new kitten

Introducing a Kitten to Your Older Cat

 cat_meets_kitten

Guest post by Jackie Roberts

Finding a companion for an older cat requires some forethought, and is frequently not quite as simple as finding an adorable kitten at the local shelter, bringing her home, and introducing her immediately to the older resident cat. Kittens may not be a good match for many senior cats, especially cats who are dealing with health issues. If, after careful thought, you decide to have a kitten join your older feline in residence, slow and steady introductions will ensure a smooth experience for everyone.

Beyond the unsure nature of socialization between cat and kitten, there are also potential health concerns with an immediate introduction. When taking a new kitten home, the first stop should be a veterinarian’s office to make sure he is feline leukemia and FIV negative, free of parasites, and otherwise in good health.

The following tips will help you introduce your new kitten to your older cat.Continue Reading

Ruby’s Reflections: First Post

Ruby's Report

Hi everyone! It’s Ruby! I’m so excited that I get to write here, too! I’ve been here almost three weeks now, and it’s so great here! When I lived with my human foster parents and two big foster brothers, I didn’t know what a forever home was. Now I know: it’s kitty paradise, right here on earth!

I love my mom, and I love my big sister Allegra. I’m so happy! Sometimes, I get so happy that I have to jump for joy. I jump straight up in the air!

I know that my new big sister wasn’t too terribly happy when I first arrived here. She hissed and growled while I was exploring my new home. But even then, I knew we’d be best friends in no time, because I realized quickly that she wasn’t mad at me – she was mad at our mom! That’s who she was hissing and growling at! Thankfully, it didn’t take her long to stop being mad at Mom, and then she started making friends with me. At first she’d just watch me closely. After a few hours, we started to hang out together in the same room. Two days later, we were touching noses. You get where this is going – we’re definitely friends now, and I think this is only the beginning.

Neither one of us really knew how to play with other cats. I was too intimated by my two foster brothers to play with them, because quite frankly, they were giants compared to me! I was afraid I might get squished by one of them! Since it had just been Allegra and Mom for a long time, Allegra didn’t have any practice playing with other cats, either. But we’re both very smart, so we figured it out pretty quickly!

Our favorite thing is to chase each other through the house. We pretend to stalk each other around corners and from behind furniture, and then we pounce on each other. We run like the wind! Up and down stairs! Up and down cat trees! Up and down furniture! Wee!!!

I also love when Mom plays with both of us. One game that Allegra and I love is when Mom brings out these little plastic spring things. She says we can only play with them when she can watch us. I don’t know why, they’re totally fun and we could have a blast even without her watching us. Allegra says Mom worries that we might chew on them and maybe swallow little pieces if we’re not being supervised. Allegra says that’s what Moms do – they worry. That’s sweet. Anyway, we both love chasing these little springs all over the house, and the best part is that when we manage to bat them underneath a piece of furniture, we get to watch Mom retrieve them for us! Great fun for all, especially for Mom!

When we’re not playing, I like to look out the windows. There’s so much to see! There are birds, there are people walking by, sometimes, there are dogs out there, and the best part is that I can watch all of that and be safe inside our wonderful house! I have no desire to go outside. I lived outside for a while after I was abandoned, and let me tell you, it was scary out there, and there was nobody to take care of me.  Take it from one who’s been there: being outside is highly overrated.

That’s all for today. Mom says I can write here again soon. Besides, I have to go chase my sister now. Life is good! Wee!!!

New Cat Introductions: Breaking All the Rules

new-cat-introductions

When I brought Ruby home last Sunday, I had no way of knowing how introducing a new kitten to Allegra was going to go. Allegra had been an only cat for the past eleven months. Even though she had been in a foster home with other cats before I adopted her at seven months of age, I had no way of knowing how she was going to react to another cat. Ruby shared her foster home with two big adult male cats, so at least I knew that she was used to being around cats.

Slow and gradual introductions

Feline behavior experts advise introducing a new kitten to your home and your resident cat slowly, and in stages. For even the friendliest kittens, coming into a new home can be a big, scary venture. Experts recommend setting up a safe room for the new arrival, complete with litter box, access to food and water, toys, scratching posts and a comfortable place to sleep.

Scent is important for cats. You can let the new kitten and the resident cat smell each other indirectly by rubbing a towel on one cat, and rubbing the other cat with it, and vice versa. This “scent exchange” can help them accept the new smell as something that is part of them. After a day or two, let the two cats sniff each other through a baby-gate or a barely opened door.

