Sassy cats – Integrating Gus

Gus and Sasha on the porch

It was three weeks yesterday that Gus moved in (I can’t believe it either!). He quarantined himself in a closet for three days. Then preferred staying in the cat room for another week.

By then he had an eye infection that required a vet visit. I hate taking a new cat to the vet. You are trying to gain trust so you jam them into a carrier, cart them off to a strange and funny smelling place and then put drops in their eyes for a week. Not a warm fuzzy beginning.

Morgan, Sasha and Gus napping in the bedroom! Or maybe only Morgan is napping!

He took his time coming out. Gracie spent a lot of time with him and Morgan too. Sasha not so much. She gave him stink eye and the occasional sneer. She blocked doorways so he’d have to jump over her like a quarter horse at the Kentucky Derby. She tried to steal his food and his beloved treats. Gracie whopped Sasha on the head to bring her in line. I find that amusing as Gracie is 8 pounds and Sasha is 12. You always want Gracie in your corner!

Sasha: I did not do all those bad things! Well, maybe just a little.

When I gave the drops, I followed up with treats, a well-deserved reward. Somehow that translated into all the cats except Gracie who doesn’t like treats, thinking they deserved some too.

When I pulled out the meds, Morgan and Sasha appeared out of the woodwork and Gus tried to blend into the woodwork. It’s over now except for the weaning off of the treats.

Gus, like his friend Gracie, is quirky. This is his first time in a house. He did a three-year stint in a rescue. He won’t walk on the carpeting on the stairs but walks down the 3 inches of wood on each side of the carpeting.  He likes cat grass more than catnip. Maybe it’s the novelty.

We’re teaching him how to play with toys. He watches but takes time to engage.

He lived in one room so the concept of multiple rooms amazes him, as did furniture, soft cushy furniture. It didn’t take him long to realize a bed was prime real estate. He hasn’t realized that hiding under it makes it hard to medicate him.

I don’t think he’s been down to the basement yet. He finally stepped into the screened porch on Wednesday. He was tentative. Thursday morning he was not. He was running laps to show a pesky squirrel that he meant business. That resulted in a very long afternoon nap in his yurt.

This is his yurt.

He likes yurts. He barely fits in them but he feels safe. They didn’t have yurts at the rescue but they had hidey holes. Sometimes I wish I had a hidey hole.

Three weeks down, a lifetime to go. Welcome Gus!

88 thoughts on “Sassy cats – Integrating Gus

    • Last night I started going up the steps. A lot of times one of the cats races me. This time it was him. He sprinted up the carpet, lost his footing and slid down three steps. Didn’t faze him at all. He got up and beat me to the top. We still don’t think he’s gone down to the basement yet. We have a cat door (always open — no flap) that he has to go through. The bigger litter box is down there although we have one upstairs too.

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    • His eye is better. Sasha is better too. When Mollie passed, Sasha took the banner of alpha cat and diva queen. She wants him to know that. At this point, she isn’t growly or hissy anymore but will sit in his way just to be annoying.

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  1. I can’t believe that Sasha was a bit of a toot! But at least she wasn’t attacking, so I guess that was good. I’m proud of Gracie being more welcoming and accepting. A stranger in an alien situation needs all the help he can get! I guess it will take a while to get used to carpet, etc. River was a bit freaked out when she left the farm and came to our house, but homemade food started to win her over. I had to pick her up and put her on the big bed with us to sleep the first night. By the second night, she jumped up on her own — all resistance to the new place dissolved! It sounds like Gus has stopped resisting and is just simply adapting – because your home beats the shelter any day!

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    • We often laugh and say to each other, “So do you think he likes it here?” He is sleeping in one of his favorite spots, all cushy and happy. I worried more about Gracie. When I adopted her, she had a ginger sibling that she did not get along with. As it turns out, she loved him right off the bat. Sasha was the tool. She hasn’t hissed or growled in several days but she will still lay in a doorway that he has to go through although she won’t do anything else. He will jump over her. He has a very laid back personality. Almost a bit timid but some of that may go away.

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  2. I think the lady at Gus’s home has a gift for integrating cats with very little fuss. She must have a calmness about her that allows the cats to just be. The pictures tell the story… contented cats. I am glad all is going well, Kate. I am happy this handsome ginger boy found a home with the Sassy Cats. It will be interesting to see what approach Gus has to mousies!

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    • That will be interesting. Morgan has mostly deferred to Sasha. Gracie’s vision was never good enough to be quick enough. We’ll see how he does. I’m sure nature will toss a few mousies in our house this fall.


  3. Gus fits right in, even if he is the thorn amongst the roses at your house. I’m glad he tried the screened-in porch since there are only a few more months left to enjoy it – looks like he made the best of it (poor squirrel). I like this line: “She blocked doorways so he’d have to jump over her like a quarter horse at the Kentucky Derby.” Ha ha … guess Gus has been initiated!

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  4. Wow, he really seems to be settling in. Well done, Gus! You know you hit the kitty lotto, right? Yurts and treats should outweigh any short term medication. Enjoy that snooze spot on the bed. Cushy furniture is the best when you’re a beloved pet. 😺

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    • Gracie took a shine to him right off the bat. Even when he was isolated she would cry to go in and sit with him. It’s almost like he’s her baby (he’s 13 lbs.). She keeps an eye on him. Maybe she can feel his uncertainty. She has always whopped Sasha when she gets to be too much. Sasha can be over the top sometimes. I am grateful they get along. All of them.

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  5. Sounds like he is doing wonderfully with his massively expanded world! He is so lucky to have gotten a home with you and your crew. And you finally have your orange kitty!

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  6. Well since I have an obvious soft spot in my heart for gingers I have to say how very handsome Gus is – it sounds like he’s doing VERY VERY well adjusting and so are the other critters around the house. He’s a very lucky boy to have found his “forever” with you.

    Hugs, Pam

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