Thursday, November 15, 2012

Integrating Skittles

Skittles has been with us four months now.  I’m attempting to integrate the entire household, which means that Skittles, Pebbles, Mama Dru, Jake and Boo are all being put to the test. Can they possibly get along with each other?

Skittles is absolutely the most easygoing of them all when it comes to getting along with other cats.  She will play with Boo, play by herself, curl up with Mama or Pebbles and generally get along with any of them.  Mama is the exact opposite and as a result, often has to be locked up in the back bedroom because of aggressive behavior toward Boo or Jake.

Skittles still does not trust me and hisses when I move too fast or get too close or startle her. However, we have made some definite progress. Every once in a while, I’ll wake up in the morning and realize that Mama Dru, Pebbles and Skittles are all on the bed with me. Skittles will usually be at the foot of the bed and not touching me at all, but she’s in close proximity and it’s a huge step forward.  Of course, she immediately jumps down the second she realizes that I’ve awakened.

I still have not had the opportunity to pet her.  I miss it and often wish that I had kept her locked up for longer.  It’s hard to know the best choice in these situations. Would she have been better off if I’d followed the recommendation and simply left her released after trapping and spaying her?  I absolutely don’t think so, but some people might consider that I’ve been cruel to keep her inside when she spent her entire first year living outside and most of that year, on her own. Would we be further along if I’d kept her locked up in the back bedroom all of this time?  Forcing her to interact with me twice a day until all those breakthroughs I’m still waiting for happened?  Maybe. But she was alone most of the day and in a small bedroom besides. It seemed endlessly cruel.

I cannot help but second guess all of my decisions because that’s the kind of person I am. In the end, I console myself with the knowledge that, right or wrong, Skittles’ life has definitely been changed for the better - she’s safer at the very least - due in part to the choices that I have made.

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