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Seamus, Page 2

Days Three and Four

Galen, in an unprecedented very quick adjustment to a new cat, was fine with eating the Kitty Kaviar bonito flake treats he loves right next to Seamus. Seamus thought the bonito flakes were so outstanding, that he nosed in on some of Galen's. Galen let him, and just sniffed his head. Later on, Seamus tried to get Galen to play fight with him. Galen went along halfheartedly, but seemed about to fall asleep so just held Seamus down with a paw and let Seamus work at getting out from under it. Galen has been scratching to get into Seamus' safe room, so we let him and things have been fine. He is tolerant of Seamus, actually seeming to like him. They are not ready to be together full time yet, as Seamus gets too rambunctious for "Middle Aged" six-year old Galen to take too much of at a time. Plus, Galen is still getting stabilized from his recent diagnoses of anemia and chronic renal failure, and is still overly thin from all the weight he lost.

As for the other cats, Sumner can be in the same area as Seamus for short, supervised visits, but really does not want to get his back jumped on or play fight as Seamus wants to do a lot, in typical kitten fashion. Sumner swats mildly at Seamus then sits very still, as boring as can be. Seamus quickly looses interest and looks for something else to do. Then Sumner wants out of the area before Seamus turns his attention back to him again.

The other cats will need the more usual longer time period with slow increments of increasing exposure to Seamus over many days, maybe even weeks, before they will be ready for safe mingling with him.

Cute Seamus Pictures June 1- 3rd 2005

Days 8 - 11

Well, the cats didn't need as long as it seemed at first to be able to get up to safe free mingling. After only 11 days, they were able to free mingle, with some periods of separation. However, the adult cats are still not thrilled. Minerva and Jolie would not be described as having accepted him exactly. Minerva spends most of her time out in the enclosure where Seamus doesn't go yet, and since it is early summer, that works out fine. She still would rather not have to deal with him at all if she can help it. Jolie will come into a room Seamus is in, but is not pleased that he is there, tending to sit glaring at him and sometimes growling softly if he gets too close. It doesn't help that he tries to play fight with her as soon as she turns her back, which she wants no part of in any way. Which is why she sits glaring at him when in the same room so he can't sneak up on her. Sumner and Galen will mildly endure some play fighting with Seamus but then it gets to be too much for them. Seamus still needs to be separated at times for a short while to save the big cats from wild play.

But, he and Galen do better together than the other cats do with Seamus so far, even sleeping together sometimes. Galen and Sumner are rather easy going, tolerant cats.

Here is poor Sumner on day 8, having found a spot to get a respite from Seamus jumping on him. Seamus finally need to be moved so Sumner would not have to endure the stress of the little persistent "pest". Too much stress can make cats not like each other. At this point, Sumner was mostly just trying to escape from Seamus rather than trying to get Seamus to stop. By day 9, Simon is fine to have some Kitty Kaviar (bonito flakes) treats next to Seamus, but still needs watching when they are together. We didn't let them free mingle without one of us home, awake and supervising until day 12 when Simon's behavior made it clear it would be fine. At that time, when Seamus tried to jump on Simon and bite his neck, Simon calmly pushed Seamus down with a paw and held Seamus down, giving a real stern look but no growling or agitation, so we knew it would be ok. Jolie came back in the house to assert her rights, rather than continuing to hide out in the enclosure like Minerva. Though Jolie is clearly not pleased. If she turns her back on Seamus, he jumps on it, alarming and distressing her. She will jump up in the air and squeal, which hasn't put Seamus off from continuing to do it. He probably thinks it's funny. So mostly Jolie sits facing Seamus glaring at him while he feigns innocence.
On the right, Galen and Seamus getting along quite nicely, with Seamus being calm for a change.

Days 12 - 36

As each day goes by, things have been getting better. We had been "raining treats" when Simon and Seamus were together. Simon can get rather aggressive, so we really wanted to make sure he would see Seamus in a positive light. Though, also, Seamus was not a threat to Simon like other adult cats are. Simon was fine eating side by side with Seamus by day 12, whereas at first, he wouldn't eat near Seamus.

Simon annoyed Seamus is hanging around waiting for canned food with him. Who knows how much that little thing might eat? Simon ok with Seamus eating next him, since he didn't have to share his serving. Seamus rudely awakening Sumner by chewing on Sumner's neck. Being a tolerant, generally peaceful cat, Sumner still doesn't do much to stop it, hoping his body language signals and protest sounds will get the message to Seamus. It isn't working.

Sumner putting up with Seamus lying against him, but not too happy about it, since at any time that pest might start with the neck chewing or back jumping. Seamus keeping weak, anemic Galen company. Seamus treats Galen more gently than the other cats, recognizing that Galen is not up to rough play. He rests with Galen after tiring himself out harassing the other cats. Though, he still tries to do some mild play fighting with Galen. Simon tolerating Seamus hanging out with him in an enclosed space. Seamus has learned to be calm with Simon so he won't get smacked hard again- or maybe worse. Simon has not gotten overly rough with his discipline, but he let it be known he really means it the first time.

It's been a month now, and Seamus is still not 100% integrated with the other cats full time, though we don't keep them separate when we are sleeping or not home. The other cats now tend to separate themselves from the wild little tyke or we "rescue" them. Seamus has his young kitten urge to constantly play fight and back jump other cats. He can't help it, as that is how young kittens are "programmed" to be, but the adult cats can't stand it, especially when they were trying to snooze.

