try to back away from the chair, or walk away, Kitty S goes after them to play some more. She is either a very brave cat, or a little slow in the head. We aren't sure which it is.
Miss S didn't really know what to think about this next pose and just stood there for a minute. I think she was expecting the cat to get stuck.
In true cat fashion, after a few minutes of fast paced fun, she collapsed on the floor under a bar stool. Miss S didn't really know what to think about that and sat on Mom's knee trying to figure out what the cat was doing.
I think we are making definite progress. The kitties are still not comfortable with having more than one puppy out at once- it gets a little too rambunctious, but they are very comfortable with one at a time. This whole cat thing just may work. Tomorrow we may try Miss B. Her first meeting with the kittens involved her chasing Kitty P across the neighbor's yard, so we'll see how that goes.
The blog posts have been a little slow lately. So here is an update. We took Bonnie and Clyde for their second set of shots. In the 4 weeks since last visiting the vet, Clyde gained a little over 10 pounds and Bonnie gained 7. They were once again the stars of the vet's office. I am pretty sure that they think that the vet's office is where they go to get to see all kinds of other dogs that they want to play with. They can't play with them yet because their shots aren't finished, but they really really want to.
After the vet visit, we stopped by Grandma and Grandpa's house for a while. B & C remembered them instantly. Grandma immediately got to work fixing scrambled eggs for the furry grandkids, who think she is the best grandma ever. (They haven't met Dad's mom yet, so right now she's the only grandma they know). Grandpa let them jump up on his legs when he sat down and then petted them. Bonnie still thinks she needs to be friends with their cat. The cat still disagreed. He swatted her on the head and she yelped like she was in pain- which was actually kind of funny because he is declawed. I think it was just the idea of being swatted.
It has been getting hotter here, and playtime in the yard mostly happens under the shade of a tree these days.
First time pitbull owners who found two pitbull puppies abandoned on the side of the road and decided to adopt them...And then loved them so much, they decided to get two wonderful mastiffs.