December 23, 1999....

Well, I've had Emily now for about five weeks. She's now able to "hold it" and stay in her crate from about 6:30 a.m., when I leave for work, until about 11:30, when either my mom or my aunt come over to feed her and let her out. They play with her for a while and then put her back in her crate until I get home from work. When I get home, she's pretty much free to cause whatever trouble she can inside the house (with occasional "breaks" back in the crate for my sanity). But she's pretty good . . . not too many "accidents." And whenever she does have an accident, it's always on the newspaper I have set right next to the back door, so I know she knows that she's supposed to do her duty outside.

Yesterday I spent a large part of the day knocking out a hole in my wall next to the French doors leading to the back yard, to install a dog door. Now, whenever I want her to go out to go to the bathroom, I quickly go outside myself through the French doors, closing the door behind me, thus making her come out through the dog door. She's still a little hesitant to use the dog door (and, I think, sometimes forgets it's even there for her to use!), but she's getting better at it. Hopefully, pretty soon she'll go out the door on her own initiative, whenever she needs to go to the bathroom. That's the goal, anyway!

Another new development. . . . . I made another trip to the Humane Society last Saturday and adopted a 2-month-old kitten! I picked her up this past Monday, after she had been spayed. I've named her Maggie. She has her own temporary room right now, the little spare bathroom downstairs, in which I've set up her bed, litter box (covered, so Emily won't get into it), scratch post, food and water dishes, etc. I've been slowly getting Emily and Maggie used to each other, by putting Maggie's crate next to Emily (either in her crate or out free) and letting them sniff and bark and hiss at each other. I've also left Emily in her crate and let Maggie explore the house. I haven't yet let them both out of their crates; I think I'll wait a while before I do that. Emily's been pretty good about it so far. She's excited about her new kitty pal.



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