Zipper and Zoom: Zipper and Zoom

May 5, 2020 at 7:59 pm (Cat pics)

Zoom’s health continues to improve and she’s eating a little more, which is making me feel better day by day too. She’s causing more trouble now, chewing on electrical cords and trying to steal food from both us and Zipper.

This is Louisette trying to draw her away from the heater cord:

And here’s Zoom doing her very best to steal Chris’s dinner:

So today we were using our disciplining techniques a lot for the first time—that is, saying “No” in a deep (not loud or it could hurt her) voice, tapping her on the nose with one finger (it makes cats blink and they hate it, but it doesn’t cause pain) and often physically moving her away from whatever she shouldn’t be getting into.

It’s not a fast process, because it’s not a harsh punishment. So generally what happens is she gets told “No” anywhere from 5-20 times, and when the human gets sick of the process they move her onto something else fun (possibly in another room).

So far, luckily, we haven’t had to truly intervene between the cats (except for the way we’re still taking their contact very very slowly, and waiting for them to tell us when they want more). Here’s Zoom approaching Zipper:

Zipper gave her a warning hiss, and she backed off. This is helpful, and not just in the short term. It shows that Zoom is 100% willing to let Zipper be the boss and isn’t going to challenge her. That will suck all the tension out of moments like this, and will probably lead to a real friendship instead of one where they’re constantly trying to one-up one another.

Fingers crossed!

One of the funny things about cats is that when they’re introduced I find (at least with Zipper) that they echo one another’s body language very strongly. As I write this, Zoom is curled up dozing on my lap, and Zipper is curled up dozing on a nearby chair. Dozing in the same room is a great sign anyway (no one can doze if they’re afraid), but all the more so when they’re clearly taking their social cues from one another.

Here’s Zipper approaching Zoom:

Zipper is actually showing signs of wanting to genuinely play with Zoom, which is surprising given her sedentary lifestyle… but unsurprising because Zoom is a GREAT cat toy. She’s small, fluffy, nonthreatening, and oh so life-like.

Zipper’s started stalking Zoom, which is scary to watch but Zipper’s youthful training is helping me out here, because she is not the kind of cat that will actually claw or bite another family member. She’s literally never fought another cat, and I’m 99% certain she won’t ever actually hurt Zoom. But of course I’m still supervising them extremely carefully. I predict a lot of running around at fast speeds, up and down couches, with almost no physical contact. And of course a lot more neurotic staring at Zoom from Zipper.

It’s fun to see the playful side of Zipper, even if it’s scary too.

Zipper has also been doing the ‘slow blink’ that Zoom has been doing for a while. It’s another thing she wouldn’t do if she was still terrified of Zoom—plus it’s a way for cats to show respect for one another. So although Zipper is definitely going to be dominant, she’s also willing to meet Zoom halfway (or maybe one-third of the way?)

Like most animals, cats find direct eye contact very threatening. The slow blink shows non-threatening interest.

I look forward to seeing how they go tonight when the kids are in bed and they can focus on each other (and Zipper is more sociable in the evenings, which presumably applies to cat family members as well as humans).

Now for some gratuitous cuteness:



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