Every time I think all is well in my peaceable kingdom, something happens to upset the balance. For years, it was just my three cats, Nomie, Alaska and Sasquatch. While not always the best of buds, they all co-existed quite peaceably, with the occasional spat over who got what spot on the bed at night.
Then a year ago, I tried to introduce Tangerine O’Feral into the household. She adjusted to the other cats much better than she ever did to me. During the day, I would catch her chilling with the other three on the bed, but if I got too near she would head under the bed. I told people I had three and a half cats, since to admit to having four would make me a card-carrying member of the Cat Lady Society.
Shortly after I moved into this house last Spring, Tangerine found an escape route and took advantage of it. I didn’t see her for another several weeks. Eventually, she joined the rest of her feral family and showed up for the twice daily feedings. Unfortunately, she was never fully accepted back, but they tolerated having her near. Inside, while Sasquatch seemed to miss Tangerine, the balance was once again restored.
This summer my beloved Miss Nomer got very ill, made a bit of recovery, and then suddenly relapsed and died. The balance was once again upset, but since Nomie was really a people’s cat vs a cat’s cat, it didn’t take long for the remaining two to recover (though I still miss her like crazy). A month later, a little red bunny hops in our lives and a home is made for him in the sun room.
It has taken several months for Mr. Binkles to have free roam of the house, without any barriers. While his pen remains in the sun room, he has figured out how to let himself out whenever he wants to. At first this was a real battle of wits, as I didn’t want him having free range of the house since he had the bad habit of leaving little calling cards on the furniture. There was a period where he was only allowed in rooms with non-upholstered furniture – the dining room, kitchen office and bathroom. Eventually, as the last of his hormones settled down, he no longer feels the need to poop on everything to establish his territory, so he has free range of the house now. His litter box manners are almost perfect, but he has the most disconcerting habit of following me whenever he sees me going into the bathroom, and then jumping into the cat’s litter box to pee whenever I do likewise. I suppose I should be flattered? Anyway . . . he does, however, get penned up at night as there is nothing quite as alarming as waking up to a rabbit nose and those big pointy teeth inches away from your face.
But, today the balance is once again upset. Tangerine is back in the house. My neighbor noticed that Tangerine had a weeping wound on her side and suggested I take her into the vet and have it looked at. Good thing I did, as she has a big ol’ infection. The vet had to create two big holes in order to create drainage of the pus, and now it is my job for the next week to keep those wounds open and apply warm compresses and give her antibiotics. So, now do I not only have a feral back in my house, she is a wounded feral that needs hands-on nursing.
So, for the next week, the office is the cat infirmary, and off limits to the other cats and rabbit. They are not pleased. But, once again a balance will be found. It always is.