A proper introduction

Posted in Thoughts and Reflections at 9:33 pm by admin

After a week of forced separation, and after much discussion and contemplation, Daniel and I decided to introduce our two four-footed companions to each other today. BIG MISTAKE! While I took Chester outside for a walk, Daniel brought Gizzie, the cat (nicknamed Gizmo like the Mogwai from the movie Gremlins, but not after the Mogwai; or Mozilla similar to Godzilla, but not after Godzilla; or Mo Mo; or Mo dill a, emphasis on the first syllable which is held the longest, or … Ok, you get the picture) up from the basement and put her in her cat bed on top of the liquor cabinet in the dining room. “On the liquor cabinet in the dining room?” you ask. Because of the layout of the house, she is able to view us when we’re in the living room, dining room, and kitchen from this vantage point, and that’s how she wants it. What Gizzie wants Gizzie gets, she’s a cat!

When Chester and I entered the house, Chester knew immediately that the cat was near. Daniel stood in front of the cabinet petting Gizzie while Chester sniffed about with intent. Gizzie watched Chester with intent from an altitude of four feet. Try as he may, Chester could not locate her, and his search took on a fervent pitch. I picked him up and showed him where she was from about five feet away. It’s a good thing I chose this distance and had a firm grasp on his collar. I have never witnessed such fast reflexes. He immediately attempted to launch from my chest towards the cat. Gizzie hissed. Chester barked and whined. Gizzie hissed some more. After a few moments I put Chester on the floor while I held on to his leash. As if on a pogo stick, Chester launched himself into the air, intent on latching onto Gizzie. Gizzie peered down at him and with each leap launched controlled swipes towards his face.

Chester realized there was a chair next to the cabinet and made it up onto the seat before I was able to grab him. Had I not done this, he would have been at the cat in an instant. I moved the chair away from the cabinet and placed Chester back on the floor. He continued his feverish leaps into the air while Gizzie continued her swipes near his snout, alternating her hisses with growls. This continued for another five minutes. At four minutes, Chester began to tire and his altitude lessened with each leap. As he neared the point of collapse, I picked him up and took him out into the yard to cool down. He headed straight for the stream at the pond and immersed himself in it, lapping up water as he moved through the water iris. His thirst finally sated, he climbed out and came to me exhausted. I carried him to the porch and dried him off, thinking the encounter had drawn to a conclusion. Not so.

I kept him on the leash as we entered the house again, hoping he would retire to the couch, but prepared if not. Not! He headed straight for the cabinet and cat, and launched himself into the air with greater determination than before. Gizzie, recognizing the seriousness of his intent, increased her pitch and volume, and began to connect with great accuracy across Chester’s snout, but she did not draw blood. I allowed this to continue for another two minutes, and when the first sign that Chester’s launches weakened, I took him away into the living room, with him barking all the way. Gizzie immediately launched herself into the air and landed on the floor ten feet away at the foot of the stairs leading to the second floor. She disappeared up the stairs in an instant. Chester tried to pursue her, but I had a firm hold on his leash. I immediately took him outside to calm him down. Again!

When I returned, Daniel had closed the door at the foot of the stairs, allowing Gizzie time to recover in a safe environment. Chester sniffed around and after a few minutes determined Gizzie was not near. He returned to the couch and collapsed, falling fast asleep in less than a minute.

After a while, Daniel and I discussed what to do, and whether I should call the Vets office where we adopted him to take him back. This was very upsetting to me and I have remained nearly silent the remainder of this evening. I simply don’t know what to do. My heart is aching at the thought of losing this little guy, who has become so dear to me, while at the same time thinking of Gizzie and her sentence to the basement at no fault of her own. Chester has made tremendous progress in his behavior and he has become comfortable here. He is no longer on the alert at every new sound, and he doesn’t feel the need to follow either Daniel or I at our heels whenever we leave the room, at least for a minute or so. Late this evening I found tiny scabs in the fur on Chester’s snout. At first I thought they were fleas, which shouldn’t be there because of his flea collar. I realized that Gizzie had indeed connected, but again she was very restrained. We took a chance to see if they, or he could get it our of their/his system(s). It failed.

I’m going to call the Vet tomorrow to seek advice on improving the chances of getting these two to coexist without antagonism or the fear of bloodshed.


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