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So things have been kinda crazy. Just returned last week from a business trip into the Chicago suburban area for my annual performance review. Got to visit [livejournal.com profile] vaudy and [livejournal.com profile] waveform_delta, and that was definitely the highlight of the trip.



Lowlights included another pay raise that didn't match the inflation rate for the 2nd consecutive year, as well as my cat Cooper going insane. No, really.

Contextually speaking, our place is a little studio, bordered by an exterior bathroom that divides our place from the rest of my parents' house. So you enter it before you enter our place, and vice versa, kinda like an airlock. This is the place where Sabrina had barricaded herself when she called me at 5:00 a.m. last Monday. She had been having a hard time sleeping around 1 a.m. Pacific, because our other cat Six was having her kitty crazies, running around all over the place, jumping on the kitchen counter, in the sink, into our recycle bin, on top of tables,just making a lot of noise and being a brat. Usually she wears herself out doing this, but she was extra-energetic that night, so Sabrina sleepily grabbed her by the scruff, and scooped her toward the bed, so that Sabrina could lie down while hoping that Six would start to calm. Suddenly, she feels a painful swat at her thigh; out of nowhere, Cooper's scratched her, and is growling at her something fierce, in tones that are definitely NOT playful. She releases Six, and tries to calm him down, but he's still angry, and when she tries to walk past him, he cuts her off. Then he starts approaching her, and when she backs up, he starts chasing her around the apartment until she finally escaped to the exterior bathroom, whereupon its door's closing, he charges at the bathroom door and scratches at it in a fury.

That's right; our cat chased my wife out of her own home.

So she spends a less-than-restful morning sleeping on a couch in my parents' side of the house, and calls a vet in the morning. The vet tells her not to even bother bringing Cooper in; this kind of thing apparently happens a bit during spring. The likely cause? Something called feline redirected aggression. The vet theorizes that when Cooper saw her scruff Six and hold her down, it reminded him of how he attempts to scruff and mount her, despite being neutered, and that this act triggered a jealous rage on his part.

Weird-ass cat.

The remedy for this kind of thing is to deny him sensory stimulation, and throw him into a darkened room for a while until he calms down, and in the future prevent him from being triggered by whatever triggered him. And probably play with him a lot, so he doesn't get pent-up aggression.

Anyway, my wife's afraid of our cat, and continues to be so until I manage to fly home two nights later. At which point Cooper starts acting like his normal self. So, uh, yeah. He's high-maintenance. He was 8 weeks old when I adopted him. And I didn't have a chance at the time, because when I picked him up upon meeting him, he started purring like crazy, and promptly fell asleep on my forearm within 5 seconds. If you're a small furry animal and you fall asleep while I'm holding you; it's game over. I'm pretty much yours for life.

But this is weird, since he attacked my wife and all. We're hoping we can control him with the knowledge we've got now, but if it comes up again, I really don't want to think about having to let him go to another home or something.
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July 2009

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