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Old April 3rd, 2009, 03:18 PM
bluequeen bluequeen is offline
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I think this is the plan....

So in less then a month I'm moving in with the bf..he has a 15 year old cat that's indoor and outdoor and I have my four year old indoor cat. My cat currently lives with another one and of course his cat comes across different cats outside so they aren't completely unsocialized.
Unfortunately due to the size of the house, rooms etc we don't really have the option to do the seperate cats in different rooms etc.
When me and my current roommate had introduced a third cat a while back mine and hers had a HUGE blow out, I'm pretty sure the biggest mistake we made was breaking them up when they were fighting because they never got along after that and her cat ended up having to go to her moms. Mine was also not fixed at the time so more territorial then most.

So my gf who is a vet tech said literally take the two cats stick them in a neutral room and leave them for a day. The bathroom is basically the only room in the house the bf's cat doesn't really go in which I'm thinking may work because atleast one can jump up on the counter if they want to. She did this with her two cats and they completely love eachother now...

Any one ever done this? Just let them get it over with. I think about my horse and it's really no different then when we introduce horses, put them in a field and they sort it all out pretty quickly..
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Old April 3rd, 2009, 03:58 PM
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When me and my current roommate had introduced a third cat a while back mine and hers had a HUGE blow out, I'm pretty sure the biggest mistake we made was breaking them up when they were fighting because they never got along after that
I think the biggest mistake was letting it get to a big blow out in the first place. It really sets a bad precedent for the relationship and I doubt breaking up the fight was the problem.

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So my gf who is a vet tech said literally take the two cats stick them in a neutral room and leave them for a day.
I don't agree with this at all. If serious fighting results, and it very well could if either cat feels like it can't escape, then there isn't much hope that their relationship will ever be cordial. Slow introductions really are the best option, so maybe you could keep your kitty in the bathroom for a bit, then swap so that your cat can explore while your bf's cat is in the bathroom and they get used to each other's scent.

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I think about my horse and it's really no different then when we introduce horses, put them in a field and they sort it all out pretty quickly..
Cats aren't horses. They have a very different social structure and very good memories about traumatic incidents. Please don't let them "sort it out" on their own.

A link to read on introducing cats: http://www.catsinternational.org/art...roduction.html
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Old April 3rd, 2009, 05:08 PM
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I agree with sugarcatmom that the gradual method is best. What are the sexes of the two cats? What is the age difference? And are they fixed?
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Old April 3rd, 2009, 05:25 PM
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If that is your plan.........

then this may be your outcome......

numerous cat fights
vet visits to "fix" the results of those fights with stitches and antibiotics
possibly not using litter boxes
very aggressive behaviour
depression
withdrawal
stress leading to numerous diseases leading to more vet visits...........

That was for the cats. I am sure I missed some.
For you there may be -

sleepless nights
scratches and bites
fights between you and your bf
less money because it has been spent on your vet visits.

The only way to introduce cats is to do it gradually as SCM has stated. You can not put two cats in a room and let them settle it. I can't believe a vet tech would tell you that. These cats have a great difference in ages. One is just entering his "20s" and the other is starting to enter his golden years. Not to mention the older one is indoor/outdoor. You have to be concerned about the diseases he brings in from being outside. Just my
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Old April 6th, 2009, 01:03 PM
bluequeen bluequeen is offline
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I don't have the space to accomodate a long term introduction so if someone has a faster way to do it I'd be open to another way.
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Old April 6th, 2009, 01:11 PM
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I don't have the space to accomodate a long term introduction so if someone has a faster way to do it I'd be open to another way.
Do you have a bedroom with a door that closes?
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Old April 6th, 2009, 01:37 PM
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I think about my horse and it's really no different then when we introduce horses, put them in a field and they sort it all out pretty quickly..
As was mentioned, a cat has a very different way of handling new things in their environment.

I guess everyone does things differently, but even with our horses I certainly do not put them all in the same field and let them sort it out. We always ensure that the new horse has a fence between them so that they can say their introductions and still have boundaries. I think that's really important for any species of animals - as they ALL have territorial instinct and some form of heiarchy.
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Old April 6th, 2009, 02:05 PM
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When I foster cats I never let them within the cat pack until they scent each other through a door. I then add in one cat at a time so that they become accustomed to one another.

