Sunday, July 10, 2005

No clue

Boy, did I ever speak too soon.

Or may I just didn't have my fingers crossed hard enough.

It's been a hellish week around here. I have no idea what we're going to do. I think it was Tuesday night -- Bob and I were in bed, asleep, and he jumped out of bed and ran downstairs, and I was still trying to wake up. I never did hear anything, but he said the cats were fighting downstairs. He threw Pyewacket in the bathroom downstairs and I went down and got Dinah and threw her in the basement so that we could let Pye out.

I can't even remember what happened Wednesday night, but Thursday night everything seemed to be okay until Bob got up and went into the bathroom to shut the shower faucet off--it was dripping--and Dinah was in there, and hissed at him, and Pyewacket had to come see what was going on . . . Bob was so angry that he actually left the house--this was about 2:00 a.m.--to keep from killing her, and I just sat there and shook.

He came back, and we talked, and he was still angry, and Dinah spent the night in the basement. And Friday night I put her down there just as a preemptive measure, because we're just constantly afraid that something is going to set them off, and it's getting to the point where I'm almost afraid to go to sleep if Dinah's around.

Bob left yesterday (Saturday) for a few days at the lake, fishing, and we just had one minor incident last night where one of them--I can't even remember now which one--came out from behind the living room drapes and saw the other, and the growling and hissing started, and I jumped up from where I was sitting and knitting and watching television (BBC America - "What Not to Wear") and threw Pye in the bathroom, then threw Dinah in the basement for an hour or so. I tried letting her out a little later, and everything seemed fine, so I left her out overnight.

Nothing happened. I slept late--10:00!--and woke up thinking, wow, how nice, a whole night, a whole long night, with no cat fights! The cats had spent the night in the bedroom, too, Dinah on the padded stool beside the bed, and Pye at the foot of the bed, and there weren't any problems. Then, as I was waking up, Dinah came in and got on the bed and snuggled next to me, and not five minutes later Pyewacket came into the bedroom. Dinah saw her and growled, and Pye jumped up on the bed to go for her. I shoved her off, and she jumped right back up, and went for Dinah, and there I am, right in the middle.

Sometimes when I think about what might happen if someone tried to steal my purse or something, I wonder if I could scream. Well, yeah, now I know, I guess. I can scream. They didn't get me, I wasn't hurt or anything, and in retrospect, of course screaming isn't going to get them to stop anything, but it's so disorienting, and so scary, and so outside anything that I usuallly have to handle. I guess I'm getting used to it, though.

I have no idea what we're going to do. What seems to have happened now is that Dinah has attacked Pye so many times that Pye is constantly on edge, and has decided to attack Dinah as a preemptive strike rather than waiting for her to attack. So all Dinah has to do is growl and Pye's on her.

This morning after an hour or so, I let Dinah out, and things seemed to be okay, then they were both sitting at the back door and one looked at the other, and it was just immediate--they're rolling around, screaming and hissing--and I sprayed them with the water bottle and separated them . . . and my throat is still sore from screaming, and my stomach is in knots. I don't know what to do. This can't go on, but what can we do? If I went down in the basement now, Dinah would be thrilled to see me. I would lie down on the bed, and she'd come up and lie on my chest and purr and purr.

The vet thinks maybe it's a territorial thing. He says cats--unlike dogs--aren't meant to live in "packs." They're solitary creatures, and in general don't do well when they have to live in close proximity to other cats. The irony is, I suppose, that one of the reasons we took Dinah in was that Pyewacket was attacking me, and we thought maybe another cat would diffuse the tension. It seemed to work at the time.

I have no idea what we're going to do now.

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