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22 January 2013 @ 10:00 pm
Small, furry, possessed …  
So we still have that spare cat.

For those who were busy over the holidays and missed the story, my friend M has moved to Manchester for 13 months, taking her family but leaving her cat. In a moment of madness, Mr B and I suggested we could mind it. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Cookie HATES her.

She hates Cookie, and Monster, and everyone and everything, except for pats, food and fanging your hand when she has had enough patting.

Monster is mostly oblivious occasionally stops on her journeys though the house, looks concernedly into the corner, then trots up to me with an expression that says, 'Look, I hate to bother you, but were you aware there is a spare cat behind the sofa?'

Moushka, or Corner Cat as she is often known, comes out now and then to hiss at everyone. She and Cookie are equally high up in the I Am Put Out And You Will All Suffer stakes, though I will say for Cookie that she is focussing her suffering on Moushka, while Moush is happy to nip and hiss at everyone. Poor little muppet, she can't be having fun.

We have at least brokered a demilitarised zone between Moushka's corner and the litter tray area, and Cookie and Monster have stopped attempting theiving runs on Moush's food, but I fear that an escalation in hostilities may be imminent: Moushka has started sitting up on the sofa, which is Monster's Spot.

I will probably end up grabbing kitty Prozac. And taking it.

I filled Mr B in on last night's hissing attack runs and was told 'It's just like having children.'

'Well, not really,' I said. 'I'm out in the living room having to referee everyone and you're safe in the study playing computer games.'

'So it's EXACTLY like having children,' he replied.

I'm locking them all in the study and heading out to a spa …
miriravanmiriravan on January 22nd, 2013 01:50 pm (UTC)
Is there any way Moushka can be moved into a different room and kept there, with her own litter box/dishes/toys/scratching post? This would give her a chance to calm down without being constantly reminded that there are STRANGE CATS I DON'T LIKE AND WHO MAY JUMP ME AT ANY MOMENT, and it would give your resident cats a rest from 'WHO IS THIS INTERLOPER? WE DON'T LIKE INTERLOPERS!'

And then there's a whole process of introduction, where you switch things between Moushka's room and the rest of the house (bedding and such) so they can get used to smelling each other, and then you let them see each other and give them nice treats so they can associate each other with pleasant things, etc. Time-consuming, and hard if you have a small place, but generally less stressful for everyone than just having all of them together trying to work it out themselves.

Also, you might try Feliway (also known as Comfort Zone). It's an artificial version of cat facial pheromones, the one they leave when they rub their faces on things. It's a diffuser that plugs into an electrical outlet and lasts about a month. Moderately expensive, but often helpful in tense situations.

Good luck! I'm currently trying to integrate a formerly stray outside cat into my clowder of three indoor boys, and I know it's not easy.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 22nd, 2013 02:36 pm (UTC)
Alas, no. We have the world's smallest house and a lot of stuff, and so several doors are held open by shelves and some doors are simply doorways lacking in doorage. You're exactly right in your suggestions, but it would have required about two month's prep for house reorganisation, and we had er, two days …

They do at least have territories: Moushka has the back of the sofa and the sofa-side of the living room, Cookie has everything else and the non-sofa side of the living room (separated by two feet of space, which they hiss across) and there is a tacit agreement that Moush is allowed into the kitchen to get to the litter tray as long as she avoids the other cats' food, which she is very good about. However, Cookie disgraced herself doing a run on Moush's food.

We are swapping over towels from sleeping places and going from patting one cat to the next. Some days it seems to all be calming down and then Cookie will have an attack of the DIE CAT DIE!!s, which Moush responds to. At least there is no violence, only posturing.

I am thinking that drugs might be the answer. Cookie was so good when Mon came in, but has been defending Mon against all visiting kitties that come to the front door for years and has put Moushka into that category. Moush should never have hissed at Monster, as now Cookie sees her as a threat to the 'baby'. NB, Mon is five and weighs about 6kg.
Shezan: Agrippashezan on January 24th, 2013 11:10 pm (UTC)
FELIWAY. Not a drug, pheromones. Worth a try.
Vaysh Swiftstorm: Catvaysh on January 22nd, 2013 02:02 pm (UTC)
Sorry, sorry, sorry, but this post made my day. *lol* *wheezes* *lol*

I do now what you speak of. My parents' home is a battle zone with different "peace areas" set up where - sometimes - cats meet for food. Other than, one little door left unclosed, and THIRD WORLD WAR breaks out! I have scars to show when I tried to get hissing, biting, clawing cats untangled.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on January 22nd, 2013 02:41 pm (UTC)
At least they are not violent and merely posture aggressively. They're like really poor small African states in the 1970s who were all 'We're SO Marxist!' 'No you're not, we're the most Marxist!' 'Our Communism is purer than your Communism!' 'You are but running dog lackeys of the Imperialist West!' 'We am SO going to invade you as soon as we can afford fuel for our trucks!' 'Yeah? Well, we will shoot at you as soon as we can afford bullets for our armies!' 'Ha!' 'HA!' 'Look … While we're chatting, do you have any wheat to sow?' 'Yes, actually. Do you have any harvested taro?' 'Certainly. Swap?' 'That would be lovely. Thank you. You still suck.'
valkyrie17valkyrie17 on January 22nd, 2013 04:34 pm (UTC)
I'm crying with laughing so incredibly hard at your description:)
valkyrie17valkyrie17 on January 22nd, 2013 04:37 pm (UTC)
You have my sympathies. My MIL lives in a suite in our house. She adopted 2 cats years ago, and our cat would never accept them. She had been used to having the run of the house (for 12 years), and when we tried introducing them she had a fit. After that. she went every morning to hiss at the door and swat at any shadows under it.
κάτι τρέχει στα γύφτικα: wolves_inbetween_ on January 22nd, 2013 07:06 pm (UTC)
It does remind me of my time as an exchange student. In OZ. Only with more patting. But it's still better than quarantine. I would actually lock them into the study and Mr. B might surprise everyone into a peace treaty.
mrsquizzicalmrsquizzical on January 22nd, 2013 08:26 pm (UTC)
exactly like having children. omg i snorted. too close to the truth!
la, zeitgeist!: [default] blackbirdzeitgeistic on January 22nd, 2013 10:31 pm (UTC)
Oh dear! I have 4 cats (by choice) and they can be a handful sometimes, but at least they like each other (most of the time).
Jae: Crazy cat ladyenchanted_jae on January 23rd, 2013 01:26 am (UTC)
Once upon a time, I had one cat, and only one. His name was Taj. Then, someone foisted another cat on me, in spite of two solid weeks of protests ("No, I do NOT want another cat!"). They called her "Salem". I took one look at the cat and renamed him "Seamus".


Taj and Seamus spent the first two weeks screaming at one another. No fights, just a lot of cursing. I reckoned progress had been made when it got to the point that they could actually walk past one another without hissing. Eventually, they became pals. Not boon companions, mind you, but they learned to get along.

Since then, I've only introduced new KITTENS to the household. They're much easier to integrate.

The moral of the story is, patience. The cats will become accustomed to one another in time.
Nennenenne on January 23rd, 2013 08:01 am (UTC)
Do that! Let him worry for a while. Or fight with them. *G*
jolinar_rosha: castiel ring of firejolinar_rosha on January 23rd, 2013 05:03 pm (UTC)
oh my.

I can relate - my cat hates every single other cat ever (which is why we've never gotten another cat).

Let's hope they'll get used to each other sooner rather than later.
kaedhlinkaedhlin on January 25th, 2013 07:27 am (UTC)
Lock ALL the children in
Including Mr B. Let's see how well he kills aliens with 3 cats in residence.