Letting them sort it out is a myth. You may be sorting out some huge vet bills by doing so.

Take the time to let them get acquainted through their scents. Everything should be done under supervision.

As Bailey - my horse was never just thrown in with a new pack of horses. The pecking order can be ruthless and hearbreaking. It's just not right.
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Old April 6th, 2009, 02:22 PM
bluequeen bluequeen is offline
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Originally Posted by sugarcatmom View Post
Do you have a bedroom with a door that closes?
Of course but between the boyfriend and I there will be alot of going in and out. And there isn't a room in the house that isn't the other cats 'territory'. It's a small house. I can put one in the room and let the other wonder and then switch it after a couple hours I just can't do it for a long period of time.

And as far as the horses go everyone does it differently, no we don't throw a horse into a herd to fend itself off but we'll put one with the new one and then switch another with the new one etc..In my 18 years of riding I have yet to see any issues with this way. And I would think that cats are the same in respect to horses that there is going to be a hierarchy, one of them is going to be superior then the other, it's a matter of them sorting out which one is which. I just don't see how this can happen through a closed door, at some point or another they are going to meet and there will be a fight, it's natural animal behaviour...
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Old April 6th, 2009, 02:50 PM
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Right, but you cannot put two cats into the same room and leave them alone as you had mentioned earlier. Having your cats meet, like you said, is inevitable. However it can still be done safely, as to ensure that both cats are not hurt physically from the situation.

(sorry) Wow, you're very lucky no fights or scraps have ever broken out by introducing your horses that way. I've personally never seen anyone turn a new horse in with another right off the bat - in my opinion that's just really taking a gamble. Horses introduce themselves by sniffing noses, and if they decide they do not like one another it happens very quickly. I've also experienced having a new horse establish themselves high up in the herd without ever having to be in the same field as the others, so by the time they get in with the rest of the horses they're able to hold their own. Even if the horses work things out, I've seen more than one horse kick another in the leg and have serious injuries from it. Having a fence between them is just the safe way to go, and I guess I prefer it that way.

Good luck with your kitties! Everyone has great advice on this forum.
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Old April 6th, 2009, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by bluequeen View Post
Of course but between the boyfriend and I there will be alot of going in and out. And there isn't a room in the house that isn't the other cats 'territory'. It's a small house. I can put one in the room and let the other wonder and then switch it after a couple hours I just can't do it for a long period of time.

And as far as the horses go everyone does it differently, no we don't throw a horse into a herd to fend itself off but we'll put one with the new one and then switch another with the new one etc..In my 18 years of riding I have yet to see any issues with this way. And I would think that cats are the same in respect to horses that there is going to be a hierarchy, one of them is going to be superior then the other, it's a matter of them sorting out which one is which. I just don't see how this can happen through a closed door, at some point or another they are going to meet and there will be a fight, it's natural animal behaviour...
Hi BlueQueen - you asked for advise and I think you got some pretty sound advice by many people who are cat savvy, those in rescue that foster and those that foster for rescues/shelters. Not to be rude, but take it or leave it. You have been provided very good insight on how to manage this.

Best of luck to you and the cats.
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Old April 6th, 2009, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by bluequeen View Post
Of course but between the boyfriend and I there will be alot of going in and out. And there isn't a room in the house that isn't the other cats 'territory'. It's a small house. I can put one in the room and let the other wonder and then switch it after a couple hours I just can't do it for a long period of time.

Then if you can do that why can you not leave the new cat in the one room for a while and follow the advice you have been given? It is tried and true. It will not hurt the new cat to be in one room for a week or so, or however long it takes to establish a friendship, which is what you are trying to achieve, right? It won't hurt the resident cat, your boyfriends, to be deprived of the one room for a while either.


