Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Trouble With Cats

You're probably thinking "Great another post about her stupid peeing cat." But no, this is actually not about cat pee at all. If you would like to read about cat pee, check the archives. I'm sure there's one or two posts about it.

A while back I mentioned our other cat Detroit who is kind of evil because she likes to bite. She is half-Siamese and I believe its a Siamese thing, rather than an evil thing. But she bites if you approach her wrong, get anywhere near her face or just generally annoy her in any way.

When we adoped Bunny I was worried about how Detroit would react to Bunny. Would she try to attack her to establish dominance? Would she bite my sweet baby?

My fears were unfounded for the first two years. Detroit was terrified of Bunny. She didn't quite know what to make of this creature that had invaded her home. At first Bunny would crawl after her so Detroit would run away. This became standard operating procedure, Detroit saw Bunny coming toward her, Detroit would run away.

As Bunny got older, we warned her not to pet Miss Troit as she called her. She could pet Tabasco all she wanted but not Miss Troit. So she didn't. You could tell Bunny was curious but she listened and avoided her.

Until last week. Last week there was an "incident". Apparently Detroit had wandered into the living room and was laying on the back of the love seat. Bunny was playing with dinosaurs on the love seat too. I was in the kitchen making dinner and Bubs was sitting on the other couch talking on the phone. No one noticed Detroit at first.

But then Bunny saw her and decided to pet her. She lifted her little hand directly towards Detroit's head in clear violation of the established petting rules. Detroit did not like that one bit. So in an attemtp to protect herself from the "creature" she bit her on the hand.

Lucky for Bunny she had only one little mark (not like the fang marks I got last time). But that was enough for her. Now Bunny is terrified (or at least dramatically scared) of Detroit.

When she sees her, Bunny will scream "No Miss Troit" at the top of her lungs. Or she will let loose with one of those high pitched screams that only toddlers can make. This usually does the trick and the cat high tails it out of there. But if she does not move and dares to remain in the same room, Bunny will stand there whining for us to carry her past Detroit.

Clearly this cannot happen. We cannot have a child so scared of a cat that she will avoid entire rooms because the cat is there. So we hold her hand and march past the cat in an effort to show her that Detroit will not jump out and bite her again. Bunny has now gotten to the point that she can walk on the other side of the room from the cat. But she will not take her eyes off of her just to make sure nothing will happen.

We try and reassure her that Detroit will not attack. That in fact, Detroit wants absolutely nothing to do with her. That she only wishes to go back to their previous relationship of complete and utter indiference.

It may take a while but I hope we get there. I can't take any more trouble with cats.


Kate Coveny Hood said...

Poor Bunny! And poor you having to listen to those screams. George (one of my two year old twins) manages to reach octaves that could shatter crystal. Now I wonder if it's a natural defense against predators...scream and make the enemy retreat... We may be onto something here...

wfbdoglover said...

Do you have the sister to my cat? :) Ours is the same. My son is now 11 and the cat is 16 and a half. The last two years, is the only time my son has been able to pet our cat. He has NEVER held him. :(

Our vet told me the same thing, teach the child to stay away and not be friends. Sounds like you did the same thing. It also sounds like you are doing a great job helping her overcome the fear of the bite. Good job mothering!