Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Of Odd Cats and Wristly Pains...

I live with three felines. Each was a stray or feral and came to me through completely unintentional circumstances. The oldest of my cats, a female Korat, died last year at fifteen as the result of cancer. Since her death, her companion cat, now thirteen, has been acting odd. From initial conversations with the veterinarian, it appeared that this high strung Siamese was in mourning. She is taking anti-anxiety medication, which has only minimally helped by reducing long bouts of nocturnal yowling.

As months have gone by, she no longer sleeps in bed with the other cats unless I am not in bed, and spends most of the night jumping from a small bedside table to the floor and then to my desk, again and again, knocking over lamps, computer speakers, books or whatever else she encounters.
I tried keeping the single bedroom feline-free, only to be ultimately thwarted by the incessant complaints of the other two cats, a large male tux and a black cat that otherwise makes few sounds. Additionally, a product called Feli-way, which is supposed to mimic happy cat hormones, has had little effect on the nightly din.

My attempts to leave the bedroom door closed during the day as well, thus denying entry to all the cats produced enough caterwauling that the upstairs neighbors gently complained of the noise. Since all three have chronic health concerns that reduce the likelihood of adoption, and I do love them, I've been pouring over cat behaviour tomes to little avail. Medical testing on the Siamese has offered no explanation, leading the vet to suggest that the problem is behavioural.
Playing with her before bed to tire her enough to sleep has also proven futile. She remains in awe of my folding manual, fleeing beneath the bed to avoid being evicted from the bedroom.
I have resorted to sleeping in the living room, closing the bedroom off and leaving her to her own devices while the other two cats and I nestle on the futon. Unfortunately, it is not as comfortable as the bed I've temporarily surrendered. Consequently, I am sleep-deprived, on the verge of a cold, my animals are stressed and the veterinarian at a loss. I have also apparently strained my wrist hefting my large male tux...

Anyone having suggestions or experience, feel free to comment.

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