The resident cat’s heart gradually opens up to embrace the presence of the “strangest kitten he has ever encountered” when their human mom brings home a new dog.
We love following fosterers online, happy to scroll through pictures of adorable kittens and their “glow ups”. So when a feline fosterers frequent posts were suddenly interrupted by pictures of an unusual kitten, people took notice. Because it wasn’t another cute kitten being saved. It was Theo, a black and white husky mix puppy! When his new mom, Lauren, saw him at the shelter, he was scared. And she knew the time was right to bring him home in the Arlington, Virginia area.
It was a rare winter break in kitten season and this dog melted her heart instantly.
“When you know, you know. You know? And we knew with Theo the second we laid eyes on him,” Lauren explained.
What Would Kolbe Think of Theo?
But waiting at home was the resident Kolbe, a black and white rescued cat who is the sweetest uncle of all the foster kittens. Coincidentally, one of Kolbe’s favorites is Chloe, a smaller black and white cutie.
How would Kolbe of “Kolbe’s Kitten Club” react to life with a small Husky, Pomeranian mix called a Pomsky? It’s a great example of how to introduce a friendly dog to a cat. As with introducing any pets for the first time, it can be hair-raising and requires patience and planning.
But looking back, at three months old, Lauren suspected Kolbe might be a “puppy-kitten.” And now he suddenly had a real husky brother! Maybe it was all meant to be?
“See why we call Kolbe our puppy-kitten? I am convinced he has some husky in him.”
Kolbe’s First Reaction to Theo
Introducing a dog to a cat for the first time is always incredibly tense and has to be done very slowly. At first, Lauren allowed Theo to walk through the room on a leash, hoping Kolbe wouldn’t be too nervous.
“He did amazing!! He was wary, certainly, but he didn’t run away and he hasn’t shown any signs that having Theo here is causing him stress overall. We’ll keep taking it step by slow step, but who knows – we might just need to change the name to Kolbe’s Kitten and Puppy Club!”
Separated by a gate, they could see each other from a safe distance. But after several weeks, Kolbe gradually started feeling confident enough to cautiously come downstairs near the “weirdest kitten he’s ever seen.”
From there, the confidence gradually grew, and then Kolbe took over Theo’s bed. It was just a matter of time.
“The cat stealing the dog’s bed – a tale as old as time!”
Overnight Level Up!
By the end of the following month, Kolbe and Theo’s relationship leveled up. Almost overnight, they seemed to finally get it, as the cat was confident to hold his ground. And Theo learned not to go overboard as he would with another rambunctious puppy. He would prance up to the kitty playfully but also gave him the space he needed, aware that cats need more space. Good boy, Theo!
“After more than a month of slow desensitization, training, and lots and lots patience and treats, we’ve leveled up. It’s finally happening – our dog and our cat are starting to figure each other out!”
Let the Games Begin!
The black and white odd couple continued gradually making strides. Almost two months later, they leveled up again and that’s when things got really fun!
Now the games really began as they began playing together through the house like kids.
“They’re starting to play together ”
When not tenderly caring for all the foster babies, Kolbe takes play breaks with his buddy. Lauren describes Theo as “sunshine and spirit and mischief and pure joy” and is so happy he’s part of the family. And Kolbe has fully adjusted to life with the weirdest kitten he’s ever seen.
“Brothers from other mothers ”