So, in order to make the introduction between Jonah and Barney go as smoothly as possible, we've been following all the recommendations. Letting Barney explore at his pace in controlled environments, introducing each other to their scents and sounds, showing love and praise and reassurance to both when the other is moving around. . .
We planned to slowly bring Barney downstairs while Jonah was crated, so that he could see and hear Jonah in a safer environment and get used to Jonah's frantic yips and desperate pleas for friendship in dog language that don't translate so well to cat language. And then eventually, after lots of praise and reassurance and a few visits, let Jonah out on leash . . . you get the idea.
That was the plan.
Things were going so well. I went upstairs for an hour and let Barney free but refused to bring over to me. If he wanted pets, he was going to have to navigate it to me, which he eventually did. We spent a fun forty minutes playing together and cuddling. Then I came downstairs to watch some of the Spurs game and left him out upstairs to explore, which he did. He got onto the rocking chair and then onto the ledge.
What you have to understand is that the master bedroom overlooks the living room and there is a ledge and shutters. We tied the shutters closed after Prince indicated a willingness to consider a suicidal leap. Barnaby thought the tie was fun. DH was concerned, but I reassured him I wasn't concerned, because the small opening if he pushed them outwards was too small for him to squeeze through and he could balance on the ledge in a way Prince couldn't.
I was wrong.
Out of nowhere, there is a thud next to me and I look over to see a very startled (but perfectly fine) Barnabas looking around him and in the next second, a blur as Jonah sees him and realizes the object of his dearest wishes is right there, OH MY GOD IT'S A CAT BE MY FRIEND HI HI HI HI KTTY!
I'll leave you to imagine what two black streaks, one hissing, one barking joyfully are like.
We grabbed Jonah, and Dh held him while I approached the unhappy kitten. I spoke soothingly and stroked him and then picked him up and loved on him and he relaxed and started purring. We let them see each other, Jonah hopeful and excited and Barnabas tense and wary, but trusting.
Then Jonah broke free and bounded for me.
Which made Barnabas dig every claw he had into various parts of my flesh (ripping my shirt) in order to launch himself as far away from the loud beast as he possibly could. Which was pretty far, but holy fuck that HURT. My left boob will never be the same, I fear.
We got Jonah into his crate and cajoled Barney away from his hiding spot. He sat in my lap for awhile as I petted him and reassured him and he stared menacingly at Jonah and Jonah barked in hope and frustration from inside his crate. Eventually I took Barney back upstairs but he gave me nasty looks when I sat him on the bed. I took him into the bathroom and he calmed down. I bribed him with toys and he was interested, but I had to call a stop when he accidentally pawed through the feather and sunk a claw in under my thumbnail.
All in all, another instance in the best laid plans category.
I can't wait until Wednesday, when the two of them get to ride next to each other for three hours on the night-time drive home for Thanksgiving fun. What the fuck was I thinking when I agreed to go home? Seriously?