When you think they’re ready, let them mingle under your supervision. There will be hissing and growling – try to ignore it, but be ready to intervene if a physical battle breaks out. It’s important to take this step slowly. If they do seem to tolerate each other, praise both cats effusively.

Gradually increase the time they spend together. Make initial joint activities fun so they will learn to associate being together with something pleasurable. Play with both cats, pet them both, and share treats. Always praise them when things go well. If things don’t go well, separate the cats, and start again at the point where you previously left off.  Introducing a new cat can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks or even months.

Breaking the rules

I knew all of these things. And yet, I made a conscious decision to forego the traditional protocol – not in defiance of what every feline behaviorist and every feline rescue group recommends, but rather, based on my gut instinct, which told me that with these two cats and their respective personalities, it was going to work. Had I seen any signs along the way that things were going south, I would have reverted to traditional protocol.

Even trusting my intuition, I was amazed at how well things went. The first couple of hours were a bit rough. There was lots of hissing and growling, and Allegra was clearly very upset with me. She growled more at me than at our new arrival. I knew all of this was to be expected and normal, but it’s still not fun to go through. Ruby, on the other hand, just went about the business of exploring her new home. Having Allegra “yell” at her was only a minor distraction for her. Nothing seemed to bother her. She was having fun!

After about five hours, the two cats were hanging out together in my living room. By the second day, they shared space on my loveseat. The hissing and growling became less frequent. By the third day, the two of them exchanged nosetaps for the first time.

Since I lead a somewhat “public” life when it comes to my cats, and people come to me for advice on all things cat, I was concerned that my unorthodox approach to introducing Ruby would be construed as expert advice on how to do it.

I want to be clear that I don’t recommend this method for everyone. It certainly flies in the face of conventional wisdom. But sometimes, rules are there to be broken. For some cats, traditional introductions may work best. For others, it may be more stressful for both the resident and the new cat to keep the two separated. It becomes an individual decision that needs to take into account how well you know the cats involved, and how comfortable you are with new cat introductions.

new-cat-introductions

As of this writing, only ten days later, the girls have become good friends. They play together, chase each other through the house, and hang out together. They even sleep in the bed with me, one cat on each side. I couldn’t be happier, and I think Allegra and Ruby are pretty happy, too.

Editor’s note: Due to the high volume of questions left in the comments in this post, I am no longer able to answer questions about individual situations. You may find a lot of good advice by reading through the comments. If you need additional assistance with your introductions, you may want to consider consider working with a feline behaviorist. If you can’t find anyone local to you, I can recommend Mikel Delgado  and Dr. Marci Koski.  Both offer remote consultations.

Allegra’s World: My New Little Sister

Allegra anniversary

Well! Do I have a lot to talk about today! There’s been some major excitement at our house. I know Mom couldn’t wait to tell you the news and she wrote about it yesterday. Yes, we have a new family member. And let me tell you, when Ruby first arrived here on Sunday morning, I was NOT thrilled, to put it mildly. Mom made me promise not to use swear words, so I’ll try to be good, but it’s not going to be easy!

Mom had been telling me for several days that I would get a new little sister. I didn’t really understand what that meant, I thought maybe she was buying me a new special toy. Then, on Friday, Mom put a second placemat on the floor in the kitchen across from mine. Hm. That was odd. Maybe Mom wanted me to have some variety in my dining experience? I could go for that! Oddly, food never appeared there, only a second water bowl. Since humans often do very strange things for no apparent reason, I didn’t give it much thought after taking a nice long drink from it.

When Mom set the cat carrier by the front door Sunday morning, I got a little worried. Surely she wasn’t taking me to the v-e-t? I was feeling just fine, so there really was no reason for that! When she picked up the empty carrier, I was starting to get a little suspicious. She told me that she would be back soon, and that she’d have my new little sister with her.

Ingrid with Ruby

She wasn’t kidding. I heard the little pipsqueak cry the minute Mom came in the house. At first, I was curious, and I immediately went to sniff the carrier after Mom set it on the floor. I’m a smart girl, so it didn’t take me long to figure out that this was not a new toy. There was another cat in the carrier! What was Mom thinking??? I hissed and growled – at the carrier, but even more, at Mom! I was mad! Why did she have to go and bring another cat into our house? I thought we were perfectly happy together, just the two of us!

