It’s a war zone in my house right now.
Yesterday Nishka went to the vet to have her teeth cleaned. Or to put it another way, yesterday Nishka went to the vet and I gave them a mortgage payment. But I digress. She’s been needing her teeth cleaned for years, and this year I had resolved to spend the money and get it done. Any doctor, dentist, or vet will tell you that any inflammation is bad for the whole body, and she’s an elderly kitty – she needs all the help she can get. On the advice of my regular vet, I scheduled the cleaning with the vet who is certified in extractions, so that he could just take care of whatever they found without having to subject her to a second anesthesia and me to a second mortgage payment. It turned out that she had to have three teeth out, which is much better than I had expected, in all honesty. Also, my vet runs a special on dental services in January, so I got a nice discount. It all went very well, and apparently all of the staff is head over heels in love with her. I believe that Dr. Ephron called her a “mush” and opined that as far as he could tell, she was just going to go forever. The ride home was quiet and uneventful.
It didn’t all come off the rails until I got home.
I let her out of the carrier, took the bandage off her leg, and let her go. Becket and Charlotte were immediately all over her, which she wasn’t real keen on. That irritation was solved with a small amount of wet food. The two of them ate – side by side as usual, and she roamed around a bit. She was clearly looking for someplace to settle in and sulk, and he was following her around harvesting all the odd smells in her fur. Eventually she headed downstairs to use the litterbox, and I didn’t notice that he followed her down. Until the hissing started. And the growling. Followed by the yowling. By the time I got to the top of the stairs, there were chunks of fur flying in the air – as far as I can tell, he went full bore after her in the litter box. I chased them around the basement – she headed up the stairs, and we caught him and locked him in the little entry by the side door, it being the only first floor interior door that has a latch on it at the moment.
I swear every hair on his body was sticking straight out. The only thing I can figure is that her urine smelled so wrong from the assorted drugs from the anesthesia and pain meds, that it completely freaked him out.
After giving him a while to calm down – an hour or so – we opened the door and let him out. He eventually wound down, and was curled up on my lap while I was online reading about “nonrecognition aggression” in cats. After a while she came down the stairs. He came awake, out of my lap and on her in a blink. I ended up separating them again, and realized this wasn’t going to work. I got her pain pill into her (I’d forgotten about the drooling,) we set up a litter pan and a bowl of water in the upstairs bathroom, and locked her in the upstairs bedrooms for the evening.
These two were sleeping together and grooming each other on Wednesday. Last night you would have sworn they’d never seen each other before.
He howled all night.
This morning I pulled her out from under my bed, and brought her downstairs. The reactions weren’t as bad. He was arching and hissing, but his tail didn’t fluff up. She was hissing and growling, but never put her ears back. Mind you, I also never set her down. I gave her the morning pill, wiped away the drool, and took her back upstairs.
So as it stands, she’s shut in the bedrooms. She has our bed to sleep on, a litter pan, a bowl of water, the floor vent over the woodstove, and a nice sunbeam in the bathroom if the sun comes out at all. He has the downstairs with all the usual accoutrements. At lunch I’m going to run to Petco and pick up some Feliway. Can’t hurt, might help. I wish I could get some Rescue Remedy, but I’ve never been able to find anyplace that sells it in the store. I called the vet this morning, and they also suggested that I rub Becket down with a towel and then rub her down to transfer some scent. I’ll do that also.
Of course, in addition to strange scents, now they’re both pissed. That doesn’t help.
So this weekend in addition to undecorating the house, I have to broker a peace deal.
It’s a war zone in my house right now.