Good morning to you all from Orlando! First timer here, so if this is posted in the wrong place please feel free to move this or delete.

Some background information: I have tons for experience with dogs. Before I got my Jack Russell at the age of 12, I had done extensive research on dogs from the age of 5. I have to leave him behind with my mom when I left for college at the age of 21. My boyfriend and I were moving to a apartment with no yard for him to properly run in, and as we know, jackies need to run!

My boyfriend also had a dog for most of his life, a yellow lab that unfortunately passed away at the age of 7 from a brain aneurysm. A few years before he passed, his sister brought home a kitten that bonded with this dog immediately, and was devastated when he died. His mother didn't think things through and to try to fill the gaping hole brought home an aussie/beagle mix that was so full of energy, and his mother never exercised her. The dog beat up the cat to the point she'd live under the bed and wouldn't come out unless she absolutely had to eat, and that's when the dog would jump her.



A year and a few months after my boyfriend and I moved out to Orlando, his mother needed someone to watch the cat as she was moving out of state and wasn't sure how to take the cat all the way to NJ, but she took their abusive dog. Once I had the cat, I refused to give her back, and for the last 4 years she's been queen of the domicile.

We moved into a house in December, and so she's got her territory claimed. Yesterday we brought home a lab puppy, and this is what I need advice on. I am excellent with dogs and cats separately, but with introductions, I'm inexperienced. I've only had the solitary animals, and I do not want this cat thinking she is going to get beat up again. I did the correct thing and brought with us a blanket that the cat sleeps on so the dog would already know her scent. I also took the dog in the house on her leash to let her explore without getting out of hand, and the cat had that look of utter betrayal. The cat stood in our bedroom doorway, and I allowed them to see each other. The cat let the puppy get close enough to sniff, but gave a gentle hissing warning to not come closer. No yowls, and her tail didn't puff up too much. Just a slight puff. The dog took the hint and backed off, and we let the cat stay in our room with the door closed.

The cat has not been living under the bed, but instead laying on top. She doesn't seem pissed with us, just a little like "Dude, the hell man?" I've been smothering her with love (as much as my allergies allow), also transferring the dog's scent to her in the process and the puppy is all about meeting her, but gently (we picked the chill dog, not the jumpy/licky ones). Puppy hasn't forced anything. This morning the cat actually climbed on my chest while i was laying in bed and purred. She's currently sleeping in a happy position, but I'm still wondering how we go about introducing them. I am fully aware it will take time, but my boyfriend doesn't seem to understand it could really take months for them to adjust.

The cat wasn't eating, so I brought her food in my room and she scarfed down what she could, then came back up on the bed to sleep. I just wanted to get some verification that this is normal, and if anyone could share their pet introduction stories so I could get some ideas. Puppy's training is already going well and she mostly understands "no" and "leave it" already. She's also 11 weeks old, so actively teething (got her plenty of chewy toys that she loves). Thanks in advance to anyone that responds as every introduction is different, and the cat doesn't seem mad at us at all, just very wary. She's also 9 years old if that helps!