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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mia Meets Bazinga

I brought Bazinga home on a Sunday afternoon. As Bazinga and I drove the distance from St. Louis I thought about how I would introduce Bazinga to Mia. Most books or articles would tell you to introduce new animals slowly. I did that before. It took Sierra forever to accept Wickett and then Mia. Sierra was not the coward that Mia is, she was just a cranky old lady cat. Mia needed a very specific kind of introduction or we wouldn't see her for a year.

I thought about it very carefully. Mia was about six times bigger than Bazinga, but I knew she wouldn't see that and would be terrified of him. She still thinks she can fit in a pop box, she has no concept of size. Mia is not a bright cat. Nature was not kind to her. Luckily, she does not have to fend for herself in the wild. Though she favors herself the mighty huntress, birds scare her, too. She will sneak up, and stalk a bird. She will watch it carefully, and then when she gets five feet away, she stops dead in her tracks. The bird sits on the fence mocking her. It will move down the fence just a little, Mia in "hot pursuit." The bird stops, Mia stops, the bird laughs.

This is what I had to work with. I decided tough love was what it was going to take, or we'd never see Mia again. Tough love is what she got. We were still in the apartment, which had a very tiny bathroom. Mia also has a problem with bladder control when she gets very frightened. Knowing this I developed my battle plan. I would clear the bathroom of anything that could get ruined by cat pee, or broken. I apologized to Bazinga before hand. He was clueless about what was going to happen, but so was Mia. I got home. I herded Mia into the bathroom. I brought Bazinga, still in his carrier into the bathroom and shut the door. I let Mia sniff at the carrier. She hissed and tried to run away, exactly what I expected. I let Bazinga out. He popped out with normal puppy excitement. Bebopped up to Mia, utterly terrified, Mia growled, hissed and clobbered him. (Mia is de-clawed, no damage would be done.) She hid behind me. That's when I left the bathroom. I let them have it out. One of them would come out dominant over the other and that would be that. Bad noises were heard but no one got hurt.

To my amazement, it worked. And low and behold, Mia came out the dominant one. I was very proud of her. She did hide for a while, but Bazinga stayed out of her way. By the time we moved into the new house Mia was bossing him around pretty good. She staked out her space, he gave it to her. He was afraid of her for a while, but now they are playing together, (when they think no one is looking). It took Mia nine months to accept a baby that could only wiggle and make noise. She has already accepted a dog that can chase her around. Yes, she is short one more life due to the experience in the bathroom, but she came out a much "braver" girl.

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