For those who are wondering about Astrid, I can write that she has not had her kittens yet. We are still waiting impatiently for the big event. Her foster-guardian has seen and felt the babies move inside the mother-to-be, and estimates that there are five. That would be a large number for such a young female cat to have, but certainly within the bounds of possibility. Astrid has spent a couple of uncomfortable hours in the early mornings, due to her approaching time, which surely can’t be far off now. In the meanwhile, she is allowing - and enjoying - belly rubs, pets, and strokes along her soft-furred back. Then she remembers that she has to protect herself and hisses. Such ferocity isn’t quite credible anymore. I will keep everyone apprised of developments.
And back in the Cosy Apartment, Dabney’s integration is progressing very slowly, though not unsatisfactorily. He sneaked out of the library last evening while all the others were dozing after dinner. He crept through the assemblage without much bother, until one and then another woke and noticed his presence. Then he slunk back to the library as though about to be ambushed. He doesn’t know he’s not, so one cannot blame him.
Since Dabs is reluctant to come out and meet the others, I am leaving the library door open, under my supervision. I dislike having his safe-room violated by the residents, but he needs to see them, and see them behaving normally and without threat. I allowed Percival, the most inquisitive and forward of the lot, to go into the library. He ate some of Dabney’s food and lie on the blanket on the couch, and then left. I was quite pleased at his restraint. I think such actions will do Dabney good - despite the fact that the intrusion caused him to resemble a movie villain who was about to cut someone’s throat. Just before bedtime, with the library door still open, he was about to come out and explore, but had the misfortune to run into Perce and Neville simultaneously. That was too much for him and he retreated.
Nonetheless, I am optimistic about his eventual integration. I think the trouble is that, unlike Percival, who was indifferent to other cats, and Imogen, who merely disliked other cats, Dabney is afraid of the others. Considering the scratches and scrapes he suffered outside, I can’t blame him for his fear. But the Cosy Apartment has a good, likeable group of felines, and I don’t think Dabs will be long in figuring that out.