Monthly Archives: May 2015

Table for One

If you’ve been with us a while you know that Oliver loves breakfast. He likes his breakfast. He likes his brother’s breakfast. Dr. Tiffany had suggested separating them at meal time. I agreed to do so if they ever got to the point where Obi wasn’t getting his share.

While the kittehs have been on happy pills Obi has been eating in The Boy’s office to make sure he gets his full dose. And we’ve come to realize that he likes it.

He gets to lick off the sauce.

He gets to chew his food.

Today was their first day off meds. But Obi got his breakfast behind closed doors. And, because it was a lovely morning, with an open window.

Oliver objected to being locked in the rest of the house. But it was a lovely morning and we opened a window.

When Obi was done he called to be let out. And the three of us enjoyed the lovely morning.

Together.

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I Scream

I scream,
You scream.
We all scream.
The cops show up and it’s awkward.

Anyway.

After a week of listening to Kitten Thunder screaming about the door being closed last week, I was feeling tense. It was nice to find reasons to leave the house.

So, on Friday, I was looking forward to going out to a friend’s ranch to take photos of her alpacas getting sheared. I forgot one thing. Alpaca scream like teenage girls at a One Direction concert when someone invades their space. Lunch time, when they are just jostling for position, puts me on edge.

So when they are tied down to have their teeth and nails trimmed, then shaved? Lord a’mighty, the screaming.

By Sunday when peace returned to our house, this Girl was thinking SHE needed happy pills more than the cats. And a massage.

So today I was happy to get a little bit of revenge. A friend posted a video of the “adorable” sound a sloth makes when it wants food. I didn’t mean to, but I played it next to Oliver’s ears while he was napping. The adorable sound is screaming.

An Oliver? Found it disturbing.

Dark Dangers

We’re back to our normal schedule. That includes Oliver, at 5 a.m., wanting breakfast. Breakfast breakfast breakfast.

Usually I spend an hour pulling him back under the blankets, kissing him on the head, and convincing him to take a little nap.

Today… That went a little wrong.

He’d been in a couple times and let a couple times. When he jumped up on the bed, I reached for him with my eyes closed. I pulled him to me and gave him a kiss.

Then a tail thwapped me in the face. Oliver struggled to his feet. He turned around. And plunked – this time with his face TOWARD me.

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Good thing bathing his butt is his favorite pastime.

Peaceful Kingdom

Hello! I’m happy to report from a house with two kittens who love each other, like being with each other, aren’t afraid of each other and are living without a door between them.

It took six days to get here.

On Thursday, we were finally making some progress. I was bringing them together once every hour or two, but holding one of them while they got treats. Then, in the evening, I let them stand next to each other. I let them walk around. They had a very gentle, very sweet thunder.

And I’ll be honest: I cried in relief. It was the first sign that they were both aware of an issue that needed to be worked through.

But I’m not stupid. I told The Boy that Oliver and I were sleeping downstairs at least through Saturday. Then I went upstairs to brush my teeth.

I thought about separating them before going up. Then I decided not to. I should have. Seeing the bed made Obi nervous and he hissed. Oliver chased. It wasn’t a bad fight and they sort of broke it up on their own so Oliver and I sat on the floor and asked Obi to come forgive us before we went to bed. He did.

There was some hissing and a run up the stairs to the bed on Friday. Setbacks, but they were even milder fights that were breaking up on their own. They also spent long periods of time apart because I was out of the house where I couldn’t hear them crying for each other.

And then it was Saturday. The first thing I did was spray animal odor eliminating Febreeze EVERYWHERE upstairs. I mean I coated the bottom of our bed with it. And the cat shelf. And the love seat. If anything smelled like fear or anger, I wanted to drown it in perfumey, olfactory torturing, chemical odor.

Then I gave the boys treats in the living room. Then I separated them. Then… We went upstairs.

And they were fine.

So we went back to the living room and I set them both on the rug.

And they were fine.

After a while, Oliver went upstairs for a nap. I saw Obi follow a couple minutes later. And I held my breath. And waited. And waited.

And waited.

After ten minutes I couldn’t handle it anymore and I headed for the stairs. I got to them just as Obi came down. Clearly, he had taken a serious licking. But the good kind – his hair was standing up in several directions, spit styled by his brother.

