It’s been a little over a week since the glorious day that we brought home Balance, Camouflage, and Nightfall, and we’re getting to know their personalities as well as integrating them into the household. It’s a very fun, but somewhat time consuming task.
There’s four different steps to household integration, that generally go in this order.
1) Comfort with the general house. All the kittens took a day or two to be okay with the space of the house, with walking around through the rooms without hiding, and with being okay with us walking around and making noise. When they’re not free in the house, they stay in our spare room and get lots of cuddles there.
And apparently no matter what we do, all the cats must end up in the sink.
2) Acceptance by household cats.
The first cat we introduce everyone to is Nemo, because Nemo loves all cats in the world. He walks into a room, and kittens and cats of all varieties run over and love him. With his presence alone, he makes kittens relaxed and happy — he’s magical.
Youngsmile is usually cat #2, and as you can see here, disapproves a little of kittens at first.
Brief pause for Zombie Deuce in the warmy bed.
He’s really just not right.
As you can see, the fireplace makes a great place to encourage kittens to cuddle with older cats. Camouflage loves cats and is very pushy about going to say hello, which helps.
Deuce and Macavity are generally okay with new cats after a relatively short time, which leaves… Jelly, aka ‘The Hater’. She’s not the hater because of her opinions on humans, but on cats and dogs. She always spends the first few days pitching gigantic fits about how evil and monstrous these new cats are… and then less than a week later, you find this.
Little goth Camouflage with his eyeliner curled up on Jelly’s hip.
And then there were two. ;)
Jelly actually took the longest to be okay with Balance because Balance is possibly the boldest kitten ever and did not care at all that Jelly made evil noises at him.
I said we were getting to know them too though.
Camouflage has already been nicknamed Squirt because he’s a tiny little cat, but he is SO full of personality. He’s extremely loud, extremely demanding, and full of energy. He can’t sit in someone’s lap for more than a second, and wants to be petted at a run, because he’s got so much to do and so much to explore. He’s also a food hound and would be happier if we’d feed him tasty treats all the time. That expression looks like this.
Balance is exceptionally bold, very, very loving, and more or less loves everything. He’s hard to take pictures of because he spends most of his time in someone’s lap, or running to love someone, or loving on one of the dogs or one of the cats.
Nightfall is the shyest of the three, but is rapidly settling into the house. She is a HUGE lover, and wants nothing more than to be petted while she’s rolling around on the bed. Very, very sweet girl.
And now, considering the cold weather, my life regularly looks like this.
Or like this….
Eventually, when the fireplace is too warm, they ooze away from it slowly.
These three are such wonderful additions to our household, I’m so happy with them.
For the past few nights, the kittens now spend all evening free ranging with the rest of the cats while we sleep, and some of the time during the day. The reason they’re not free all the time is introduction issue #3.
3) Acceptance of dogs.
All three of these cats had a dog at their breeders, but even so, I generally expect that cats take a while to get used to my extremely high energy bouncy, trotting dogs. So far, Camouflage has sniffed at the dogs but is a little worried when they run around, and Nightfall’s very concerned. They’ll take a little longer to get used to them, in smaller doses.
Balance, though… I’ve never, in my entire life, seen a cat who loves dogs so much. He ran up and rubbed against Crow the minute he saw him, and has decided that he has his very own doberman, as you can see.
Noire is slightly concerned about the kitten who wants to touch her all the time, but has settled very quickly into sharing her bed with him.
My doberman. Mine.
He’s okay with sharing his dog with Nemo though.
The last steps in household integration are to get all the kittens okay with the dogs, and then start introducing them to parrots. :) For now, we’re just going to keep taking a ton of pictures of them… and next weekend, Nightfall and Balance go to their first cat show.