Monday, November 14, 2011

Tension

A Mouse splat. Yep, she loves people. 
There are now seven cats in the house and the tension is building. This is definitely past the max number of felines that can fit in my place.

I have had no hits on any of the posters or flyers I put up about Mouse. It just breaks my heart that no one is looking for this sweet little girl. Also, she may have been out on her own longer than we previously thought. We had assumed she had only been loose for a couple days. But in the past week she has been eating like mad and has gained a full pound to put her at 4 lbs. 2 oz. That much weight gain implies she was pretty starved when she landed on my doorstep.

Well, the little girl is getting bigger and bouncing around the house like a pogo. She and Boots have become fast friends and they can often be seen - and heard - chasing each other around, wrestling or just snuggling. Bobby gets in on the action occasionally, although Mouse is still pretty intimidated by the big guy.

Mouse and Boots prepare to wrestle. 
There have been some serious problems with the other cats, though. Boots has reached the teenage boy stage and he LOVES to torment the other cats. And the more they grown and throw fits, the more annoying he gets. At least once a night I am woken up by a cat spat between Boots and Sandi or Boots and Ashi. They are never full on fights and Boots doesn't actually attack, he just pesters them until they scream. I have had to start closing Boots in a room by himself at night and I only pray he grows out of it soon. I remember Tyrone going through this stage and it was rather short-lived, so fingers crossed.

The biggest problem has been with Diedra. She really doesn't like having the other cats around her and she is quickly intimidated by them. Ages ago she started hanging out on top of the fridge during the day. She was safe there and could see everything that was going on. Then Boots started getting more obnoxious and she moved to the cabinets above the dryer in the laundry room. I put a cat bed for her up there so she could be comfy and she started spending more and more time up there. I ended up putting food and water for her on the dryer so she didn't have to go into the kitchen to eat and I put a cat box on the laundry room floor.

Well, when Mouse entered the house it threw even this delicate balance out of whack. Last week I went in to give Diedra some treats and noticed that her cat bed was wet. I pulled it down and found that she had been using it as a cat box. I was horrified and called the vet AT ONCE. I had her in within a couple of hours and he found nothing wrong with her. She was a little dehydrated but otherwise healthy. Our conclusion was she was too scared to come down to the cat box on the floor.

I got everything cleaned up and started closing up Boots and Mouse every time I left the house and kept them away from the laundry room whenever I could (the laundry room doesn't have a door). I thought that was helping, but this morning I found Diedra's cat bed wet with urine again and I couldn't coax her down from the cabinets for anything.

Diedra hanging out on top of the laundry room cabinets.
I had been reluctant to close Diedra up in a room by herself. I was under the misconception that she would find this a punishment like Boots does or like I would. Well, this morning it occurred to me that if she has been living exclusively on top of the cabinets, then a whole room would be a heaven. I rearranged my office so I could fit in a cat box and put towels and her food and water on top of the roll top desk. I then had a really fun time getting her off the cabinets and got her in the office and closed the door.

I spent over an hour in there with my sweet Diedra. I held her and spoke to her and reassured her that she would always be safe there. And the whole time my heart was breaking. Here was my own sweet cat, my snuggle bunny, who was so scared she wouldn't come down to eat and I was so occupied with the foster cats that I didn't notice.

I'll keep an eye on things, of course. And Ashi won't be happy to have the office off limits. But fingers crossed that things work out better. And fingers crossed that I can find homes for Boots and Mouse. They deserve to be somewhere they can run and play without pissing off the "old lady" cats.

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