Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Unforeseen Consequences

Isn't he cute? He comes around now just looking for peanuts. He knows I'll toss them out on the deck on occasion and so he's started visiting to see if there are any.

Well, file this under "no good deed goes unpunished". I toss a couple handfuls onto the deck, in front of the back door, and place a handful on the end of the deck rail. One cat can sit at the back door and watch, while the other cat can sit at the window and watch. Yes, it could be the same squirrel stealing all the nuts but there is a fatter one who shows up on occasion. (I still have not see anything of the black one who was in the yard in the winter.)

Sunday, the peanut eater created a huge bunch of drama between the girls. If I'd really thought this out, I probably could have seen this coming, but my goal was to provide some minor entertainment. I had just settled down with my breakfast oatmeal to balance my checkbook and there erupted a massive cat fight in the kitchen. Mija came charging down the hallway with Pilchard in hot pursuit. There was much growling, hissing and some swiping of paws. I broke that up, sent them to their respective corners and yelled, "Stop it!" Unfortunately, that didn't stop it.

The rest of the day, they took turns sniping, growling, hissing at and fighting with each other. It got really bad when Pilchard cornered Mija in the bathroom. I thought fur was going to fly or Mija would come out biting. We've already had a problem with Pilchard getting bit. I don't want another one.

At first, I couldn't figure out what would have triggered such horribly aggressive and hostile behavior in two cats who have been raised together for years. Then, later that night, a raccoon jumped up on the deck railing just outside this window. Mija was asleep on the shelf unit under the window and Pilchard was asleep in the chair to my right. Mija instantly hissed and growled and swiped at the window. Pilchard, awoke and when Mija jumped down off the shelf unit, hissed and growled at her. Bingo. They must have both been at the back door earlier in the day when the squirrel showed up. Cats are notoriously territorial about prey and if both of them saw the squirrel, they would have unleashed the "That's mine" against the other one. It was really, really bad on Sunday.

By Monday, they had calmed down to half of what it was on Sunday. Mija still hissed and growled when she met Pilchard in the hallway and Pilchard still stalked Mija when she would come through the kitchen following me. They seemed to both need reassurance that I was over yelling at them. There are no patches of fur missing, no obvious teeth marks. So, we seem to have gotten through this.

But, I think I shall be limiting how many peanuts I spread out and where they go. It really bothers me to see the natural anger of the girls explode like that. I tried to keep them calm and separated but they want to be with and near me and that seemed to exacerbate the hostilities on Sunday. I need to think about this. Avoidable vet bills are not to be encouraged.

Beverage:  Dr Pepper


No comments:

Post a Comment