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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Update

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.



Saturday, April 7, 2012

Emergency Help Needed - Serious Cat Fights

Hi everyone, it's the girls' Mommeh here, asking for some serious advice.  We have started having some major cat fights here and today it's gotten so bad I don't know what to do.  

For 2 years, Attie and Audrey have been the very best of friends.  Sisters who share toys, treats, food, blankies, beds, laps, and everything else.  Last Sunday, 6 days ago, they suddenly broke out into a knock-down, drag-out, nail-digging, big-biting fight.  This was no little tiff with a bout of smacky-paws and then finished.  This was a completely unstoppable storm that really frightened me.  I was terrified someone was going to be seriously hurt.  Tried to get them apart but they were NOT having it.  Managed eventually, and put Audrey in the bedroom while Attie hid on top of the cabinets in the kitchen.  Eventually Attie came down for some comforting, and Audrey was just stretched out relaxing in the bedroom as if nothing had happened.  (She gets over things very easily and then stares at you like you're stupid for ever having been worried, but Attie stays traumatized for quite a while, presumably because of her past with the abuse.)  So I let them chill for about 2 hours, gave each some catnip and treats, and waited until all seemed calm.  Let Audrey slowly out of the bedroom, but the second they caught sight of each other, BAM, right back at it.  Tore them away from each other again, even more difficult than the first time.  Well that was it for the night I decided.  Audrey stayed in the bedroom because she was totally fine, and I slept out with Attie on the couch to calm her down because she takes a long time to get over being upset.  The next morning I woke up early for work to take stock of the situation.  I again let Audrey out of the bedroom, and they didn't fight, just sort of ignored each other, and I was scared to leave them alone for the day but I was scheduled to work 14hrs and I felt it was cruel to leave them both locked up alone for all that time, so I just crossed my fingers and prayed a little bit and left, hoping I'd come home to two whole cats.  I did, and it seemed to be over.  Absolutely cannot figure out what started it, but after that they were totally fine the whole entire week, back to sleeping snuggled up together and everything.

Unfortunately it seemed I was wrong when I assumed it was a one-time issue.  Last night, the same fight broke out again, and it seemed even more violent if that's possible.  Broke them up and put Audrey in the bedroom again and decided to just keep them apart until morning.  Unfortunately Audrey scooted out past my feet when I opened the bedroom door and it happened a second time, and this was even more horrifying because they ended up underneath the very low couch where I couldn't reach them.  It just kept going on and on no matter what I tried to stick under there to stop it.  

I can't describe how scary these fights were.  Horrible screaming and yowling, hissing, spitting, strangling each other, really hard injurious biting, Audrey's claws sinking in…  Terrible, just terrible.  So I spent half the night on the couch and half in the bedroom so no one would feel i was favoring one over the other.  Again this morning they were allowed in the same room again - big mistake.  It took about 3 seconds, literally, for the fight to begin again.  Audrey came over in an aggressive manner, Attie hissed and growled, and backed away, and then Audrey made the first strike with her huge claws.  I will say I'm in quite a bit of pain just now, as I attempted to protect Attie and stop the fight, Audrey's claws sunk into my hand and wrist and I've got several very deep punctures there now.  Even more upsetting is that the sacrifice of my own skin didn't stop the fight, and it got worse until I could rip them apart again.  So as I type, Audrey is in the bedroom purring in a pile of laundry as if nothing happened, and Attie is shaking and hiding on my lap.  She's doing the same thing she does when I take her to the vet and she's terrified, burying her head in the crook of my arm and crying.  She always buries her head like an ostrich when she's truly scared.  

Although I have not been able to figure out what started the original fight, the point of origin doesn't actually seem to matter anymore, they just are going at it now, regardless.  And I can't tell which one is usually the aggressor, they seem to take turns.  So having read about it on the CB, I just ordered a Feliway diffuser off Amazon.  I wish I could have gone to the store to pick it up right away, but I'm on a very tight budget just now and Amazon's price was significantly less than two local pet stores.  It's due to arrive Tuesday evening.  I hope it helps a little when it arrives, but until then it seems I really may just have to keep them sequestered, which horrifies me.  Each has her own litter, food, water, toys, etc, and I'll have to rotate them each day/night so not just one is locked into a room.  I can't really keep one in the bedroom, that strikes me as favoritism since I'll be sleeping in there with whoever it is, so I've decided to shut one in the extra room we have and leave one out in the house, taking turns doing so.  Breaks my heart, they have been such good sisters, but this has got to stop.

Attie is still shaking and hiding, and it's been over an hour, so I'm starting to think she may not be feeling well on top of whatever is going on here.  I can't afford it at the moment, so I hope it isn't too serious.  When I get paid on Friday I will take her to the vet.  Until then I'd appreciate and welcome any ideas, advice, criticism, ANYTHING that might help.  (Pee-Ess, no calming collars, my asthma can't take the strong lavender scent.)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Swarovski Cake

My mommeh gotted a prezzie!  It is a little teeny Miss Cake for ner neck, made of black Swarovski crystals.  

(.....I can not says I is not just little bit jellus, but I supposes it is much harder to create mine perfect Bengal Beauty out of crystals than just plain boring black.)