Hi Everyone. Thanks for all your comments about the new addition to our family. Already we are having so much fun. She doesn't have a name yet, but she is a beautiful, spunky little kitten. The interactions between the gate are going great and we have been moving the gate around the house so Mattingly can get used to her being in other rooms. We've introduced her a few times without the gate, but we aren't so sure how that is going. I've had cats in my family since I was 9, but I've never had an experience like this. Whenever we would bring a new cat or kitten home, we would just sort of plop them in the living room, everyone met, and then we were good. Any newcomers learned quickly that they needed to steer clear of the oldest cat in the family and then everything was fine. Maybe because Mattingly is such a different cat from any that I've had, or maybe because I have such a different relationship with him than I've had with any other pet, or maybe because he is truly a part of the family and not a "pet" like I grew up with, this transition is much harder. When they play through the gate, they bat at each other, purr, and show each other their bellies. We take that as a very good sign. But when they play face to face, it seems he might get too rough with her because she starts to growl and hiss and run away. But then she attacks him and starts it all right over again. She is always the first to present her belly, but then seems to get very agitated and tries to get away. Mattingly doesn't appear to be using any excessive force, and he's not showing any other signs of aggression toward her, so we don't know if maybe she is just sensitive or cranky. In any event, we don't know if we should allow this type of "play" to sort itself out, or break it up. Is this normal or is it unhealthy? When they are separated, they are constantly trying to get to each other, so I just don't know what this all means.
Finally, there is one particular toy that Mattingly loves among all his toys, and we are trying to keep that specifically for him right now. We have not let her near his hidey spot, or allowed her to play with this toy so that he can have these two comforts to himself. However tonight she snuck up on Mattingly and I playing, grabbed his toy, and then growled at us as we tried to take it away from her. She hissed at my husband later when the same thing happened. This is puppy behavior! Not kitty behavior! Have any of you out there experienced this before or do you have any tips you could offer? Our two main concerns are her toy aggression, and what we should do about their play face to face. Should we just let it work itself out and not be such nervous ninnies? I just can't help it though. Mattingly is our baby and we are growing to love this new little thing very quickly. We just want what's best for them.
Thank you! I promise some pictures tomorrow. The camera ran out of batteries today!