If you follow me on any social media, you probably already know that on August 4th, we adopted a kitten. Her name is Diana (of Themeowscira, named after Wonder Woman, of course) and she was about 12 weeks or so when we got her. A friend of William’s coworker found her and her sister on the side of the road, but since she’s allergic, she had to put both of them up for adoption. (But seriously though, who leaves tiny animals on the side of the road?) At first, we just wanted to meet her and see how Hermes (he’s our dog. I might talk about him a lot on social media…) would feel about her, since he’s never had much interactions with cats before. But really, who were we kidding… we pretty much decided to adopt her before we even met her.
Here she is! Kittens grow at an alarming rate, I’ve learned. We adopted Hermes when he was 6 months old and he’s almost 2 years now, but I honestly haven’t noticed much of a difference (then again, he was 6 months and she’s still only 3 months. If you want to see for yourself, he’s over at @hermestheblur on Instagram, just sayin’ *cough cough*) but she’s growing every day.
I’ve never had a cat before, though, and neither has William. We’ve both always been dog owners, so this was a little foreign to us. Whatever people say about cats being easier pets than dogs… I’m not sure I believe them! At least Hermes couldn’t reach most places and the worst he could do was poop all of the floor. (Gotta say though, litter boxes are such wonderful, wonderful inventions.) It’s been really interesting trying to keep Diana from getting everywhere, chewing on things she’s not supposed to, and waking us up in the middle of the night. Though… she seems to like William more than me, because she keeps sleeping on his chest and waking up at 3 or 4 in the morning to lick his beard. (I’m totally okay with this.)
Getting her and Hermes acquainted has been the toughest challenge. If you didn’t know, introducing a cat to a new household is a lot harder than introducing a dog; cats are a lot more territorial than dogs and they’re also not as good with change. Thankfully, since Diana is just a kitten, and the woman who rescued her had dogs of her own, the transition was a little easier. We decked out our guest room for her, and for the first few days she was there, we kept the door to the room closed so she and Hermes couldn’t see each other. William and I would take turns with one of us spending time with the cat and the other with the dog. Hermes, though, hates closed doors. He has a serious case of FOMO and he needs to be able to keep an eye on both of his parents at the same time, so he wasn’t having any of it. I actually had to exit the bedroom one night by pretending I had to go to the bathroom and leaving through that door, because Hermes would have a fit otherwise. Diana, on her part, was also not following the system because she just wanted to get out and explore. If you ever watched the Wonder Woman movie that recently came out (you should, if you haven’t! It was really good!) I now understand how Hippolyta — Wonder Woman’s mom — felt. My life for that whole first week was pretty similar to the opening of that movie: “No Diana, don’t leave this island! The land of Men is dangerous and I’m trying to keep you safe here!”
One of the biggest problems we faced was Hermes’ innate drive to chase. He’s not malicious in any way, but he is 20 lbs and she’s a wee 2 lbs. Her entire head could probably fit inside his mouth. He’s also used to playing with dogs that are way bigger than him, who like to tackle him to the ground and bite at his neck. So even if his intent is not to hurt her, he could seriously injure her accidentally. The funny thing is, bigger dogs love to play rough with Hermes, and it looks and sounds pretty gruesome sometimes, but we’ve never really cared. I guess having owned dogs in the past, it’s pretty easy to know when it’s rough play and when it starts getting dangerous. But with Diana, even (probably) harmless stuff like chasing each other or her swatting at his face makes me cringe a little. For the first week and a half, Hermes was on a leash any time he was in the same room as Diana. He did not enjoy that.
They seem to be getting along a lot better now. It’s been about 3 weeks and they’re allowed to roam around freely when we’re at home. Diana likes to swat at Hermes when he’s just chilling, so he gets forced out of his seat a lot. He also gets yelled at if he tries to chase her (“Leave it” is probably the best command you can ever teach your dog, seriously) and he’s not allowed to chew up her toys, which are reeeeally tempting for him because they’re all fuzzy and pulling the stuffings out of things is his favorite thing to do ever. So life is hard for big brother. But I think he’ll he fine.