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.
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.
Oh, good grief. I wonder what’s going on with them…
We just have to get Obi over that bad memory and the urge to flinch and hiss. They get over the animosity immediately. They are sitting on either side of the door, trilling at each other right now.