A Tale of Two Kitties
I’ve been considering writing this post for awhile and haven’t wanted to. But it’s my new reality so I’m not going to bury my head in the sand anymore. As you may (or may not if you’re new here) know, we have two cats, Taylor and Pippin. We’ve had Taylor over ten years and Pippin for almost eight. They were my babies before my baby and they help me balance female power in our house, ha ha. When we first got Pippin we had to work to get them friendly with each other, but with patience, we did. Sure, they would play fight and maybe didn’t love each other 100% of the time, but for the most part they liked each other and would even cuddle together, especially in winter. So life was good.
After we got back from Jamaica, we decided to switch them to a grain free dry food. We have been feeding them grain free wet food for some time now because Pippin has digestive issues and it helps her. We thought moving to grain free dry food would be good for her too. We did the usual mix half and half and everything seemed fine. I noticed they seemed to prefer their old food though and would leave most of the new food behind. I thought maybe we’d just need to try a different grain free food and didn’t think much of it.
One night I woke up to extreme meowing and howling noises. I thought it had to be some wild cat outside, this surely couldn’t be in my house. The noises stopped and I went back to sleep. Then it was a morning that Ollie woke early and we ended up sleeping out on the couch together. And Taylor and Pippin came in the room and Taylor yowled and hissed and growled at Pippin in ways I’ve never heard before. It was frightening. I separated them as best as I could and Taylor spent the majority of the rest of the weekend in the basement while Pippin stayed upstairs. That was about two months ago and I’m sad to report, while things have improved slightly, they still can’t really stay in the same room for very long.
We have ruled out any health issues. The best we can figure is they somehow had a fight over their old food when we were mixing the two foods together and it was enough to send Taylor over the edge. She is an old lady and stuck in her ways and maybe just decided she isn’t going to put up with Pippin’s BS or something. Who knows. I wish they could just talk to us. And of course, Pippin is our big doofy girl who doesn’t understand that Taylor’s mad at her.
At first we were very frustrated and even had some emotional nights where we thought, maybe we need to re-home. But then we stepped back and agreed that we still love these little furballs and they are part of our family for better or worse, so we’re going to deal with it. We got some Feliway diffusers, which is this thing that is like a Glade plug in, it emits this fermone that only cats can smell that helps them relax. We also got some in a spray version. We got some “happy kitty” treats that we feed them. My sister-in-law’s best friend also told us about a collar that has that same fermone on it that cats can wear that helped her cat through a difficult period. We bought a collar for each of them.
They’ve both been wearing the collars for about a week and while Taylor still hisses, she hasn’t yeowled nearly as much. She’s coming upstairs more and more again and she’s even willing to sit on Nate’s lap if Pippin is sitting on mine. They may never be 100% best friends again, but if we can at least get them to be civil, then I’ll take it. I just hope and pray I see a picture like this again someday.
Cats are such assholes aren’t they? But God I love them. So we press on. If any fellow cat people have any tips we haven’t tried yet to share, hit me in the comments.