The first day of opening the study door to let the kittens explore the rest of the house and mix freely with the ginger cat went OK. After an afternoon of mingling and exploring the kittens are now safely shut in again for the night and there has been no scratching or biting, while Our Ginger still seems to be speaking to us. Compared to disaster scenarios in which Our Ginger ran screaming into the garden and wasn't seen again for two days, or attacked one of the kittens (bearing in mind he has caught three squirrels in as many days and eaten their heads) things have gone pretty well. There's a house where the creatures meet. I guess I like it fine, so far.
Our Ginger seemed more worried about the encounter than the energetic kitten and Mr Fluffy, who both advanced on him as curiosity trumped anxiety. I suppose that they did see lots of other adult cats at the rescue centre. Vacuum cleaners, washing machines and strange humans have all come as a bit of a shock, strange cats not so. Our Ginger hissed, not entirely convincingly, and Mr Fluffy hissed back, but he and the energetic kitten did both rub noses with Our Ginger. The energetic kitten then began to follow him about, which bugged Our Ginger for a while until he gave up and went to sleep, whereupon the energetic kitten lay down a yard from him, and Our Ginger relaxed so much he rolled on to his back. It was a hot afternoon, but even so. Do kittens go in for role models or hero worship? They appear fascinated by Our Ginger's tail. They like tails generally, and Our Ginger's is much bigger than theirs and very mobile.
After a while Our Ginger had had enough, and we let him out through the inner glass door, but he only went as far as the doorstep rather than disappearing off to the far reaches of the garden in a huff, and later on he ate his extra biscuits we'd put in the outer hall for him. And he seemed to get the hang of being let in and out, which is an imposition for an old boy used to having his own cat door.
The energetic kitten and Mr Fluffy amused themselves by running as fast as they could from one end of the house to the other, until they got tired and retreated to their base in the study. They went upstairs as well, negotiating the stairs with great aplomb for animals which had almost certainly never seen stairs before in their lives. There was some pathetic wailing when the energetic kitten discovered he was alone in the upstairs corridor. Meanwhile the thoughtful kitten made a slow and methodical examination of the downstairs sitting room, and practised sitting in one of the cat beds in the hall. Mr Fluffy found the unfinished remains of Our Ginger's lunch and ate them.
The kitchen window remained closed just in case they managed to get up to the the worktops, though I don't think they can jump that far yet, and with the inner glass door being shut as well the house became distinctly warm. We have to keep this up, and the letting in and out of Our Ginger, for another month.