Choo-choo (otherwise affectionately known as the foster cat) has taken up residence in our basement. He has proven that he knows where his litterbox is by making a deposit.
We are following the cat integration advice of several websites. We left Choo-choo in the carrier while we prepped the basement for his arrival, allowing he and Maggie to have sniffing opportunities. They mostly seemed to stare at each other and then ignore each other in true cat form, which, per the websites, is a good sign for future cat integration possibilities. The next step of cat integration is to let the new cat live in a completely separate room from the current cat for 2-3 days. This allows the new cat to adjust to the surroundings without stress from another cat, and it allows the cat curiosities to take over, as they talk and sniff each other through the door. They are also, supposedly, going to get used to each other’s scent through this period.
The final step of cat integration is to open the door and see what happens. The main thing we will have to watch for is fighting. Some fighting is normal, but Maggie has her claws and Choo-choo does not, so one-sided injuries could ensue if they get too aggressive. Also, Choo-choo is sporting a lion cut (a thoughtful thing his owner did to save us from having to brush him constantly), so his skin is more readily available than it would be if he were armored in fur. So…the final step will only take place on an evening where one or both of us will be home and able to pay attention to the kitty soap opera.
So far, it has become apparent that the cats are curious about each other. They’re both hanging around the door a good bit. Choo-choo escaped from the basement at one point last night, but Maggie was upstairs on her balcony perch. She watched the whole thing but did nothing about it. Scott & I eventually corraled him and carried him back to the basement. Aside from that incident, Choo-choo is generally just being really skittish. He got curious about us while we were watching TV last night, but we couldn’t coax him into a lap. If we moved or made noises unexpectedly, he’d dash off to the back part of the basement. This morning when I came down to check on the litter status, he was sleeping under the futon, which I guess seems like a nice safe spot if you’re a kitty.