Sunday, February 19, 2012

Relationships can be difficult...

...for cats in particular, it seems.

We have two cats, Bengals, sisters from the same litter. We've had then since they were kittens, some dozen years and more ago.

They are quite different in many ways - markings, personality, which of them is a lap cat and which not. Sonja is red, and striped like a miniature tiger. Nema, her sister, has a coat that hews more closely to the markings of the Asian Leopard Cat, a wild cat they're only six or seven generations removed from. She's spotted like a leopard and is more of a tan color.

Nema in front, Sonja in the Condo
They grew up together and, while on occasion they chase one another around and spar for the exercise, had quite a good relationship. We'd find them curled together, sleeping. They'd groom one another - though there was always the chance a tongue bath might change to an experimental "chomp". And then they'd be off to the races - and heaven help any poor human who stumbled into their path.

Last week, Nema was unwell. Something didn't settle and she was very much not herself. We took her to the vet in the late afternoon, early evening. The vet checked her out, and did his very best to calm the two of us. Nema was, by then, in no pain and recovering. He took a blood sample. The results the following day showed nothing amis.

And Nema got better. Whatever it was, she threw it off and all was well - with her.

Sonja wants to know who this new cat is. Actually she doesn't want to know. She'd simply like to kill her.

Sonja has always been a 'scaredy-cat', if somewhat territorial. Well, Mamma Territorial is to the fore right now. We can see her nose going busily when she gets close to Nema - and she neither likes nor seems to recognize the scent.

Hissing, growling, racing about the house, and fighting that goes beyond the previous sparring. We've tried a variety of solutions. Nothing works as yet.

Any future time we need to take one to the vet, we'll take both. Prior to this, for checkups and such, they've always gone together. This time, worried as we were about Nema, we made the mistake of only taking the one.

We're hoping time will mend things. That's about all we've got left right now.

11 comments:

  1. Animals are such strange things, if the smell is not right then everything is topsy turvy. I have a small grey cat of 17 yrs and a very big white striped tabby of 10. When I buy them new collars I have to remove the bell from big boy or the grey will attack him. She associates the tinkle of the bell with other cats, even though she wears a bell herself. Like I said strange animals. ^_^

    I hope your two settle down again very soon.

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    1. Strange, indeed, Helen. We'd commented over the years on how olfactory-focused these two were. Little did we know! We're hoping for detente, at least.

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  2. They don't sound much different to humans to me. I know that I used to go crazy when my sister went somewhere without me too. It's the betrayal, you see. And sisters are more sensitive to betrayal than most.

    I hope things improve. Poor little kitties.

    Jai

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    1. Ah, that's it, Jai. I'll blame it on the fact they're sisters! Oops, best not. I have two sisters. They may take it amis. :D

      It's true, Nema did go somewhere without Sonja, but Sonja would not have been happy with either the journey or the destination. I'm not sure this was one we could win.

      We're hoping for improvement.

      My best to you.

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    2. It's all so complicated, isn't it? I hope things get better.

      Jai

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  3. Same here. Scent is important to animals. We just got one of the cats fixed and the others are now scared of him and behave exactly like your Sonja :-)

    And for another note about scent, the cat we got fixed loves me sooo much. It doesn't matter that I'm not home much during weekends, or that my mother is holding him. If he has the opportunity to choose, he won't even look at other people in the house; he follows me, purrs and wants to climb on MY lap.
    (We tested him various times: my mom sat down and called him to jump up on her lap. Nothing. I sat down and didn't even have time to look his way he was already on my lap.)

    Funny creatures :)

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    1. Funny creatures, indeed. We'll see how it goes.

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  4. Cats are endlessly fascinating creatures, each one with their own personality - something non-cat people don't understand. Maybe you could try dusting them both with some catnip to wipe out the 'strange human' smell?

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    1. Cats are, aren't they Laura? Magical, mystical, infuriating. :)

      The catnip sounds like an interesting idea. Although, some years ago a friend of ours gave us some fresh catnip. Nema was as high as a kite for a looong while. It could make for an interesting afternoon/evening/night.

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  5. I admit to not finding cats fascinating. They're touchy, short-sighted and selfish, so it doesn't surprise me they could flip out at each other like this. Taking the two together sounds like a wise idea to avoid future skirmishes!

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    1. "They're touchy, short-sighted and selfish..." - but, isn't that what makes them fascinating?

      Sonja's calmer now, which is good. However, Nema has decided she's had enough of this nonsense - and is chasing her sister around when the mood strikes her. *sigh*

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