Last Tuesday I decided to “flip” the cats. I took Becket and his dinner upstairs, and came back down with Nishka, shutting the doors firmly behind me. Initially that was not productive. She was perfectly happy to eat her dinner downstairs in the usual spot, but then headed back up to her spot on the bed. Except the door was closed. I think she was fishing around underneath it trying to get it open – that’s the only thing I can think of that would cause that level of howling through a closed door. She spent most of Tuesday evening in the hall or on the top landing until I dragged her downstairs and cuddled her into submission. By the time I headed up to bed she was back in her nap spot on the arm of the sofa. Becket, however, was fairly unhappy about being shut in. Nonetheless, he took up HIS usual spot next to the bathroom heater.
That has been the state of affairs – him shut in (and attempting to escape) upstairs, and her roaming the downstairs and reacquainting herself.
Saturday, we decided to try reintroduction again. We brought up the big carrier, sprayed it down with Feliway, set it in the living room doorway, and stuffed him into it. LOTS of bad language. After several hours, she zonked out in my lap, and Bob opened the carrier. All in all, it seemed to go well. At one point he came over desperately wanting attention, and with the help of a copious application of kitty treats, I eventually had her curled up against my hip on one side and him perched on the sofa arm on the other. That’s me – Switzerland. It went well enough that we decided to leave things that way – she was still downstairs, and no actual fights were breaking out. So we left them co-mingled and went to bed, and we left them co-mingled yesterday when we went to my parents’ for my birthday dinner.
At 5:00 am this morning, the howling started, and I had to levitate out of bed and go break it up before it escalated. There was a repetition at about 7:00 as I was trying to get Charlotte and I out the door.
If they don’t cut it out – and fairly soon – I may lose my mind.
I probably don’t need to break up the howling matches – I’m sure they happen during the day when we’re not there. But I’m deathly afraid of ending up with another injured cat – and completely aside from the obvious issues, I feel like another real injury could be the nail in the coffin for peace in our time.
Next January when HE goes for his dental visit, I’ll be handling the reintroduction MUCH differently.