In case you don't remember, I drove home for Christmas last year (TN to MA) solely so Claire and I could spend the holidays together. I stopped at my cousins' house in VA to join them for the last leg of the long drive, since they were heading there too.
Unfortunately, their cat Victor wasn't such a fan of Claire. He was relatively indifferent to me (as most cats are), but he made it very clear that it was HIS house and Claire didn't belong. One quick swat to her face with his paw, and she avoided him like the plague for the rest of our time at their house. She wouldn't even enter the room if he was in it; she would peek in and then sit at the door, keeping one eye on him the whole time.
Fast forward to last week. Claire and I went to hang out with Carrie and Tucker who share their house with their beloved Alli Gator - who is, of course, a cat. We are determined to get them to be able to tolerate each other, though we are very obviously still at the beginning stages. Claire saw Alli instantly and was intrigued and on alert. Alli, on the other hand, was very wise and hid under the couch. We got to the point where Carrie could hold Alli so that Claire could sniff her, but Claire alternated between shaking from pure adrenaline, barking, and doing play-bows. We still aren't quite sure (and I don't think Claire is sure either) if her instinct is to eat Alli or play with Alli, but I'm hopeful that we can teach her that cats are friends and not food. Lots of positive reinforcement training and lots of baby steps!
I love this picture, by the way! But poor Alli looks like she is absolutely miserable...