Dogs and Cats Living Together! Mass Hysteria!
So, the getting adjusted to the new household arrangement continues. Over the weekend, Boxer and I got a lot of stuff moved, rearranged, and put away. I will freely admit that the adjusting has been difficult. We have both lived alone for a long time. But I think we are doing fairly well, although there was that hilarious incident where I forgot to poke holes in the taters before sticking them in the oven and one exploded and I cried from shame.
I think the sharing sleeping space with another person is the hardest part. I find myself very conscious of the fact that he is there, and so my sleep isn't as restful as it might be. But as the days go by, I am getting used to it. Besides, Pele annoys him far more than she annoys me during the night, because she is madly in love with him and can't leave him alone. That or she is totally jealous, because she does like being between us.
OK, sleeping is getting better. And stuff is getting put away. And no major horribly irritating habits have raised their ugly head yet, or at least nothing I wasn't already expecting. And the one thing that I was most worried about seems to be a non-issue.
The boxer has not yet eaten the cat. In fact, they are now almost entirely tolerant - if not friendly - with each other.
We started out by having them totally apart. The door in the middle hallway was closed. The boxer got the living areas and Pele got the sleeping areas. We introduced them to each other once while the boxer was leashed. He was mostly curious; his little stub tail was just a wagging. Pele was unimpressed and whomped him on the snout several times and hissed and complained in her granny voice. She is a little afraid of him because he is so big and very playful. On Tuesday, I found a babygate at a thrift sale, and we opened the hall door and put the babygate there while we were awake, taking it down and closing the door at night while we were sleeping. We wanted no unsupervised visitation. Pele refused to come out and mostly stayed on the bed, while the boxer gazed at her with longing from his side of the great divide.
And then, Friday night, Boxer pokes me while we are watching tv and goes, "Look at that!" And there was Pele, perched on top of the babygate preparing to make an incursion into the living area. And - POP! - down she comes. The boxer is very curious. He just wants to sniff her. Pele is still unimpressed, and she makes her way over to the couch, where she again hisses and complains and whomps him over and over(Pele has no front claws, which might be a good thing in this situation). The boxer follows her around. He tries to sniff her while she hides under the kitchen table. But, he learns quickly that if she hisses, he should just back away. But we spent several hours of the boxer just sleeping on the floor and Pele sleeping on her princess and the pea cushion on the couch amid the great peace that only comes through ignoring THAT THING over there.
Last night we took the next step. We moved the babygate back even further, so that Pele's food and litterbox are inaccessible but there is freedom for both in the entire house, and then we went to sleep. Pele slept on the bed, and the boxer slept on the floor. There were maybe three moments of sniffing boxer and complaining Pele, once when she had to walk by him to get to the babygate and a couple of times in the morning when we were all waking up, but in general, a calm and peaceful night was had by all.
In fact, if she is sleeping somewhere beyond the babygate at any point in time, the boxer stands at the babygate and whimpers a little bit because she isn't there. It is both pathetic and endearing.
We still won't leave them entirely alone together while we are gone during the day. The boxer has a little sunroom in which to spend his time. And they may never be friends. I don't really care about that. But it does not appear that there is going to be any major issues (Please, Ceiling Cat!). Which is good, because I have a recipe for BBQ dog that I would prefer to never have to use.