Mom said my new little sister’s name was Ruby. Whatever! She let me sniff the carrier for a good long time, then she took it upstairs. Of course I followed. I watched from a distance as Mom opened the carrier door, and Ruby bounded right out. That little thing doesn’t have any manners at all! Didn’t she know that this was my house, and that she should have asked my permission before entering? As she started to explore the house, I watched from a wary distance. If she came within a few feet of me, I hissed at her. And what did the little stinker do? She growled right back at me! The nerve!

Mom kept a close eye on both of us, and kept reassuring me that it was going to be okay, that she loved me more than anything, and that I was going to learn to love Ruby. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I sure as heck wasn’t feeling the love right then!

I have to admit, though, as the day went on, staying mad at Mome was  getting a little old, and I even got tired of hissing at Ruby. By afternoon, I was exhausted, and the sunny loveseat was calling my name. It was time for a nap! I was so tired, I didn’t even care that Ruby stretched out for a nap of her own on the floor right below me.

When dinner time rolled around, I was starving. Being on guard all day is a lot of work! I inhaled my dinner and didn’t even pay attention to Ruby on the other side of the kitchen.

I was a little worried about bedtime. I love to sleep with Mom, I cuddle up against her back or her legs, and it’s the best feeling in the world. I was really hoping that Ruby the Intruder (ha! I crack myself up!) wasn’t going to mess that up for me. And this is why I love my Mom: I heard her explain to Ruby that it was time to go to bed, and that I was used to sleeping with Mom. She said Ruby would be welcome to join us, and that she hoped that eventually both of us would sleep in the bed with her, but that it might be a little too soon for me. She made sure that I was safely in bed, and left the bedroom door cracked open. She didn’t want Ruby to feel that she couldn’t come in if she wanted to. After all, it was Ruby’s first night in a strange new house. Much as I didn’t care about Ruby, I love that Mom was so concerned about her. That’s just how my Mom is!

Thankfully, Ruby didn’t come in the bedrom during the night. I fell into an exhausted sleep, feeling comforted and safe with Mom by my side. I know Mom didn’t get much sleep, she got up several times during the night and I heard her talk to Ruby in the living room, but I wasn’t going to budge from my safe and warm spot in Mom’s bed.

Ruby and Allegra

Monday morning, I woke up and thought maybe I had just dreamed the whole thing. Unfortunately, Ruby was still here. But I have to admit, she wasn’t quite as annoying as she was on Sunday. As the day went on, I hissed a little less, and mostly just watched her. By afternoon, we were hanging out on the loveseat together.

Yesterday, I relaxed even more. I still hissed and growled at her whenever she came too close for comfort, but it was getting kind of old. So a couple of times, when the little one came up real close to me, I decided not to hiss, and actually let her give me a nose tap. I also let her sit right next to me while Mom was brushing me. I love being brushed, and I wasn’t going to miss out on that just because Ruby has to have her nose in everything. Later in the day, I decided that maybe it was going to be fun to play with the little pipsqueak, and chased her without hissing at her. She chased me right back! This was actually kind of fun! We raced through the whole house a couple of times. Then I decided that I better hiss at her just a little bit, just to make sure she still remembered who was in charge. But I have to admit, it was fun!

And so it begins. I guess she’s here to stay. Mom keeps telling me that eventually I’ll love having a little sister, and that I’ll come to love Ruby. I guess I can already see that Mom might be right. As long as Ruby knows I’m in charge, it just might be okay.

New Family Member: Introducing Ruby

Ruby The Conscious Cat

The Conscious Cat has a new family member! Allegra and I are excited to welcome Ruby into our hearts and home. Well, right now, I might be a little more excited than Allegra, but considering that Ruby only came home yesterday morning, things have been going really well. Initially, Allegra was really mad at me for bringing this little intruder into her house, and she watched suspiciously as Ruby began to explore her new home. Whenever Ruby came too close for comfort, she made sure Ruby knew that Allegra was in charge!

By late afternoon, both cats were exhausted, and ready for a companionable nap in our sunny living room. I was amazed, and thrilled, that after less than six hours, they were that comfortable being in each others’ company. And yes, it’s almost uncanny how much alike they look. In the photo below, Ruby is on the floor, Allegra on the loveseat. On some of the photos I took yesterday, I actually had to look for identifying marks to tell them apart. Even though at eight pounds, Allegra is bigger than Ruby, depending on the camera angle, it was sometimes hard to tell!

