One month “Gotcha Day” kitten update

They've changed so much!

Last weekend marked Willow and Zelda's one month "Gotcha Day" and I can't believe how much they've changed. Of course they've grown. They've almost doubled in size from when we first met them in early January, but the biggest changes are behind their inquisitive eyes.

Zelda (the black kitten) came to us as a love bug already. She was trusting and affectionate from day one. That hasn't changed. She loves to greet new people and hop on their laps for a snuggle. For Zelda, the biggest change shows in her dominance status.

Zelda considered herself the alpha female when she came to our house. She made sure to take her fill of attention and food, pushing her sister Willow to the side. She wanted to be the queen of her house and expected those around her to obey.

Well, Zelda's expectation didn't quite live up to reality in her new home with a canine big sister. Let's just say there was a lot of hissing and swatting on Zelda's part during their introductions. Our older boxer just stood there with her nub wiggling and her tongue hanging out while Zelda tried to put the dog in her place. Our boxer never quite understood that all that noise and those thumps to her nose meant Zelda didn't want to play.

As the days passed, however, the hissing slowed, then stopped. Instead of whacks to the dog's nose, Zelda sat out of reach and gave the dog the evil eye. Now, a month later both the dog and Zelda will go nose to nose and drink from the water bowl at the same time. Definite progress. I'm still not positive Zelda likes her canine sister. I'd say Zelda's tolerating her, but the positive outcome is that Zelda's no longer demanding everything first. She's a part of the family, not the ruler of it.

Now, Willow (the striped kitten)...all I can say is that I never expected the timid kitten we adopted to turn into the inquisitive, affectionate, and brave kitten she is today. For the first couple days, we kept the kittens in a safe room, aka the bathroom, as they adjusted to us, along with all the new smells and sounds of the house. While Zelda played with us, Willow watched from the back corner of her box. No amount of coaxing could get her out.

I resorted to taking naps on the bathroom floor so she could get used to my smell and realize I wasn't a threat. By the third day, she started to venture out for more than food, water, and the litterbox. She started to play with us. Slowly but surely, her confidence grew. She stopped running from us when we held a hand out and instead let us pet her.

Over the weeks since, Willow's started purring, sleeping on our beds, jumping up on our laps, and letting us pick her up. She's been the first one to try out new toys, the first one to explore new rooms, and the first one to make friends with the dog. I'm definitely in awe of the kitten she's blossomed into.

One month into this kitten adventure...I feel blessed. I love our new furbabies!

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