I've been home a week now after being gone a full 8 days. (Yes, a full report on the vacation will be upcoming.) The girls were watched by my friend, Pam. Mija usually came to see her when she came in the front door. Pilchard has taken a spot on the bed and that's where she stays. Sometimes she comes to greet me when I get home, but usually not. She's grown into the "oh, it's you" state. I'm not quite used to that. I still get a momentary panic when she doesn't come. Having had one cat die at home while I was at work, when she doesn't come, I worry. Then, I go into the bedroom and she's sitting on her spot on the bed looking at me, giving me that look. Every cat companion knows that look. "I'm right here. Why are you yelling?"
Pam said that toward the end of my vacation, even Mija wasn't coming in the morning. She would go into the bedroom and they would both be on the bed. She took to giving them their treats in bed. Oh the luxury. There was only one "accident" on the living room rug while I was gone, but Pam and I both knew it was no accident. It was a statement. "Mom is gone. You're not mom. I'm registering my displeasure."
Since I've been home, both have followed me around. I expected this. It's the "Don't ever leave us again" syndrome. I blogged about Pilchard over at House Panthers. She's been quite clingy since I got back.
I haven't really seen behavior changes other than following me around. I did find someone's breakfast on the hall floor this morning. The worst thing was Wednesday night. I climbed into bed and smelled poop. It smelled close but there have been some whopper stinks coming from the litter boxes this week. I settled down and rolled onto my side to get comfortable and my arm hit something soft and spherical. You guessed it. I have no idea whose idea it was to make a deposit in the bed, but I know it was because there was displeasure at my being gone. I got up and stripped the sheets, sleeping on a blanket. Yesterday, I wiped down the mattress cover and replaced the sheets.
I thought I had prepared them for being gone, but time passes differently to cats than to humans. It must have seemed like a very long time; days changing to nights and no sign of mom. There was no one to play with other than one's sister, a fact I'm seeing in growling, hissing and spitting. I haven't had a full-blown cat fight, but given how pleasant they have been lately, I'm expecting that this weekend. I've made sure the bathroom floor is clean for the inevitable isolation of someone as punishment for the snarling.
In the meantime, we are back to our usual routine. I go off to work and return home. I do a couple of chores and then sit down to watch the news or read the current book. Mija hops up next to me and "talks" to me about her day. I extend my right arm and she flops down on top of it.
It's one of the highlights of the day, actually. She purrs and purrs and kneads the blanket on the recliner or, if she's close to me, my pants. She will monopolize my hand for a good 45 minutes. Pilchard, meanwhile, jumps up into my lap and complains about disproportionate scratches until I scratch her ears and she settles down in my lap.
Wednesday was Hug Your Cat Day. I hug them every day and I do believe they know how much I love them. This fighting is, I think, just like kids in the "Mom loves me best" derby. I hugged them both on Wednesday and told them I loved them. It's hard not to want to hug them when I have this face waiting for me when I come home.