Ruby and Allegra

I met Ruby on March 31 (coincidentally – or maybe no so coincidentally! – the same day I met Allegra a year ago). She was fostered through the SPCA of Northern Virginia, and lived with a lovely young couple and two big male cats. Her foster parents named her Cinnamon. The SPCA’s vet estimated her to be between six months and a year old – I’m leaning toward the lower end of that range, she’s tiny! She’s a total lovebug, in fact, her name in her initial vet record is Lovebug. She was found in someone’s backyard literally “asking” to be rescued. When the kind woman heard the little kitten crying, she opened the door and Ruby ran right up to her without any hesitation.

When I met her, her foster parents had just gotten home from work, so she was all wound up and eager to play. I spent about half an hour with her, and even though she was mostly focused on playing, she still occasionally jumped up on my lap. I just knew she was “the one.”

Everyone deals with loss at their own pace, and almost a year after losing Amber, I was finally ready to open my heart, and my home, to a new baby. I could have taken her home sooner, but wanted to wait until I had a few days in a row with few outside appointments so I could help Ruby settle into her new home and help her and Allegra adjust to each other.

Ruby is a very self-assured little kitten. She’s super affectionate – she likes to rub up against legs so affectionately that she tumbles over! I don’t think she knows how to play with other cats yet, the two big boys in her foster home were a little intimidating to her, but she’s able to endlessly entertain herself. Yesterday, she spent most of the day in my family room, which is really the kitty playroom. There’s no furniture, just cat trees, scratching posts, and toys everywhere. Allegra watched her every move, but didn’t participate in any play (although at times, it really seemed like she wanted to, but then she remembered that she was mad at me and the little intruder). After a while, they chased each other occasionally, and I’m hoping that as they get used to each other, they’ll learn to play with each other. In the meantime, I’m working on my hand-eye coordination so I can play with interactive toys with both of them at the same time!

She also had fun exploring stairs – her foster parents live in an apartment, so this was new territory for her. After the first few, somewhat klutzy, attempts, she now flies up and down both sets of stairs as if she had done it all her life.

Allegra is still withholding judgment as to whether all of this was really a good idea, but I’m sure you’ll hear from her in her own words in just a few days. And you never know, once Ruby settles in, you just might find her blogging here, too.

You can see wonderful “baby pictures” of Ruby (formerly Cinna), along with photos of her two foster “brothers,” on her foster parents’ photo blog.

Allegra’s World: Loud Noises

Wee!  Mom is letting me write a blog again!  Mom keeps telling me that I’m a good little kitten, and I guess this is my reward.  I have been very good, if I do say so myself.

I’m continuing to learn stuff about my new home, and I still discover new things every day.  Some are fun – like when I discovered that I can climb on top of the dining room cabinet.  Wee!  That was so cool!  It’s the highest spot in the house (short of the curtain rods – I haven’t figured out how to get up there yet, but I’m not giving up….psst, don’t tell Mom!), and I can see everything from up there.  And the most fun part is that if I lie down and make myself really flat, Mom can’t see me!  One time when I was up there, I heard her calling my name all throughout the  house, but I wasn’t going to move or let her know where I was.  But then her voice got kind of panicky, and I realized that she was worried because she couldn’t find me, and that’s when the game stopped being fun, so I popped my head up to show her where I was.

Some things about my new home are not so fun.  I really don’t like loud noises, and every morning, these big, noisy things go by the house.  Mom says they’re called “trash trucks” and “school buses” – all I know is that they scare me and I run and hide under the sofa when they come.  Sometimes, I’m really brave and just watch them from the top of the stairs through the window – but I’m always ready to run, just in case.  Every other week, there’s an even scarier loud noise.  It sneaks up on me, because at first, all I hear is some rattling in front of our house, and some men talking, and then, all of a sudden, this deafening noise starts!  Mom says it’s called “lawn service” and that it will come every other week all through the summer and fall, and that she hopes I’ll get used to it.  Maybe I will in time, but for now, I’m under the sofa when they come!  Thankfully, they don’t stay very long, but I still won’t come out unless Mom tells me it’s safe.