Oliver and I spent one more night in the basement and the cats were separated when The Boy and I went to the gym, but we seem to be back to normal. Obi gets annoyed by his brother, as we all do, but the fear is gone.

And the thunder has returned.

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Kitten Steps

We’ve been slowly SLOWLY reintroducing the kittehs to each other. Today was the first time since Tuesday that they were allowed to interact without a person holding one of them.

They even had a little thunder.

Things will be okay.

Right now, though, The Girl is exhausted.

Four Alarm Furor

Oliver is like a fun house mirror; he reflects what he sees only bigger or distorted. If I love him, he loves me more. If I cry, he MOURNS. If I yell at him for being bad, he hates me for ruining his life. If I take a nap, he becomes comatose. And if you yell at his Girl, he will END you.

Thus, day three of Operation: Calm the %$&# Down.

Soon after I wrote my early morning post on Sunday, Oliver and Obi fought again. They got a time out. They fought again. They got a time out. They fought again. They got a time out.

It was confusing because they cried at the door for each other the moment they were separated. When they were reunited, they’d bathe each other. They even thundered once. Then, in an instant, the anger and hatred returned.

Watching closely, I figured out the pattern. Obi flinched and hissed if Oliver approached him head on. One hiss is all it takes for Oliver to go full on fighty.

And so began a 48 hour brother detox program. Why? The particular movement that makes Obi hiss is a stress trigger. I read that most stress triggers can be forgotten, or recovered from, in 48 hours. Easy enough.

But the one big problem with Operation: Calm the $%&# Down is… We had to close a door.

Kitten Thunder can not handle a closed door.

I’ve got a pheromone ball plugged in and gave them calming treats, but the trauma of a closed door is real. By Monday at noon is gotten prescription happy pills (we’re not to Prozac, yet). They still sit at the door and yowl for an hour at a time, but they are stopping for a nap. The first day, they probably only got four hours of sleep in ten minute stretches. Not healthy for cats. By the time Oliver and I went to bed, in the basement, on Sunday night, he barely staggered into my arms before passing out. He still got up several times in the night to lament the closed door and lost brother.

They cry about the door. They cry for each other.

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So today, the 48 very long hours was up and I was hopeful.

They met. They licked. They ate treats together. They wrestled. They ate more treats when The Girl thought they might be getting a little too rough. But there was no fighting. Once in a while Obi would cower, but he kept his hiss to himself.

I breathed a sigh of relief.

Then Oliver walked up to Obi in just a way. The brown kitten hit the floor and hissed. Oliver turned his ears back. I shook the treat bag in his face and happily chirped “who wants more snackums?”

Nope. I caught up to the brawl in The Boy’s office, where he was eating lunch. He grabbed a grey kitten and went to the living room. I held a nasty tempered brown kitten in my lap (his reflection is more measured, but he’ll give what he gets as well). The Boy let Oliver go and the grey kitten came right back in for another round.

Operation: Calm the $%&# Down continues with another day of separation. Maybe some short visits. I saw progress today.

In the meantime, our spare room bed is REALLY comfortable.

ALARM Clock

It’s very early in the morning on Sunday. We were planning on getting up early anyway, but didn’t quite have the luxury of sleeping until my alarm goes off… In half an hour.

Why? Because someone had a nightmare.

At least I assume that’s what happened. All The Boy and I witnessed was a huge series of crashes and cat screams from under the bed. I did at least think to put on my glasses before reaching under the bed to break it up. I ended up, luckily, with Oliver.

Things calmed down fairly quickly, but, not knowing what caused the fight, I didn’t want to take peace for granted. Oliver and I went into The Boy’s office and shut the door. From SHU (I watched Orange is the New Black last night) I asked the warden to make breakfast. He slid it under the door.

As soon as he was done eating, Obi went to the door and reached under for his brother. Obviously, there was nothing personal between the two of them. This brings me to the nightmare theory.

When all the excitement was over, The Boy went back to bed. And so did Obi. And so did Oli.

Me? I’m watching TV and writing my blog post. Because screaming cats? Way more affective than coffee.