I'll begin by noting that this clan of furballs does indeed have one particular inhabitant that goes against the grain of harmony. And that would be...
I absolutely love all of my furballs dearly, but when it comes to the arrangement of my home I will admit that I make Rosie's happiness and health my main priority. She has been by my side for 21 years, and I grew up with her. After the loyalty she has shown me I never want her to feel as if she is being pushed aside, and I never want her to suffer any ailments as a result of undue stress.
So, how do I keep Rosie happy and healthy in the midst of so many young hooligan furballs that she doesn't even like? Well, Rosie does make it a bit easy for me by the fact that there are only two places in the house where she prefers to spend her time -- the living room and my bedroom. So, when Rosie is in either of those rooms all other animals are kept out or at least incapable of reaching Rosie. Making this task even easier is the fact there is actually one particular couch in the living room where Rosie spends most of her day. As Rosie eats and snoozes her way through the day on that couch, the other animals are denied access to the area with a variety of makeshift walls and barriers.
|Rosie on her beloved couch. Note the food bowls, toys, and blankets and beds adorning her couch. She even has access to a litter box not far from the couch.|
Aside from Rosie, though, there has been good success integrating everyone into one big, happy, furry family. Of course, in getting Astrid, Evan, and the kittens all used to each other, their first encounters were from behind closed doors, when only noses and ears were used to make initial acquaintances. After that, instead of doors there were cages and baby gates and other such minimal barriers, so that the unfamiliar furballs could see each other but so that there could be no injurious fights in the case that someone felt uncomfortable around their new friends.
|Evan and Astrid getting acquainted. Part of their introduction process involved cages, with one locked in a cage and the other investigating from outside the cage.|
|It may be hard to tell in this blurry picture, but Evan is reaching through the cage to pat Astrid on the head.|
|This one is very blurry, but in it the four very young kittens are in a cage with Astrid sniffing them and essentially begging to meet them.|
|Astrid and Evan have become good friends. They usually get along very well, although sometimes Evan gets a little too cuddly for Astrid and she has to walk away from his advances.|
|Astrid and Evan playing. The rule is that, because Astrid is so much bigger, she has to lie down when playing with the cats. She usually does pretty well obeying this rule. Usually.|
|All hail the Queen.|