All the family drama is over, and we're back to being loving happy bunch that we normally are. My husband's family understands my concerns and they're all being really sweet. For my part, I'm trying to remember that they love me, and aren't meaning to be hurtful. We're all just working toward a happy middle place.
I do want to say thank you to everyone's sweet sweet comments. They really lifted me up at a moment when I felt very low. You just don't know how much you all mean to me.
Now, on to our newest adventure, a new cat!
You may know that the love of my life is my 6 year old DLH cat Duke. He's a fluffy ball of 14lbs of love. He's also commited to being an only child, and is a complete attention whore. He and I spend our mornings cuddled up in bed, and the evenings with me feeding him lots of goodies. LOL
Last weekend my mother came up to drop off her 2 year old Siamese spitfire Tivoli. My parents are moving to Paris for 3 months, and in exchange for plane tickets there, we're watching Tivoli. She's really a sweet cat normally, but you wouldn't know it from the last few days. Mom was supposed to drive up on Friday the 13th, but her car competely died on her about a mile away from home. (That's what we get for a Friday the 13th set of plans.) So, after she picked up her rental car, we decided that she should drive up on Saturday. Then, on Saturday morning Mom woke up to find that the cat had knocked over her almost full jug of liquid laundry detergent, all over litter box. Mom noticed that the cat had detergent on her paws, and so of course she cleaned her up, and after keeping an eye on her for a couple of hours, we determined that it didn't appear that she was suffering any ill effects. So, Mom loaded Tivoli in the car and drove the 4 hours to Fort Worth.
When Mom got into town, she came straight to our apartment, and we tried introducing the cats. Duke was, I'm ashamed to say, less than a gentleman. Tivoli wasn't acting her normal self anyway, so we isolated Duke, and tried to get Tivoli to come out of her carrier and inspect the apartment. It was then that she started making this strange noise. When she breathed out, it sounded like an old coffee percolator. So, we packed her up and took her to the emergency vet clinic. They kept her overnight, because they suspected that she somehow inhaled the laundry detergent, maybe by creating bubbles as she tried to clean herself. She receovered quickly enough that they were ready to send her back to us the next morning, but it was a tense night for all of us.
Then on Sunday we went to pick her up, and the vet wanted us to keep her isolated from Duke for 24 hours. But, the vet did not recommend taking the cat back to Houston, and trying this all over again another weekend. Her reasoning was that it was so stressful for the cat to travel, that it would be better to get all this mess out of the way now. So Sunday the cat lounged at the hotel, while Daniel and I entertained Mom. The Monday I got to work REALLY early, so I could leave at noon, to help Mom introduce the cats. Tivoli promptly hid under my stitching chair, and Duke just sniffed her cat carrier.
Mom drove back to Houston, and that's when the real fun ensued. Of course poor Tivoli has been totally freaked out, but because of her detergent incident, I have to drag her out from under her chair twice a day to squirt medicine down her throat. She totally hates me at this point, and really who could blame her? I think we did the wrong thing letting her hang-out in the living room. I think it was just too big for her to feel comfortable. The first night, we locked Duke in our bedroom with us. (And his litterbox and food and water of course.) Then while I was at work, I kept him in our bedroom, trying to let Tivoli get used to the apartment. And while we saw evidence that she had come out for food and her litterbox, there wasn't much indicating that she did anything other than hide. I don't want her to hide in the bedroom right now because of the medicine we have to give her. I'm not dismantling the bed twice a day to try and grab her.
Last night we had a Eureka moment. My aunt is in town, so we were going out to have dinner with her, and we put Tivoli, her things, and her cat carrier in our bathroom. Then we covered the top of her cat carrier with a towel, and put her towel in the bottom, so it was nice, dark, and cozy. While we were out, she ate, used her box, and left some evidence of playing around. Then, while we were home, we left the bathroom door open, but kept Duke away, to see if she would want to go back under the chair. She didn't. So, we left her in the bathroom for the night. A couple of times I heard her messing around in there. We're just going to let her be the bathroom queen, awkward moments showering be damned.
Also, I got up this morning, and Duke was laying just outside the door, and I could hear Tivoli giving her normal meow, just sounding curious. When I went to open the door to go in, she was right there at the door. So, it seems that they get along when on opposite sides of the door.
They did manage to get at each other this morning, and Duke got a face full of angry hell cat, but he quickly backed down. I think Tivoli is going to be the alpha, and that's totally fine. We're just going to keep their meetings to a real minimum until Tivoli feels more comfortable. Once she's done with her meds, we're going to move her from the bathroom into our bedroom, so she'll get used to being with us. After she stops clinging to the bottom of the mattress, we'll have to just let her roam, as there are no other rooms that can be closed off in our apartment. (Yay for 600 square feet.)
Of course, I'll keep you more updated than you ever wanted while we go through this. We really just want Tivoli to feel happy and comfortable while she's in our home. And, I just have to remember that I can't make this happen any faster than she's ready for it. (Even if I just want to drag her out from under the chair and squeeze her. She's super cuddly feeling.) I have a feeling that in a month or so, Duke's going to be following her around, wanting her to pay attention to him. (She'll probably just laugh and hide on top of her tower, which Duke is too fat for.)