Friends, say hello to Mano (the white one with black spots) and Nina (the one all black on top, white on the bottom). They are just over 6 weeks old now, and we are absolutely loving them. These little kittens have, without a doubt, been the best thing possible for the hole in our hearts left by Parceiro's death.
We took the kittens home at 5 weeks, due to what we deemed iffy circumstances at the farm where they were being raised, and they have adapted beautifully to our little home. We kept Mano and Nina in isolation for the first week so they could acquire the smell of our flat and have a chance to grow a bit before being introduced to big cat Pria.
Two days ago, we took the plunge and put everyone together for the first time. We had low expectations (from the internet, and previous disastrous cat introductions, we learned that Tolerance was a reasonable hope for the cats old and new), and were frankly prepared for the worst. My mom was predicting a pissing fest, the result of all the 3-cat homes we ever had while I was a child. My dad was slightly more optimistic, but noted that it took their 3 cats quite a while before they stopped hissing and spitting.
In fact, the first moments were a bit rough. Mano was much more agressive than we'd have predicted, and hissed quite a bit in Pria's face. Pria, for her part, was not amused, and got out the old pata for a few retalliatory swipes. Nina, poor thing, is the true definition of a scaredy cat, and just froze in her tracks when confronted by Pria, tail puffed out to the maximum. For most of the afternoon, Pria just lay on the table observing the seemingly offensive intruders. Rico and I were satisfied, as at least they weren't fighting (or pissing).
What we could never have expected, however, was that it would only take 1.5 days for the kittens and Pria to get on splendidly. Last night, Rico called me excitedly into the living room where he'd found our big Gato Preto affectionately licking and cleaning Mano and Nina. Pria was playing the role of Momma Cat for the first time since Parceiro came home from Day 1 at the vet. It made me cry, from happiness, as well as from the realization that Parceiro is truly gone.
I admit I had a good cry last night missing Parceiro. He will never be replaced, and we know that. But it is wonderful to have Mano and Nina, and Pria is undoubtedly much happier as well. We sensed she had a bit of a hole in her heart as well, and it seems that was the case given how amazingly she's taken to the kittens.
Tonight we are making pizza, and watching tv on the bed as a happy family - Patrão, Patroa, Pria, and the two Gatos Pequenos.
Mano and Nina on their first day at home on our verandah (5 weeks) Enjoying some onion-free baby food. Not quite used to sticky foods yet, so there was a lot of lip-licking involved This afternoon, lounging on the bed. They have grown so much! Making pizza dough while wearing the apron my mom gave me for Christmas (I obviously didn't wait for the appropriate day to open my gift!)