Thursday, January 19, 2012

The power of the pheromone!

One stressed cat, made two stress cats and one big stressed Kat, me.

What seemed like a simple visit to my vet's over a slight concern I had with my Lily, turned into one lost night's sleep for the three of us, Lily, Gretel and me. Without getting into all the mundane details of my concern, to say the least, I saw a side of Lily I've never seen before — Damien, devil cat. Normally, Lily is the most placid cat with a great disposition, super friendly and not demanding.

As I took her out of her cage in the patient's room, one look at a sketch of a tabby cat on the wall, and Lily was a bundle of hisses. I didn't know she knew how. I've never heard her before. Well, she hadn't even seen the vet yet, what was to come?

The vet did the usual prodding and poking, and dare I saw a rectal exam, not fun for anyone, blood tests, all the while growling and hissing. She was a neurotic mess by the end of it. Thirty minutes at the vet's turned into 24 hours of a hissing Damien cat. Lily was so stressed by the entire adventure, that she took it out on poor quiet and tiny Gretel. Gretel unfortunately got the wrath of Lily's vile behavior — though I got the odd hiss too. Lily made these low toned growls, that made the hair on the back on my neck stand up. I wasn't going to mess with her, and you could be sure Gretel wasn't either.

I thought after an hour or two, all would be well. Not.

Lily wouldn't allow Gretel to be anywhere near her. I gave Lily time-outs, locked her in a room to cool down. I think that only stressed her more. When it came time for bed, they both normally sleep on my bed. Well, that was not to be. One came, then the other, then the hissing, then the running. I swear I didn't get more than 15 minute blocks of sleep that night. I got out of bed in frustration at 3:00 am, to check my email and surf a bit and ended up watching a movie on TVO. I was wide awake at this point.

Would I ever have my Ying Yang cats back?

Concerned by the about face behavior, I locked Lily in her own room while I went to work, concerned for poor Gretel's safety, and I visited the vet's first thing that morning. "Highly unusual behaviour," I was told. No kidding. My Mom had suggested I get a Feline Pheromone spray, that she had heard had good results for calming down cats. What did I have to lose?

Off to my local pet store, $40 later, and one tiny little spray bottle of French Feline Pheromones, & I was armed to meet Lily head on. After I got home from work I let Lily out of her room — she was still hissing at Gretel.

I walked through the house and & must have sprayed half of the bottle of pheromones everywhere I thought they would be, and within 30 minutes, calm had settled on our home.

Ah, the power of the pheromone.
Take that Pépe Le Pew.

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