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Monday, February 6, 2023

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My Dreadful Children

I have two human children. They are mostly great. They get along (mostly), do well in school (usually) and (generally) are a credit to our family.

I also have Cinnamon and Felicity: my two cats, aka “Fur Children.” They are about as mismatched a pair as you could imagine. We adopted Cinnamon in 2010 when he was 4 months old. He was rescued from the UMW campus as a tiny scrap of a thing, no mama or siblings in sight. Perhaps as a result of this rough introduction to the cold, cruel world, he is a feisty survivor. The first cat we brought home as his companion had to be swiftly removed for its own health and safety. Cinnamon bullied the poor little dude into several corners and then tried to straddle him. It wasn’t pretty.

crazy cats

Shortly after this disastrous attempt to grow our family, my daughter and I headed to the SPCA with a mission: to get a strong-willed cat that could stand up to Cinnamon. Whoo boy did we succeed! Felicity is one tough calico cookie. She is clearly the princess of the house (and not only her in own mind – she’s informed us as well) and will put up with zero crap from Cinnamon. He gets too close and she doesn’t like the way his whiskers look? She swipes. He looks at her funny? She lunges. The other day she was on top of the fridge—I mean, her throne—and Cinnamon had the temerity to try to join her there. She attacked. Yowling and crashing alerted me to the situation, and I caught the tail end of Cinnamon ricocheting against our compost bin on his way to the floor. Yep, he’s met his match, and I bet he regrets that long-ago cornering and straddling now that he’s on the other end of the bullying!

Not to say it is entirely one-sided. Cinnamon gets some jabs in, too. He once scratched Felicity’s cornea and it was only by some miracle (or so the vet later told me) that it did not get infected. And when she goes after him, he fights back. It’s a real pleasure palace around here when they get going, let me tell you. Yowling, growling and screeching galore!

Recently my sister, who also has had what some might describe as “amusing” cat struggles, put one of her felines on Prozac. Supposed to calm them right down and restore harmony to the domicile. According to her, it is working. “Worth a try,” I thought after hearing of this, and so I promptly got Felicity a prescription. Well, guys, it has been about a month now and I’m not seeing any real changes. The fights may have decreased in frequency, but the intensity is just as, um, intense. (That fridge, I mean throne, incident happened just a few days ago.)*

I still hope that someday, somehow, Felicity and Cinnamon will decide to make love rather than war. But after three years of sieges and attacks, I’m not holding my breath. Instead, I’m considering asking my doctor to prescribe ME some Prozac!

*While I am obviously not a vet, let me note that in a small percentage of cats, Prozac can actually increase aggression. I think Felicity is in that category. Be sure to consult with your vet before trying Prozac on any of your cats.

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