A Medley of Musings

Serious health and life changes, call for a serious name change to this blog. In the past I tried to research my blog name, so it wouldn't be a duplicate blog name that someone else might have. I won't be researching it this time around, so the name is subject to change without notice. Life is kind of like that.

The hand made toys, Mini-Me Jan, and Rolly the Octopus are also something I have a passion for. Making hand made items, especially toys.

Thank you if you're sharing this journey of written blog words, and various assorted written musings, with me by reading my blog now.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Two Cat Household

I own two Cats, or they own me. I got Skitzy my small sweet female cat, as Misty another cat that we had, started getting older. Misty, a tabby, was with us for a good 16 or 17 years. Bringing Skitzy into the house, I felt was about the continuing circle of life. Misty made some unhappy keening noises at times, but for the most part she didn't seem to have a major problem with Skitzy coming into the household.

Skitzy didn't go after Misty, but pretty much just left her alone. They didn't fuss and fight with each other. In fact at times, they were sleeping near each other in the separate cat beds I had bought them.

Skitzy is a tortoiseshell cat. She's sweet, somewhat shy, very gentle and likes to occupy my lap while I'm trying to knit. She's like a ballerina cat, the way she softly, gently puts her paws down. It never got to a point where Misty and Skitzy cuddled with each other, or licked each other but at least they seemed to tolerate each other.

Sometime after Misty died, I wondered if Skitzy was bored being in the house all by herself. I felt she had gotten used to having another cat around. She came to me from a household that had another cat there.

Along came Cole. I thought Cole would keep Skitzy company, and give her companionship that I thought she might have needed after Misty died. I thought they would play together and happily chase each other around from time to time. They were closer in age to each other then Skitzy had been to Misty.

Soon began the snarling, the hissing, the spitting between the two of them. The mad dashes by the two of them through different areas of the house. The disturbing sounds of two cats fighting, that were hard for me to listen to, and even harder for me to ignore. Those noises probably sounded much worse to me, then they might have been to either one of them.

Skitzy then started going into hiding, looking over her shoulder whenever she went to use the litter box, or go to eat. As if she was checking out if it was safe for her to pursue those activities. Cole's a lot bigger than Skitzy is.

Often he seemed to trap her in a corner, though he didn't appear to actually be hurting her. But just sort of waiting, daring her to move, so he could chase after her again. What was worse were the keening noises that Skitzy started making when Cole got too close.

She sure didn't sound like a very happy cat to me, glad to have the company of this new cat I had brought into her territory. At times I think she gave me looks of hurt, confusion, and that I had somehow betrayed her by bringing Cole in.

And Cole seemed to become a type of Bully Cat, towards Skitzy though he is very sweet and affectionate to me. Before I gave him a home I had heard he didn't get along with the other cat residing there. Maybe Cole just needs to be the Solo Cat of his cat household.

People told me this aggression on Cole's part might ease up once I got him neutered. Skitzy was spade, so I couldn't figure out what kind of sexual scent she might be leaving that would be attractive to him. But Cole was just doing what comes naturally to a Young Male Cat, who wasn't yet neutered. Basically going after anything that moved. Skitzy moved. Cole went after her.

I then started my separated cat system. I'd keep one cat in one bedroom, while the other got to roam the rest of the place. I rotated this to try to make it fair to both of them. It was difficult for me to logically think this through, in the mornings before the coffee had kicked in. I'd put one cat in one bedroom, and then realize he or she needed fresh food or water, or their litter box needed to be cleaned out. Then I'd have to sneak in and out to accomplish this task. I'm sure both cats had a good laugh at my silly human disorganization, before the caffeine had its desired effect on my addled brain.

I initially thought about naming Cole, who is all Black with incredible green eyes, Nat KinK Cole, since he had a KinK in his tail. It's a good thing I didn't. Cole started attacking his tail, going after it in a frenzy. He scared me when he started these attacks upon himself. Soon part of his tail became fur bear, and bleeding.

