1.  It’s been quite a week. Again.

2.  One of these days maybe I’ll stop noticing.

3.  We’ve become a household of four harmonious fur babies and it’s glorious.

4.  When Seven came home we kept him in isolation. Well, except for that one time she spotted Phoebe outside the door and hissed but we’ll give that a by.

5.  He spent his days hanging out with one of us in the game room.

6.  Bear took him to her room at night where he has plenty of play space and a snuggly sleeping buddy.

7.  And that was it. For fourteen days straight we whisked Seven between the two rooms, dodging curious dogs and a cat who sniffs out canned food at twenty paces.

8.  Why fourteen days, you ask? That seems a bit long but discovering Seven had fleas set us back a bit. There was no way I was swapping scent items while dealing with that.

9.  When he’d settled in and the other animals had adjusted to a new scent in the house it was time for phase two. That’s when this guy saved me.

10.  I was looking for explicit advice on how to introduce cats. None of that broad cats are territorial, you’ll have to take it slow stuff, I needed step by step directions for success.

11.  Was it a guarantee? Nope, but I knew I didn’t have any expertise in the area so at least I could listen to someone who did.

12.  I stayed 99% true to the plan for Seven and Mia’s introduction and I’m a believer.

13.  Let’s just say a key component was a baby gate with a blanket tossed over it that could swiftly cut off visual contact if things got out of hand.

14.  Was there hissing? Yep. Probably a good week of it. Mia would eat her dinner in the hall while watching Seven on the other side of the gate then wander over close, eyeball the kitten, and hiss.

15.  She added in a little growl/rumble for effect. It was…interesting, but Seven seemed unperturbed. Eventually they’d even poke their paws through the gate to pop each other.

16.  The first time Seven came out for a few hours I put the dogs in the bedroom. Mia had adapted to Seven in the game room, but having him roam free in her house? Well.

17.  I knew we were okay once her eyes stopped dilating as she tracked him across the room. Then Mia stopped hulking up and started playing with him. We were home free.

18.  Speaking of the dogs, that was a whole other thing. I got some advice here about how to introduce dogs and kittens so at least I wasn’t flying blind.

19.  We started with Gracie. I still can’t decide if that was the right move – she’s biggest and therefore the most intimidating to a three pound kitten but she’s kind of a gentle giant. Plus it made Phoebe look like a reasonable size once she came around.

20.  Basically I brought the dogs one at a time to the baby gate to meet Seven. What struck me about Gracie was how still she went while he was checking her out.

21.  When he spotted her enormous head peering over the baby gate Seven arched and hissed (side note: if you’ve never heard a kitten hiss it’s really funny) which bothered Gracie not one little bit. She just stood there, tail wagging steadily, while he took it in.

22.  Eventually Gracie kind of slid down to the floor so her face would be on his eye level and kept her snout at the gate. He got to sniff her, she got to sniff him, and when he slid a paw out to pop her nose it was all good.

23.  Phoebe was even easier. Have I mentioned how much cat energy she puts off? This dog was built for kittens.

24.  She was perfectly happy sitting with me outside the room getting praised and loved on for simply being her. Cue gentle sniffing through the gate and kitty popping Phoebe’s nose – done and done.

25.  We spent a good while doing these interactions, more time than the kids expected. I’m guessing they were starting to wonder if Seven would ever be allowed out.

26.  One night Bear and I were talking in the family room when her eyes went wide. I glanced over my shoulder and it took a good ten seconds to register the sight of Seven creeping through the dining room.

27.  That stinker decided he wanted out, scaled the baby gate, and started exploring.

28.  The next day I brought Seven out for real. Gracie spent the morning in the bedroom but by the afternoon even she was out and about.

29.  Patience isn’t my strong suit but boy did those weeks pay off in the end.

30.  Phoebe continuously proves her kitten love. During his first couple of rowdy days rollicking through the family room Seven fell off the armchair and onto that sleeping dog TWICE and she just rolled with it.

31.  Patience of a saint, I tell ya.

32.  So that’s consumed a great deal of energy over the last few weeks. Seven’s still on this bonus feeding schedule but other than that things have fallen into place.

33.  We had a quiet Thanksgiving at home yesterday. BrightSide made delicious turkey while I whipped up some mashed potatoes and green beans.

34.  Pop that cranberry sauce out of the can and voila! Late afternoon dinner was served.

35.  I was the teensiest bit sad not to have my mom’s stuffing. First time it wasn’t on the table in years.

36.  It’s a bear to make, though, and seeing as the kids don’t like it I figured I didn’t need to eat half a casserole dish of bread.

37.  It was low key family time and that was nice, in it’s own way.

38.  It’ll be better to have things back to normal next year. Fingers crossed.

39.  I guess it’s time to start pulling out Christmas decorations. That usually cheers me up but 2020’s been full of surprises so who knows what this year will bring.

40.  If I were a betting girl, though, I’d bet it’ll bring a kitten climbing the tree.