And I would think that cats are the same in respect to horses that there is going to be a hierarchy, one of them is going to be superior then the other, it's a matter of them sorting out which one is which. I just don't see how this can happen through a closed door, at some point or another they are going to meet and there will be a fight, it's natural animal behaviour...
Yes, the may be a hierarchy as far as who is going to be superior and who is going to be the lower rank. However, do you really want it to be at the expense of one cat's happiness? Believe me, if you do what your vet tech friend has suggested and simply put them in a room and let them work it out you will have some injuries to deal with at the very least. At the worse you will be burying one of your cats. Think I'm kidding? Not at the expense of a cat's life I'm not.
Please, you have been given great advice. SCM gave you a great website. I am giving you another. Please take the time to read them and realize that the people who have written them know what they speak about.

http://www.squidoo.com/multi-cat-management

Let me just add..... if you go ahead and put them in a room and let them work it out it won't solve any problems between them. In fact, it will make it worse. They won't just fight that one time and then decide to be life long buddies. They will fight every time they see each other. Are you willing to live with that?
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Old April 6th, 2009, 04:49 PM
bluequeen bluequeen is offline
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Hi BlueQueen - you asked for advise and I think you got some pretty sound advice by many people who are cat savvy, those in rescue that foster and those that foster for rescues/shelters. Not to be rude, but take it or leave it. You have been provided very good insight on how to manage this.

Best of luck to you and the cats.
Sorry but I do think that was slightly rude. I have yet to tell any body that their advice is wrong or not valuable all I wanted is to see if there are different ways to approach this without having to have one cat locked up for an entire week. Yes I realize it's going to do them no harm but both of these cats strive on human affection and I just don't think locking one away for that long is fair.
I have no problems locking one away while the other roams and sniffs it all out and giving the other one something of mine to sniff out while its locked up and yeah they can sniff eachother under the door. I just don't want this to be a week or more long process, I'm going to be stressed enough as it is.
I just find it hard to believe that every person that takes in foster cats/dogs etc does this whole multi-week long ritual to introduce cats. I'm not saying its wrong by any means I just like to have options to choose from and everyone is making is seem like I don't.
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Old April 6th, 2009, 05:16 PM
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Yes I realize it's going to do them no harm but both of these cats strive on human affection and I just don't think locking one away for that long is fair.
Don't think of it as "locking one away", think of it as giving your kitty a safe place to adjust. A move is a traumatic thing for any cat. They thrive on routine and there is no bigger assault to their senses then being uprooted from their familiar surroundings. Then adding to that, another cat that may or may not be welcoming to their presence on HIS turf.

I would suggest keeping your cat in the bedroom for at least a couple of days, without physically meeting your bf's cat. Exchange bedding after the 2 days, or rub each cat down with a sock and then swap socks, leaving the socks near areas they frequent like a food dish. They need to get used to each other's smell before meeting. Then let your cat explore more of the house while your bf's cat is in your bedroom. Take turns with your bf hanging out with the cat in the bedroom so that they still get the attention they love.

Put treats or food on either side of the door so that the cats associate good things with each other's smell. Put a string toy under the door and encourage them to play together. If there is any animosity during this, they may need more time separated, if not, perhaps open the door a crack (not enough to get a paw through) and let them sniff face to face.