Minerva stills stays outside in the enclosure more often than not. When she comes in, Seamus will rush to her and try to jump on her. She'd rather not have to deal with that at all, and turns to run out the pet flap. Fortunately for her, Seamus has not figured out the cat flap yet so she gets away, but he is watching the other cats come and go through it. It's only a matter of time before he will go through the flap.

And Seamus still rushes at Jolie, making her squeal and jump up and backwards. It is a fun game for Seamus, but not for Jolie. She hisses at him, and growls from afar when he comes in the room, but that doesn't impress him. She has been getting nervous now, such as creeping up very slowly and timidly towards dark objects in our house, including the black cat carrier that is always out. It seems she worries it may be Seamus lying in wait.

So, Seamus still needs some time put in another area to settle down when he has gotten wild for too long and won't heed the warnings of the other cats. They don't want to get rough to make him stop, so wind up getting stressed or running off. Except for Simon. He has no hesitations about stopping kitten nonsense immediately and firmly. He has given Seamus a hard smack, but not with his claws out, being gentle for Simon, since he realizes Seamus is just a baby. He also can hold Seamus down with one strong paw, and then gives a certain glare that scares Seamus, making him yelp in alarm and back away fast. So Seamus doesn't mess with Simon, thank goodness, as Simon has fought adult cats viciously.

Other times, we distract Seamus from pestering the other cats nonstop by tossing a stuffed toy for him to chase. He is at that age still where he will rush after any moving thing, so this tossing of toys by we humans has helped saved the sanity of the adult cats and kept things mostly peaceful. We have been doing a LOT of toy tossing and have stuffed toys in just about every room, even the bathroom. Seamus then latches onto the stuffed toy and bites and kicks it, instead of the other cats. In a home with only one kitten, stuffed toys around are a vital necessity so the kitten can get out its instinctive rough play fighting and "kill the prey" urges.

Kittens need to bite and chew things also due to teething, which they do for up to six months. So stuffed toys help with that. Even corn shucks work for fun chew toys. For kittens, anything they can grab and chew on, they will. Which of course means "kitten proofing" the home to keep kittens from chewing on things dangerous or that you don't want to get chewed up. Seamus has never tried chewing on any wires or cords, most likely as he has so many stuffed toys around everywhere.

Other toys are needed too for kittens. Things that move when interacted with will keep a kitten entertained for a long time, as well as help them learn about cause and effect. A sheet of packing paper makes a fabulous toy for kittens. Seamus spends a lot of time dashing under the paper, pushing a small toy under it then pouncing on it, just having a great time playing with it. We distracted Seamus from harassing the other cats also by pushing on one of the motion toys, or making the packing paper move. Something moves, Seamus zooms over to it and jumps on it, as all kittens tend to do when they see something move. Which is why adult cats will often stay still when a rowdy kitten is around.

We have done a good job keeping Seamus from harassing the adult cats too much, plus they have gotten more assertive to let Seamus know that the ears down and hissing means Stop! by finally adding some smacks and tumbling Seamus over. The new problem is that Seamus has decided to try rough play fighting with we humans, mostly me, his "mommy". Except he has been treating me more like a chew toy. So, back to time outs for that.

Seamus in August through November 2005

6-8 Months old

By now, all the cats are doing fine with Seamus, except for Seamus still getting Minerva and Jolie hissy-growly at times. He still runs after them or tries to jump on them and they don't like that, especially Minerva. However, the girls can deal with hanging out near Seamus when it is clear he is in a calm mood, even sleep near him, which they flat out would not do at first. And, on occasion, Jolie is in the mood to play chase with Seamus, just not liking to get caught and jumped on. Seamus continues to be bold, swatting at Simon sometimes when Simon passes by, but after ignoring it a few times, Simon smacks him hard a few times rapidly in succession, and Seamus cuts it out for a while. He does realize when he really, really needs to stop. Simon is not a cat to keep on pestering.

Galen is still his best buddy, with Sumner a close second, but Sumner does not reciprocate the sentiments the way Galen does. Seamus grooms the heads, necks and inside the ears of both of them. It is partly being nice, partly with a feeling of dominance, but in a nice way. Galen loves it, and sometimes grooms Seamus back. Sumner sort of likes it, but since Seamus often finally gives a neck nip, it makes it not as enjoyable for Sumner. Seamus tries to neck nip Galen too sometimes after grooming Galen, but Galen does not get upset about it. He just holds Seamus down with a paw or tries playfully to nip Seamus' neck. Seamus continues to not get as rough with Galen as he does with Sumner, since when Seamus first came, Galen was weak and sick with chronic renal failure and serious anemia. Seamus will sleep snuggled up next to Galen or Sumner somewhat frequently, but it is always Seamus going to them.

Seamus still prefers his meals served to him where he is lying in wait. Sept. 05

Seamus cute early Oct. 05

Galen and Seamus Oct. 05

Minerva finally tolerates Seamus hanging out near her Oct. 05

Sumner and Seamus Oct. 05

Seamus and Sumner Nov. 05. Seamus grew more.

Galen and Seamus Nov. 05

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Seamus left this life on 10/15/08, having been killed by coyotes after he snuck out of the house one night, just as three coyotes came into our yard.