And then the other night, there was the scariest loud noise of all.  It woke me from a deep sleep on Mom’s bed (I know she loves it when I sleep on the bed with her, and most nights, I try to spend at least part of the night with her.  I know she wished I stayed all night, but there are things a kitten must do in the middle of the night that she couldn’t possibly understand!).  Anyway, that night, these horrible loud noises kept coming, one after the other.  There were also really weird flashing lights along with the noise, and sometimes it felt like the whole house shook.  I was so scared!  Mom tried to calm me down, but even though she talked to me in a quiet, soothing voice, it didn’t help.  I hid under the bed, but it wasn’t any less scary down there, so I decided to run from the noise.  I dashed all over the house trying to find a place where the awful noise wouldn’t follow me, but it was everywhere!  Finally, I ran back under the bed, and that’s where I stayed until after what seemed like forever, it finally stopped.  It took me a while to trust that it was safe to come out from under the bed, though, despite Mom reassuring me that it was over.  Mom said the loud noise was what’s called a “thunderstorm,” and that we’ll have them all summer long.  She said she’ll give me Rescue Remedy from now on whenever they’re in the forecast, and she said it would help calm me down.   She also said to tell you to read her article Thunderstorm Anxiety in Your Pets for more on how you can help your pets during those scary loud things.

Other than that, I’m just loving life.  I know Mom wishes I’d mellow out a little bit more and sit in her lap or let her hold me, but I can’t help being who I am – I’ve got to be me!  I’m not just a kitten, I’m a tortie kitten!  It’s a good thing that Mom understands about “tortitude,” because she says I have it in spades!

Allegra’s World: Amber is Gone

A lot of things have changed around here since I last got to write on here.  It’s been very confusing.  I’m just a kitten, and I’m not sure I understand it all.  I knew my sister Amber wasn’t feeling well.  The way I knew that was that she didn’t hiss and growl at me when I harassed her.  Mom said to leave her alone, but I kept trying – I just wanted her to play with me!   I thought she’d feel better for sure if she would just play with me!

Then one morning, Mom put Amber in a carrier, and took her away.  Mom was gone all day, too, and when she finally came home that evening, Amber wasn’t with her, and Mom was really upset.    I didn’t understand why Amber didn’t come back with her.  Mom said something about Amber being very sick, and having to be in the hospital so she could get better.  I didn’t really understand what any of that meant, I just knew Mom was upset, and I wanted her to be happy.  So I did the best I could to amuse her, doing my usual kitten things, and that night, I stayed in bed with her all night long for the first time.  I think she liked that.

Amber didn’t come back the next day and the next, and I got used to having Mom to myself.  I actually kind of liked it.  Even though it was a little boring not having Amber here to taunt and harass, it was nice to have Mom’s undivided attention.  I showed Mom that I liked it by purring for her, and rolling around on the floor so she’d pet me.  I could tell that it pleased Mom when I did that, for those moments, it seemed like she felt a little better.  But I could tell that most of the time, she was really worried  and scared.  I wish she’d explained more to me what was going on, but I guess it was just too hard for her.  I just tried to be my normal kitten self, and tried to make her smile.

Then Amber finally came home. I was excited!  But something wasn’t right.  Amber wasn’t in a carrier, Mom was just carrying her in a blanket.  I thought Mom would be happy to have Amber home, but she seemed really sad.  I may just be a kitten, but I do pick up on Mom’s energy.  Amber walked around the house a bit, and when she got close enough to me so I could catch a whiff of her scent, I couldn’t believe my nose.  Pew, did she stink!    She didn’t smell like the Amber I remembered!  She had a really weird smell, like she’d been to a place where bad things happen to kitties.  I hissed and growled at her.  That upset Mom so badly that she put me in a separate room with my toys, litter box and water bowl.  I didn’t understand at all.  I hadn’t done anything wrong!  But it was okay, the room had big windows and I spent my time in there watching the birds and squirrels outside.   Even though I’m just a kitten, I knew something was really wrong, or else Mom wouldn’t have locked me away, and so I made the most of it.

When Mom let me out of the room a couple of hours later, Amber was just lying on the loveseat and not moving at all, not even when I bopped her on the head.  Mom was crying.  She said something about Amber being gone, but I didn’t understand what that meant.  I’m just a kitten.  All I knew was that Mom was really really sad, and I hated that.  The next day, Amber disappeared again.  She hasn’t come back, and Mom has been sad ever since.

I guess it’s up to me now to take care of Mom.  That’s a pretty big job for a kitten who still needs to be taken care of herself, but I think I’m up for it.  I’m managing to coax smiles out of her every once in a while.  I like it when Mom smiles!  I’ve heard her say to someone that I’ve become “much more affectionate” since Amber left.  I don’t really know what that means, all I know is that I’m starting to get more comfortable in my new home, and around my Mom, and it’s easier for me to let her pet me for longer periods of time, and to sleep with her in bed all night long.  I think she likes that.