The important thing is to go at the cats pace. Rushing the process will benefit no one. For some cats, it only takes a couple days, for others, much longer. You have to be willing to endure some temporary inconvenience in order to ensure their relationship gets off to a good start, or else that "inconvenience" might end up being permanent.
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Old April 6th, 2009, 05:17 PM
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I have no problems locking one away while the other roams and sniffs it all out and giving the other one something of mine to sniff out while its locked up and yeah they can sniff eachother under the door. I just don't want this to be a week or more long process, I'm going to be stressed enough as it is.
I just find it hard to believe that every person that takes in foster cats/dogs etc does this whole multi-week long ritual to introduce cats. I'm not saying its wrong by any means I just like to have options to choose from and everyone is making is seem like I don't.
The kitty will not be "locked away". You and your boyfriend will be going in and spending time with the kitty. You will be playing with the kitty, feeding it, changing litter, basically treating it the same as you would in your home now. Except for one difference...... you are keeping the cats separate to avoid injury/hatred/problems in the future/stress (cats) which can lead to massive health problems. This is what we are trying to help you avoid by giving you advice.
You are not giving the cat something of yours to smell. You are supposed to be exchanging the sleeping blankets/beds/whatever of the cats so they can get used to each other's smell.
It may not be a week long thing. It may only take a day or two. It may take months.
Please do not show your stress to the cats. That will only make things worse. Much, much worse. They will pick up on it and act on it.
You can't believe people that take in cats do this? Why? Do you think we just take the new one and put them in with the other(s) and cross our fingers and hope it all works out? Nope. Not the way it works. Most of us can't afford the vet bills this would cause. I sure can't. I still have one separate from the others 15. He has been since the fall. I have two others that need to be introduced soon. I also have two ferals who will take a very long time to get to the point where they can be in the catuary with my others. If ever.
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Old April 6th, 2009, 05:30 PM
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And I would think that cats are the same in respect to horses that there is going to be a hierarchy, one of them is going to be superior then the other, it's a matter of them sorting out which one is which.
Cat hierarchies tend to be pretty complex and aren't sorted out in a day. They often have location and time-based hierarchies, where for instance one cat may always get the choice sleeping spot during the day, but the other cat gets it at night. Or one cat may usually eat first, but the other gets the better litter box location. These are issues that they gradually sort out through intricate body language. They have to learn to "read" each other. Just throwing them together doesn't give them time to interpret the other's intentions, and a fight-or-flight response is more likely to arise.

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I just don't see how this can happen through a closed door, at some point or another they are going to meet and there will be a fight, it's natural animal behaviour...
It's all about the smell. Cats are very olfactory-centered, so in actuality, they ARE meeting by being introduced behind closed doors. As they gradually get used to the smell, when they do finally see each other visually, it's like an "oh, it's you" response. They're less likely to have a WTF fight-or-flight response.
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Old April 6th, 2009, 05:44 PM
Jim Hall Jim Hall is offline
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how about a big cat condo ie one of those cages that have 2 levels leave the new one in there and let them check each other out that way
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Old April 7th, 2009, 03:47 PM
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You are not giving the cat something of yours to smell. You are supposed to be exchanging the sleeping blankets/beds/whatever of the cats so they can get used to each other's smell.
By 'mine' I meant my cat not something of mine.
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Old April 7th, 2009, 06:58 PM
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Sorry but I do think that was slightly rude. I have yet to tell any body that their advice is wrong or not valuable all I wanted is to see if there are different ways to approach this without having to have one cat locked up for an entire week. Yes I realize it's going to do them no harm but both of these cats strive on human affection and I just don't think locking one away for that long is fair.
I have no problems locking one away while the other roams and sniffs it all out and giving the other one something of mine to sniff out while its locked up and yeah they can sniff eachother under the door. I just don't want this to be a week or more long process, I'm going to be stressed enough as it is.
I just find it hard to believe that every person that takes in foster cats/dogs etc does this whole multi-week long ritual to introduce cats. I'm not saying its wrong by any means I just like to have options to choose from and everyone is making is seem like I don't.

Bluequeen, you're right - it's REALLY important that research be done for situations like this, when we as pet owners have no clue how to handle something. What are you currently doing with your cat? Is she in another room, or are you doing something else?

I think what is important to notice here is that the majority here who are cat savvy, have given you a safe way to introduce your cats. I'm sure you're quite right, and that maybe some other people have done it differently; but seeing as how basically everyone here has told you what they have done or would suggest (and it's the same thing) then you can probably bet this is the one of the best and safest ways to introduce your cats.

Quarantine is done with most species of animals, including birds and small animals. Keeping your new cat in a seperate room isn't just for her safety, but also for the health of your old cats. What if this new cat has brought something with her? It's important to remember that quarantine is done not only to keep introductions safe, but also rule out any health issues that could be quickly passed onto your other animals.

