November 23rd, 2014 | Published in etc
This has been a pretty nice Sunday. It’s rainy in a manner that is appropriate for the latter half of November in Portland, without the damp chill that will come in a few weeks. Ben and I did our usual Sunday breakfast at Oliver’s, then came home and secured Elsa in a bedroom so we could let Ripley and Newt — our two new kittens — out into the house to explore.
We adopted them yesterday from a local PetSmart-based outlet of Cat Adoption Team. We expected to go there and adopt just one, but the lady running the outlet said they were bonded siblings and the three of us ended up thinking we liked both of them pretty well. Based on how they’re behaving, I think that was a pretty good call.
The open question was how Elsa was going to deal with the situation, so we decided to go for a gradual introduction. We put all their stuff in my office, which doesn’t see much use anymore, and let them out to wander around while we sat on the floor. After an hour of that, we let Elsa in for a brief visit. She tried to get a little close and Ripley batted her on the nose, so we saw her out until everyone could settle down again.
We tried again a few hours later, and learned that Elsa would probably prefer not to be around them, but considers any of the three of us holding or petting one of them to be a signal that it’s okay — perhaps necessary — to come sniff. That provoked more hissing and batting from Ripley, and aggrieved whining from Elsa, who is plainly torn over how to receive them.
We kept them in Ben’s room overnight, and after breakfast this morning, we herded Elsa into the bedroom so they could have the run of the house. They weren’t super interested at first, but after I came downstairs for a while, Newt — who seems more adventurous — followed. Ripley preferred to hang out on the window sill behind Ben’s computer.
I’m glad we adopted them both. After Newt and I had been downstairs for 20 or 30 minutes, Ripley began to mew a lot from the top of the stairs. Newt ran up and they conferred about the matter, then she came running back down with Ripley in tow. They’ve been poking around down here since. Ripley is pretty skittish and runs upstairs without much provocation. Newt prefers to explore, and only mews when there’s a place high up that she can’t figure out how to get to. We’ll let Elsa out of containment some time later this afternoon, once they’ve had a chance to learn where the high ground is.