One thing I really love is all the different names Mom has for me.  She calls me Allie, Allegrina, Legra-Girl, Leggy and more.  One name she calls me a lot is “Allegrano.”  Her voice always gets louder than normal when she calls me that.  Whenever she calls me all the other names, she sounds really sweet and loving.  I’m a pretty smart kitten, and I don’t think it’s a good thing when she calls me “Allegrano” in that tone of voice.  It makes no sense to me, though.  I really don’t understand why it’s not okay for me to eat stuff off of Mom’s plate, or to bite her hand when I’ve had enough of her petting me, or to attack her ankles when she walks down the hall.  I’m just being a kitten – those things are fun!  But I’m trying to learn – I want to make Mom happy.  And she’s a really cool Mom – she plays lots of games with me!

Anyway – that’s what’s happening in my world and….oh – sorry, gotta go.  Big squirrel sitting on the deck outside.  BIG squirrel.  Really  huge.  Wow!  I could take him!!!  I know I could!

Amber’s Mewsings: Training My New Sister

So you already know from Mom that we have a new baby in the house.  I could tell something was up when Mom came home one day last week and she was all excited and said something about a kitten and then she let me smell her hands and there was kitten scent all over them.  I didn’t think anything of it until she kept telling me that we were going to get a new family member.  She really tried to prepare me, I’ll give her that.  It’s been over a year now since my sister Buckley passed on, and I kind of liked being the only cat again and having Mom’s undivided attention.  Sure, it got lonely sometimes, but Mom is home a lot, and when she’s not, I sleep most of the time anyway.

But apparently Mom had made up her mind, and on Tuesday, she brought Allegra home.  At first, I couldn’t believe it.  I really wasn’t thrilled, and I made sure that both Mom and this new interloper knew it.  I may be totally sweet most of the time, but I can hiss and growl with the best of them.  Besides, I have to make sure this little whippersnapper knows who’s in charge around here!  The first day, I pretty much just stayed  away from Allegra, and watched her from a safe distance.  If she came too close, I gave her a warning growl or hiss.  A couple of times, she pushed her luck, and I had to smack her upside the head.   I know Mom was upset, she knew I wasn’t happy and she hated that her decision to bring Allegra home was the reason for it.  I tried to tell her that I understood she didn’t do it to upset me, I knew she couldn’t help herself, but it was not a happy day.  That evening, I was relieved when Mom took me to bed with her.  That’s our time together, we always snuggle at night, and I was really glad that even having a new baby in the house wasn’t going to change that.  I stayed snuggled up against Mom all night long, and that felt really nice, like old times.

Unfortunately, when I woke up the next morning, the little pipsqueak was still here.  I hadn’t just dreamed the whole thing.  The day didnt start out so great.  I was minding my own business, heading down the stairs to use the litterbox downstairs hoping for some privacy when the little stinker attacked me from behind.  Boy, was I mad!  I swatted and hissed at her.   Thankfully, the day got better as it went on.  I continued to keep a close eye on her, and it was actually kind of fun to watch her get used to our house.  She’s fascinated with windows.  I guess I’ve gotten kind of blasé about them, taking our backyard views of birds and squirrels for granted, but I still remember what it was like when I first came here.  It was almost overwhelming – so many windows to look out from, so many soft places to sit, it’s hard to know where to start, and I was an adult at the time and much smarter, not a little kitten like Allegra.

Anyway, I relaxed a little bit more, and as a result, I could feel Mom relaxing, too.  She really worries about me, and I love her for it.  And then something really fun happened – a big box arrived, and when Mom opened it, I realized that it was filled with cans of cat food!  So I had to go check it out.  When Allegra joined me, it didn’t even bother me, and we both helped Mom unpack the food.  Good to know that Allegra and I have that in common – we both love our food!

The last two nights, Allegra even slept in our bed with us for part of the night.  At first I wasn’t crazy about it, but I was safely curled up in Mom’s arms, and as long as I get to do that, all is well with my world, and I guess I can be big-hearted enough to allow this little kitten on our bed, too.

It will be interesting here, now that there’s three of us again.  Mom told me she’s counting on me to show Allegra the ropes, and I won’t let her down.