Mommeh here again, wanting to thank all of you SO MUCH for all your advice, comments, and concern regarding my girls. Unfortunately they are still separated from each other at all times.
Took them to the vet last Friday and dropped $400 for complete checkups including bloodwork, etc, only to find out they are both perfectly fine. I know it sounds wrong, but I was kind of hoping someone was sick so that this could be fixed. But it seems they're both okay so there's still no known reason for this. Had both their nails cut down as low as painlessly possible while there too, to try and avoid any injury in case another fight breaks out any time soon.
I have to say, Audrey seems over it. She's her regular spunky little self, interested in everything and wanting to play all the time. It's only Attie now who can't get over it. Attie has a memory like an elephant, she remembers every single little thing that ever happens to her. So she remembers having these fights with Audrey and she can't let it go. She can't get near her sister without a growl and a hiss. She even hisses at a closed door when she knows Audrey is behind it. Still have not been able to figure out the original reason for the fights starting - no toms around, no other cats anywhere at all actually, no more attention to one than the other, no change in routine/feeding/etc.
The vet gave me a prescription for low-dose buspirone for both of them. It's a very slow acting tranquilizer/anti-anxiety medication. For Attie it's supposed to take the edge off, and for Audrey it's supposed to take the roughness out of her play. (She is extremely energetic and sometimes she plays very hard so we wondered if maybe she was too much for Attie at times?) So this medicine takes 10 days to build up in the body and begin to take effect. Today was dose #7 and so far absolutely no change in either cat. The vet says after 10 days we may up the dose, as we began with the smallest possible at 2.5mg. I'm not happy about putting them on medication but I'll do whatever I have to do as long as I can afford it and there's a chance it will help them get along again. I'm hoping that in the end, whatever dose or medication we end up with, it will be possible to get them into a room together without a fight and then make the attempt to get them reacquainted. I'm certain all this separation isn't helping matters, it's just distancing them further, but there is no other option right now.
The Feliway spray and diffuser have had no effect, which is very disappointing. Also have tried vanilla on their heads, and have tried Rescue Remedy for Attie in the past (for separation anxiety prior to adding Audrey to the family) which never worked either so I haven't bothered with it this time around. Currently considering purchasing and trying a Thundershirt for Attie, as suggested by the Cat Street Boyz. So far that's the only thing that may help that hasn't been tried. Both the vet and Sierra have suggested seeing an animal behaviorist, but I'll be honest and say that isn't in the budget. Punapippuri wanted to make sure that even while separated both were still getting equal treats and snuggles, and I assure everyone they certainly are.
*sigh* Just wanting this to end and have my girls be sisters again. It's already been 3 weeks since this started, and it will be especially hard to deal with after next Thursday, as that Friday morning I am having surgery and will need all the peace and hassle-free-ness I can get for a while afterward. But I try never to give up on the ones I love. <3
For now I'll leave all you wonderful friends with a few pictures of Attie spending some time with me out on the hammock this evening. Decided to get her leash and harness on and take her out for a swing and a nap since it was still light out when I got home from work, which let Audrey have the run of the house for a while without any nonsense.