Mommeh here, kitties! Hopefully for the last time - looks like I may soon be able to turn the blog back over to its rightful writers.
As those of you who have been checking in are aware, Audrey has been over the fighting and anxiety for quite a while. It was only Attie who was still stuck in the mindset. It had become a learned behavior, that every time she laid eyes on her sister she would hiss and yowl and lash out and a fight would ensue. Just the sight of her was a trigger.
So the buspirone we started with did nooooooothing. Really nothing. Even double doses did nothing. Moving on, my surgery was coming up so on the morning of the operation we tried what they call ACE. (Unfortunately the full name of it isn't coming to me but I remember it had been recommended in a few comments and emails in response to previous posts.) The vet said it was supposed to be a heavy tranquilizer, which I felt guilty about giving her, but it was necessary due to her behavior while I needed all the rest I could get for my recovery. Well guess what, that did nothing as well. Again, even doubled doses did nothing. Made her back legs a little wobbly at most, which just ticked her off and caused her to yowl anyway. So that was fun to come home to and suffer through til we gave up and just realized it wasn't going to work. Next we tried cat valium, which was the worst of all. Not only did it not relax her, she had what they called a paradoxical reaction, which meant she spent nearly 24 hours running around like crazy and screaming. Okay, note to self for future - Attie does not tolerate valium...
Fast forward a couple weeks, and back to the vet for a new prescription. Now we have cat prozac and cat xanax. She gets the xanax twice a day and the prozac once a day... and it's WORKING! Every so often a little spat still breaks out, but nobody ends up injured and it stops just as quickly as it starts. Audrey has learned that when she overstimulates Attie now she should just walk away and go amuse herself. They're able to be out of separation all the time, they walk around the house together as they used to, and the bedroom has gone back to being nice clean cat-free zone. They are back to sharing bowls, toys, and litter. Yesterday when I came out to get ready for work I even found them sleeping in the same bed! Yay! I will say that everything is not as it was. It's not super peaceful and they don't play together, only separately. And Attie on these meds isnt her old self. (Athough she wasn't herself the last few months either so at least this is some improvement.) She loses her balance and falls off things or misjudges jumps, and she never ever makes happy biscuits anymore, which bothers me because she was such a biscuit fiend... But I can tell she does feel a lot better than she has for the last few months. It's only been a week and a half or so on this new med combo, so hopefully things will continue to improve as rapidly as they have been so far. After several months to a year I'm hoping she will be able to be weaned off the medications, but that's a while away. For now I'm just happy things have calmed down.
She's acting a little funky, very floppy and her third eyelid shows a lot because sometimes she will start to fall asleep with her eyes open - that must be the xanax - and she's totally INSANE about food... like attack cat crazy, even when it's something she never would eat, she is jumping all over you for it anyway and meowing her face off. She's gotten completely obsessed with food, which is an issue she didn't really have before so I'm like wondering if she's high and this is what they call the munchies? Haha. Not sure, but it's odd. Mostly when I'm home she just wants to sit with me and get skritches, which is normal for her, but it makes me sad to see her sweet happy self receded so much. I can't complain because this really was necessary to help her, but I always feel like I'm lying to my little friend when I give her the pill pockets with the hidden medicines in them. I'm a guilty catmommy. But I'm doing it so she can feel better and get back to having a good life. Does anyone else feel guilty for medicating their cat, even if it's for their betterment?
Thankfully she doesn't look like this all the time, just every so often. She still runs around and plays like a maniac, especially if you give her a straw - oh how she adores straws! And a few days ago while I was taking my shower she jumped into the tub (even if somewhat accidentally) and played with the water. So Attie is still in there, she's just getting the help she needs to get better, and hopefully down the road I will have her totally back.