Batman is getting more and more time alone with Patches unsupervised. He's super happy after he gets dinner, so I let him in then and another period (or two) in the evening. When I go back to let/get him out, Patches has gone back to her box. I'll need to film them to capture what they are up to but here's what I have seen when I am in the room together:
First, Batman waits outside door to be left in. Patches hangs out. I'll play with them both with a toy, dragging it near door. As soon as I stand up and touch the latch, she walks into her box.
This is consistently Patches' stance when we first enter the room. She sits upright a bit uncomfortably. Batman darts in to say hi, then paces the room a bit sniffing, playing, then will eventually go back to say hi to her or he'll just flop down and relax.
Patches watches intently, now lowered.
Later on, she usually goes into comfortable cat loaf. She doesn't stretch out fully comfortable when I'm in the room but she will nap with me there and put her head on her paws. Cat loaf:
When Batman goes to say hi, I'm pretty sure he's trying to woo her... he'll chew around her neck, lick her. And guess what? She will lick back and she looks pretty happy. She WILL still get ticked off though. He'll try to mount her... she'll growl... she'll leave the box, he'll chase her... But I noticed the other night that when she left the box with him after her, she flopped down, belly up and then actually lifted her butt up in the air.......
So... I'm thinking she actually may be showing him receptivity.... I want to cry 'but she's your MOM!!!!'
They are both fixed and yep related, but it's either just a natural thing or him trying to be dominant? Not that she's a dominant kitty....
Here is how Batman lets me know he's ready to leave her room
In that picture, you can see the blankets on either side of screen. They both basically sleep there on their respective sides.
So! I think we're getting REALLY close to having them be ok to be together. It's going to be hard with food since Patches is not a huge eater and Batman needs regulated.
I like that she's safe in the room and I know she can't sneak outside through a door or get hurt somewhere in the house or whatever. I like how safe she is isolated, so it's gonna be hard letting her out - but! I think it's really almost time, even if she and I aren't perfect. She will consistently sniff my hand and she will sometimes walk around the room when I'm scooping. She's doing GREAT. I'm not sure if it'll continue when we let her out though. She seems to take a step forward at random times at her choosing. Everything will change when she's out and about I think (but I'm thinking if she's not in her box, she'll find a new safe territory.)
So I'm still a little on the fence about when is perfect for Patches/myself to let her out, but the Batman/Patches dynamic is SO much better.
I don't think I need to rush the 'when' we let her out so it won't be tomorrow, for example.
But it's starting to feel more right.
Oh! Also. It's so cool how she learns from him. Batman likes hanging out in those nylon tubes but she's always avoided them and been scared. He was spending a lot of time in them during the visit I was in with the camera. As soon as I left, she actually walked right over and sniffed and stuck her head in the tube! I was shocked. He really teaches her.
She also is waiting less and less time for me to leave before she leaves box. Sometimes I only have 1 foot out the room and she's walking towards the door!
Edit: And every night she cries for him (we assume) at her door in her very odd cat meow/call. She makes some WEIRD vocalizations. But we can only assume she's calling for Batman.