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#Caturday Angst

Theo In A ConeWhen we came back from our Mini-vacation, of course I had to go back to work. Two days at work, one day off for the 4th, and then one day back before the weekend. So, on that Friday, TheBoy thought that Theo had blood on his butt.  We took a look at it and, sure enough, he had licked a spot fur-free and there was a wound that was sort of bleeding. You know the kind, where a cat’s rough tongue can lick it raw. That’s what I thought it was. But just to be safe, we took him to the vet on the 6th. The verdict: a ruptured anal gland.

They flushed it out and cleaned him up and we were allowed to take him home after several hours. We hated putting him through the sedation and the cleaning, but the alternative would have been so much worse.

My Shakespearean cat!

My Shakespearean cat!

When we brought him back home we tried a cone I borrowed from a friend. Talk about an EPIC FAIL! Holy wow! Theo freaked so hard he bounced off walls and fell down the stairs. So, rather than add broken bones to his bill, we took it off. I found an alternate solution: paper plate.

That worked fine for about 2 weeks, until he figured out how to get around it and lick his wound, or the paper plate cut back into it. Either way, the wound was not healing and he was getting a wound around his neck (if you ever do the paper plate thing, make sure you tape up the hole for the head so it doesn’t bite into their necks like ours did).

PetsMart sold another kind of cone. It wasn’t what I was hoping for: the soft sided ones. But at least it was see-through and it was shorter so he could at least eat. I think the lack of peripheral vision is what freaked him out so bad. This new one he tolerates pretty ok.

BUT…

From Shakespeare to Elizabethan, That look says it all!

From Shakespeare to Elizabethan, That look says it all!

Our other two cats don’t like him now. Sofie, his sister, has pretty much gotten used to him after all this time, but she still hisses at him on occasion. But Itty Bitty, the odd ball, my PTSD cat, has reverted to her old self.

We saved Itty Bitty from a home of bully cats. It took well over a year to get her to acclimate to our house and our other two cats. We figured with the mellow demeanor of the Scottish Folds, she’d fit right in. We never had a problem with hissing or attacking. She would even join on the bed with everyone on occasion.

Until Theo came back from the vet the first time. Now she hunkers down, low crawls and sprints away –  which is kind of an instigation, or invitation, for Theo to run after her. I’m not real sure if he means any harm to her; but she sure thinks he does and will turn on him, growling, hissing, and swatting.

She refused to come out of our bedroom for 23.5 hours of the day. She began not using the litter box and that’s *NOT* OK.  I’ve taken to picking her up and carrying her downstairs (our choke point), to the litterbox, and to the food. Each time she sees Theo she cowers and won’t do anything else. When she finally gets the nerve, she sprints back upstairs.

I love watching Jackson Galaxy’s My Cat From Hell. Most of the time, I can pick out what needs to happen to fix the situation, unless it’s medical. Most of the time it’s always one or both of the humans that need retraining. But for us, we’ve been in tune with cats for a very long time. We understand them. Problem is, some of the remedies that Jackson Galaxy suggests involve modification to the structure or purchasing high dollar items to provide a safe passage.

Our only choke point is the stairwell, really. And there isn’t a simple solution we’ve come up with to provide the safe passage. With Itty Bitty’s hips being “stiff” her jumping capabilities are extremely limited. She doesn’t get up on high places normally. So we’re at a loss with this aspect.

I’ve also purchased and began using Jackson Galaxy’s Spirit Essence. 4 drops on each cat, twice a day, for the past two weeks. Sofie has gotten over Theo for the most part. She will still side with whomever is being attacked. Itty Bitty and Theo still act the same. I’m giving it more time, though. But recently, they went into a full on cat-fight. A huge ball of cat (all three of them) slamming into everything, knocking things over, and traumatizing everyone.

This is when they all were banished from the rooms, because someone (Itty Bitty, I’m sure) poo’ed on my pillow. Um, no! Not having that! They’ve now been out of our room for about 4 days.

Again, I’m so at a loss as to what to do.

Since they’ve been banished from the rooms, Sofie is sad. Her sleeping spot is on the bed, or on TheHubs (or me) on the bed. I feel bad for her. Theo is ok. Still hating the cone. And “sort of” stalking Itty Bitty. Not so much I don’t think. Itty Bitty, on the other hand, is still scared, though she’s using the litter box as I haven’t smelled pee or poo anywhere else. I do still pick her up and take her to the bathroom, though, because she doesn’t seem to leave the kitchen now. :/

Theo mere inches from Itty Bitty, backed into a corner, and her hair standing on end. 🙁

I have caught Theo still poking at Itty Bitty, but not nearly as much as before. I just wish Itty Bitty would get over it all and stop making Theo come after her with her scared stances. :/

I wonder if maybe she will get over him when he stops having that cone on him! I’ve been waiting for the vet to give us the go ahead to remove the cone. But every week we go back, they say he’s not healing quite right. And this last time, they said that the wound’s still not closed, and there’s still a mass inside. They aren’t sure what the “mass” is so gave him another round of antibiotics and told us to come back on Monday. If it’s still there, they are talking about removing both anal glands, which means even longer in the cone. 🙁

I ordered Comfort Zone with Feliway plug-ins to help with the choke points. I finally got the Feliway plug-ins on Wednesday and plugged them in, one upstairs, one downstairs. *fingers crossed*

After 24 hours, I was downstairs alone, watching TV. I had been home for a while and it was nearing my bedtime. But, this was so awesome. I’ve been playing with all of them, including Itty Bitty…trying to coax her out of the kitchen. No luck. BUT!!! As I was watching TV almost my bedtime, Itty Bitty hopped up on the back of the couch and loafed. ALL ON HER OWN!

Day two, she still remains in the kitchen mostly. But she’s venturing, little by little. I got her to play some more and I put her on my glider/rocker where she used to love to sleep when we were all downstairs. She was ok for a little while. But she did keep her eye out for Theo.

Morning of Day 3, I noticed she went to the litter box all on her own. I also managed to get her to come out into the living room playing! She’s ok with the other two cats with treats, even Theo. But she still goes back to her safe zones.

Night of Day 3, Theo began stalking her again. We can’t tell if he wants to play or what. But no matter, it’s what Itty Bitty thinks. And she doesn’t like it. She, again, did not use the litter box.

I’m so over all this angst. The anxiety is draining me dry. I want it all to be done with and get back to normal! I don’t want to have to give Itty Bitty away. But she may just be better off in a house with no other pets due to her PTSD. 🙁

I guess “baby steps” in the right direction are good. But after last nigh, I feel like we are taking one step forward and five steps back. I’m not giving up yet. I just don’t know how long to give it before we have to give her away. 🙁

LadyJai

3 Comments

  1. Comment by Candace Gauger:

    Itty Bitty is such a cute little cat, I feel bad seeing her feel so angsty and threatened.

    Just curious, is Theo the alpha cat? If so, the sort of stalking could be his way of ensuring the others know his role hasn’t changed. But, Itty’s reactions don’t help regardless.

    I sincerely hope that Itty calms eventually.

    • Comment by LadyJai:

      We do think Theo is the Alpha. But with Scottish Folds, their demeanor is quite laid back. This is the first time he’s ever done anything like this and we’ve had Itty Bitty for about 2.5 years. And he’s never done this with his sister.

  2. Comment by Angela Brown:

    Having little knowledge when it comes to pets, I didn’t realize so much angst could erupt from such a change. I guess when things are taken out of the norm – i.e. Theo changing to Theo-with-cone-on-head – the norm seems broken and all heck goes to hell in a hand basket.

    I do hope things get better and you can keep all three kitties together.

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