Saturday, December 4, 2010

Trouble in Paradise?

Hopefully this will all prove to be no big deal, but....................

Roughly a week and a half ago, Tomba went ballistic on Schooner, yowling and howling and growling and all “Bring it on!” Schooner, bless his dumb-bunny incorrigible curiosity, kept approaching the furious feline rather than doing what any sensible cat would do: flee and hide. Which of course just stoked Tomba’s rage even more. And of course all the other cats were freaking out at the brouhaha, which further ratcheted up the tension.

I was finally able to placate everyone by feeding them, and discovered that Tomba had a watery eye with a bloody tinge in the exudate. Since this was after midnight, I wasn’t feeling well, the bloody exudate didn’t resume after I carefully wiped the eye, and the nearest animal hospital open for emergencies at that time of night is a good half-hour’s drive away, I opted to wait for morning and see what was what.

What was what next morning was a squinchy but not wholly closed eye with both inner eyelids partially showing, and a bit of redness in the conjunctiva. So off to the vet we went, to the reassuring news that the eyeball was undamaged, the conjunctiva may have been nicked by a Schooner claw but nothing was seriously hurt, and a short course of an eye medicine I already had for both Tomba and Tanya* should set Tommy right. And so it has proved; Tomba’s eye is doing fine.

What aren’t doing fine are Tomba/Schooner relations. Oh, it’s not all war, all the time; most of the time, in fact, they seem to be perfectly amicable and will peaceably hang out or pass by within feet of each other; but since the initial episode there have been two or three more keening-fury eruptions from Tomba, as well as a handful of other lower-key cursing confrontations. Schooner doesn’t react with anger, he just partially bottles out with fear-fluffing, but damn his foolishness still tends to approach rather than run. What triggers it? Damned if I know.

So far Tomba hasn’t out-and-out attacked Schooner, other than short charges that break off just shy of actual engagement, and I’m hoping it never comes to that. But I gotta tell ya, it’s a bitch being yanked out of sleep by the wee-hours siren of an enraged cat. I’m hoping I can continue to placate them when things do blow up, and that Tomba will get over this with time, but what do I do if things escalate to full-on fights? The way my home is set up, I can’t keep them permanently separated, other than by caging one or the other. If it came to giving someone up, I have to say that I think Tomba would be quite content as an only cat, but I’d rather not go that route if at all possible.

* T&T have had off-and-on squinchy damp eye (her, right; him, left – the one Schooner apparently got) ever since they came from the shelter; the vet said it’s likely to be a herpes infection, perhaps shelter acquired, perhaps even picked up from one of my other cats, but very difficult to avoid in a multi-cat situation, not a serious problem, and easily controlled with eye med when it flares up and adding lysine to the diet to promote ocular health.

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