Sometimes he started hissing at it or hissing at me. I wasn't quite sure which. Since Skitzy was in another room. That only left Cole, Me and his battered tail for him to be hissing at. Obviously something about his tail was bothering him.

Off to the Vet, where Cole finally got the neutering he needed, as well as having to have part of his tail amputated. He came home wearing a collar, so that he couldn't go after the bandage on his tail. At that point I was told by the Vet to continue keeping them both separated until Cole recovered from his surgeries. Cole would have an animal hospital smell attached to him when he first came home and Skitzy might freak out at seeing Cole wearing his Collar. I can't say I'd blame her for that, as he looked like an Alien Cat with it on.

Poor guy had a hard time wearing that collar. He bumped into things, or his collar would get caught on something, that I'd have to free him from. He couldn't groom himself with the collar on. At times it didn't seem like he could eat very easily. He'd get the corner of his collar caught under his water bowl, and spill the water.

This wasn't his fault. He couldn't help it. It was frustrating for both of us. Skitzy at one time, looked at me, looked at him, with his collar and his amputated tail, as if she knew something wasn't quite right. I would take the collar off of Cole for awhile so he could have an easier time at eating his food, and give himself a good grooming session. But as soon as he started going after his tail, the collar went back on him.

When it was Cole's turn to freely roam the house, and Skitzy was safely in another bedroom, Cole stayed close to me as he followed me through the different rooms of the house. As if he knew I would need to act as his guide, since he couldn't use his whiskers for that purpose, while having to wear that collar.

Cole being the smart cat that he is, managed to get the Collar off himself, by chasing madly through the house. Somehow with the chair and table legs he came up against, the collar came off, and Cole again attacked his bandaged tail. Back to the Vet we go. Now the majority of his tail had to be amputated.

Cole came home again. He now looks like a small Bobcat, with just a small stub of black tail left. But at least he is no longer having his frenzied attacks towards his tail anymore. This time for his 2ND episode of tail amputation recovery, he had a collar on that would be much more difficult for him to get off, and even if he attempted it, he wasn't able to accomplish this the second time around.

My separated cat system continued. It was as if I owned two cats, but owned them one at a time. Yet each of them would lie in front of the bedroom door that the other cat was occupying at the time. Skitzy voluntarily would dash into the bedroom, that she has to often occupy. As if to say to me, I don't like this set up very much, but at least I know I'm safe in here, and that Cole can't get to me, as long as you keep the door closed. Of course when she's getting bored with that, she's scratching at the door to be let out, and my cat rotation system starts all over again. Cole gets put into another bedroom, Skitzy then gets let out to roam the rest of the place.

This would all be so much easier, if I had some sort of Cat Revolving Door in place. But it's not a great situation for any of us.

If I'm on the computer, which I am a great deal of the time, I can't really keep an eye on the two of them, so I continued on with my separated cat system. I knew I was keeping them separated more for my sake then for theirs. I didn't want the additional stress of having to break things up, if they should get into another cat fight, while I was on the computer. In addition, I couldn't always remembers where I had last left the spray bottle of water to cool things down between them. I think I could have learned how to deal with the hissing and spitting noises in time. But it was Skitzy's keening noises I had the hardest time listening to.

Maybe I just should have enclosed myself in one room, with a good pair of headphones on and let the two of them figure things out. I felt like I would be setting up Skitzy to be attacked by Cole. I wasn't seeing trails of blood droppings or clumps of fur left behind. But those noises...they were heart wrenching to me. They were too difficult for me to listen to, and impossible to tune out.

If Cole and I are both enclosed in the bedroom where the computer is, and Skity's out in the rest of the place, the room that Cole and I are in gets incredibly warm, while the rest of the place seems to get very cold. Now I have to make increased trips to turn the heat down, turn the heat up, or at times just turn the heat off altogether for awhile, until the bedroom with the computer in it cools down.

This was becoming a crazy way for all three of us to live. I had kept them both separated for so long, I didn't know how to undo it anymore. I knew something had to change.

To be continued:

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