CAME HOME SUNDAY. No photos. She’s in a dark place. Really. A wire crate in the corner of our living room without a lot of bright lights for photography, and we didn’t want to be setting off flashes in her face first night in a new place.
She seems to have settled in well. We had her out for a while after dinner and cuddled and rubbed faceds for awhile. She purred and squirmed just a little to get down, but seemed to accept that… not yet.
At first, the adult cats lined up around the crate — well, two sides, as we have it backed up against some bookshelves — and watched this new toy. They’re convinced this is some kind of animated toy. Watched the new toy bounce around the crate, playing with fur mice and climbing the scratching post. Then, after the novelty wore off, they all wandered away to take a nap or something.
Jazz, though, crouched by the side of the crate and watched Karma playing with a decidedly dejected tilt to her shoulders — as though she felt betrayed by this new object for our affections. I tried to reassure her a little, but she wouldn’t come up on the couch when invited. Instead, she flopped down on the floor just out of reach. “If you loved me, you’d put yourself out to pet me.”
Oliver pulled Karma’s food bowl closer to the wire and fished kibbles out of it, happily crunching down on each one, like it was some well-earned prize earned on an epic quest. Toni thinks he’s going to play Uncle Oliver with Karma, just as he did/does with the triplets. Being the Omega male in a clowder of cats with only one Alpha female, he’s sort of taken up the role of a Beta female and “helping” with the “children.” And he’s really good at it, too.
At the moment, the plan is to keep Karma in the crate more-or-less full time for two or three days, until she and the others are acclimated to each others’ presence. Then, we’ll let her out under our supervision — only putting her in it when we’re asleep or away at work. That phase should last a couple of weeks before she’ll be give full run of the place with the others. By then, she should weigh over two pounds and be able to hold her own in the rough-and-tumble with cats six times her size.
We’ll have to watch closely and make sure she has safe harbor until they accept her and treat her as a member of the herd, or she manages to force her way in.
Toni thinks that, by the time she’s in her late adolescence, Karma’s going to be the Alpha cat. Me, I can’t see it quite, but am ready to accept it as a possibility.