Friday, September 28, 2012

Wilma cat

Before leaving for our new life in Maui, Hawaii, I stayed with my dogs and my mom at my mother-in-law's house for about a week.  In the last week I finalized many things with such a big move happening.  I enjoyed spending my last days among family.

My mother-in-law has a cat, Wilma.  Although she had met our dogs briefly before, she had never spent such a long time with them.  This visit she was unable to just hide for the day.  My mother-in-law swore I would never be able to get the cat and dog together.  I love a challenge!!!

Nekita was raised as a puppy with cats and learned from an early age that you just don't mess with the cat.  They have claws, you leave them alone.  Nekita has since left every cat alone, given them their space, and always been very respectful of them.

Caravaggio, on the other hand, was raised as a puppy with an older cat, Brandy, that was fully declawed.  Brandy would paw Caravaggio in the face rapidly and repeatedly and he thought it was like some sort of face massage.  Although Caravaggio is okay around cats, he has the compelling urge to chase them.  He did apparently corner a stray in our fenced yard once.  My husband said he just ran back and forth, not knowing what to do next.  Caravaggio may like to chase cats, but he does not want to hurt or kill them...he wants to play with them.

So I accepted my mother-in-law's challenge to get her cat, Wilma, and Caravaggio to be friends.

This took me only a few days...

Caravaggio & Wilma relaxing together.

When we started the..."let's be friends," process, Wilma wasn't so excited about the idea.  The following pictures show the progress of Wilma's comfort level.  Training the cat to be comfortable with the dog was really just showing the cat that I controlled the dog, and that I would not allow the dog to harm her in any way.

If you look at Caravaggio's body position in this picture, you can see he is submitting to relaxing near the cat.  This lets the cat know that he means her no harm.

As Wilma gets a little more comfortable and playful with her catnip, 
Caravaggio can get a little closer.

Wilma made amazingly fast progress in her comfortability with that big pony/ dog.

Wilma got so comfortable she was able to get nose to nose.

Wilma was able to play next to the dogs.  
This is a HUGE step for a cat who was formerly terrified of dogs!

We're totally friends now!

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