This went a little better than expected….for a little while.
Tonight I managed to get hold of Davout and brought him in while I spent a little time in Anna’s room. Usually when I do this, he comes to the door but is too cautious to come in. When the door is closed, or mostly so, Anna often sits on the couch back.
So as I put stuff down, Anna did not react to Davout at all while he was being held. She might have a little trouble spotting a cat being held. But when I let Davout down on the near end he walked right down near her and she still didn’t complain. She made a few little mews but that’s all.
But after about 30 seconds she started to get nervous that Davout was between her and her perch by the window and rather than jump down the far side rolled over and gave him three loud hisses in a row right at his face. He moved away and I picked him up, which got me the firmest hiss from Davout right in the face. When she got to her window seat she was calmer again.
A while later Harrison stopped in at this box while heading upstairs. It is a good fit.
He even liked pressing his head up against the top making it bounce back. Something of a self petting system.
Rhea watching Harrison in his box. She often watches him do things.
In the comments of yesterday’s post there was some discussion of Rhea and Anna’s situation and what might be the ultimate cause. I won’t repeat all of them now, but there is some data that might not be as clear to readers.
Anna came here about a year ago now, and there wasn’t anything early on to signal that integration would be that hard. It went a little slow because Anna had some parasites I didn’t want to expose the kittens to, but after that was clear there was a period of some weeks to months where Anna came out into the upstairs and explored. She even came down the steps when the kittens were out and circled around the living room. The kittens gave her a wide cushion, and she often slept in the bathroom or in my closet.
Usually what happens in my experience is that this level of mixing leads to the barriers dropping and the cats being able to coexist in the same room. Instead, as the kittens got bolder and moved closer to her, she kept reacting to their approaches with hissing, and got more nervous about leaving her room. Somewhere about her dental, she quit going out but the kittens, especially Rhea would sometimes go in and set her off. The gate stopped that for the summer and most of the fall, and Rhea fell more and more into her current pushyness. Davout still acts like he did then..he curiously follows her around, which makes her hostile but doesn’t start trouble. Rhea insists on breaking into Anna’s bubble just because. But even now, Rhea isn’t tense or scared or angry when she gets into scraps with Anna. So I don’t see some kind of female to female innate tension as an explanation.
Anna is just being abnormally bad and cat to cat relations, and Rhea isn’t putting up with it anymore.