Your cat also does not see this as 'unfair'. That is a human emotion that you're labelling your cat with, and as long as you and the other people in your home understand that keeping this new cat in a room for a while really IS benefiting the entire 'cat pack', it should be far less stressful for you. Sure, it'd be great to just let the new cat out into the rest of the house and hope for the best - and maybe that would be less stressful for you and your family members. But not the cats, and especially not the new cat who has to deal with new territory AND new cats.

You said you don't want this to be a week long process, but you can't really put a time or a day on when your new cat or the old ones will be ready to be with eachother. That's just the bottom line. This new cat is your responsibility, helping her adapt to your home is something you took upon yourself when you brought her home.
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Old April 7th, 2009, 07:55 PM
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Sorry but I do think that was slightly rude. I have yet to tell any body that their advice is wrong or not valuable all I wanted is to see if there are different ways to approach this without having to have one cat locked up for an entire week. Yes I realize it's going to do them no harm but both of these cats strive on human affection and I just don't think locking one away for that long is fair.
I have no problems locking one away while the other roams and sniffs it all out and giving the other one something of mine to sniff out while its locked up and yeah they can sniff eachother under the door. I just don't want this to be a week or more long process, I'm going to be stressed enough as it is.
I just find it hard to believe that every person that takes in foster cats/dogs etc does this whole multi-week long ritual to introduce cats. I'm not saying its wrong by any means I just like to have options to choose from and everyone is making is seem like I don't.
Errr..all the members here have given you great advice. How long it will take - we can't tell. You repeat that the advice given is no good to you, because it takes too long. What you are looking for is a magic-wand solution, which doesn't exist. Horses are horses and cats are cats. They have different needs and what works with a horse will not necessarily work on a cat.

Why not try a crate? one of the cats could be crated for the first initial meeting, but I would still introduce them slowly, over a period of time.

The advice is there, it is yours to take or leave, like BenMax said. There are members on here that struggle with difficult intro's of their cats over long periods of time...And some take to each other immediately. It varies.
If you do choose to just let them sort it out - be prepared for the consequences, they may not happen or they may.

Good luck.
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Old April 7th, 2009, 08:16 PM
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If you do choose to just let them sort it out - be prepared for the consequences, they may not happen or they may

lol and haave penty of bandages on hand
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Old April 8th, 2009, 10:05 AM
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lol and haave penty of bandages on hand
Thats the least that she may need...I hope for the better, but expect the worst.
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Old April 8th, 2009, 10:38 AM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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I just find it hard to believe that every person that takes in foster cats/dogs etc does this whole multi-week long ritual to introduce cats. I'm not saying its wrong by any means I just like to have options to choose from and everyone is making is seem like I don't.
Thank you for not taking it the wrong way.

I have to tell you that foster homes do take the precautions and the there is no time limit as it does absolutely depend on the cats. I presently have a foster cat that is separated for 1.5 weeks. (unfortunately now hospitilized since Monday). He will take a while to introduce to all cats. Other factors also are the dogs - but this is not your scenario.

It is absolutely a pain in the a@@ but worth it in the end...transition is smooth.
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Old April 8th, 2009, 10:56 AM
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You're first post said you are moving in a month. that means you have time and can get started with some of this now. Every time you go over to your BF's take something you have had your cat rub her head and cheeks on. and bring back something the other cat has scent marked. As another poster suggested, leave it near a favorite place like a food dish. Each time you go bring something that has a fresher scent on it (and take back the old one if you like.) this way they will at least have gotten used to each others scent before sniffing an actual cat under a door.
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Old April 8th, 2009, 11:12 AM
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Location: Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 2,339
Yes, a great suggestion by owned... which led me to think this further, you could actually bring the cat's blanket or pillow or whatever they actually sleep on, that has been used alot! it will have the scent all over and leae it there, for the other cat to smell and get used to.

When I brought home Sparky, he was in his crate, and I let Max do his investigation all he wanted. I didn't pressure him, I didn't just throw the dog in the house and hope for the best. I never left them un-atended and when the official intro was done without a crate- they were more than familiar with ech other.

One more thing I would like to point out - when you do introduce them, be very calm but prepared to intervene, speak in calm and assuring voice...Animals pick up on our emotions very well and your anxiety could elevate and increase theirs.
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