After living with the squirt bottle for the last few days, I finally see some result. We left the gate down yesterday all day so the girls were free to come and go. Last night we gated our bedroom so Sadie would not get trapped in there and I only used the squirt bottle once. I got up to go to the bathroom early this morning and forgot to put the gate back so Sadie came to bed with us. She's so much heavier than Sassy and more aggressive in playing. Not moving your feet is a good idea when Sadie is on the bed, when she pounces it feels as if she weighs 50 pounds. She finally encouraged us to get up so we took her downstairs to eat and again blocked off the bedroom. We sat in the family room to read the paper, drink coffee and listen to the news and after twenty minutes of not hearing any noise (quiet children are doing something bad, right?) I went up to check on them. Sassy was laying in the bay window and Sadie was sitting on her blanket in the bay window. Neither seemed frightened or aggressive. Another twenty minutes and Sassy was in the window and Sadie was in the litter box. All was well.
I headed up to my craft room and only a few minutes later heard the dreaded growling and screaming. My husband got to the living room first and picked up the bottle but by then it was all over, Sassy was in the dining room and Sadie was under the table with the table skirt on it (something I added yesterday for her to hide under). Carl picked up the bottle and waited until Sassy made another run at the table but he's not quick enough to catch them at the second before impact. Just when we think we're making progress, we back slide but we're not giving up. Separately, they are both amazing animals and we love them both. Sometimes I think that Sassy just behaves because we're close. Or that Sadie provokes her some way that we can't see. I don't understand how they can be so placid and so close one minute and full of rage a minute later. It's now been over a month since we brought Sadie home, and you'd think things would be getting better.
We will continue doing what we have been doing, playing with them both, giving them plenty of love and not trusting Sassy as far as I can throw her. I am able to look over the short wall in the hallway on the top floor down to the living room so Sassy never sees the squirt coming. She really hates the water, though and takes off like a scalded cat. We're spending every spare moment monitoring them so we'll see who gets tired first - Sassy or us.