The tale of Tangerine entered a new phase last week. Before I left for my road trip last weekend, Miss Tangerine was living in my office. Her wounds had healed, but because of my concerns about her safety outdoors I was reluctant to release her. My plan was to slowly integrate her into the household by letting the other critters come in and check her out in the office while I was home, which would also give me more time to bond with her. That was the plan. While I was gone, the boyfriend (bless his heart) forgot about my well laid plans, and left the office door open while he was gone. When he came back later that day, Tangerine was no longer in the office.
For the rest of the weekend, Tangerine never made her appearance known to the boyfriend, despite his best efforts in locating her. His best theory was that my landlord had come in and let her out. Riiiiiiight. Since I had been through this before with her during my previous failed attempt to keep her indoors, I figured she’d come out of her hiding place right around bedtime.
At 11:30 pm, right on the dot, I hear a rustling inside my couch. Then a pair of orange paws emerge from underneath the couch. Then an orange head. And finally her body squirms out. Yes indeedy, I now have a feral cat living inside of my couch. How do I know she’s inside the couch, and not merely under the couch? Because when we looked under the couch there was no feral cat, but we noted that the fabric on the underside of the couch was torn, making an easy entrance to the inner couch frame.
Once she is free from her couch lair, Tangerine wanders around the house rather sweetly, looking about curiously then skittering off to another room. Like everyone who meets Alaska, she has a major crush on him and seeks him out. She makes that flirtatious prrroww noise and seductively rubs up the closest piece of furniture when she seems him. He’s not buyin’ it. He still sees her as an intruder and her very presence in the house is making him an anxious mess. I guess he doesn’t remember how they used to cuddle together last year around this time. She sure does though.
On Saturday I woke up to find all four creatures gathered in my bedroom, each asking in their own way for my attention. Even Tangerine shyly approached and let me pet her until Mr. Binkles got jealous and charged her. Once she has out of the way, he placed himself in the petting zone right next to the bed. It was a lovely way to wake up.
Unfortunately, Alaska is not adjusting well to the new house guest. He had accepted Mr. Binkles fairly gracefully, but Tangerine is sending him over the edge. He’s having more bladder symptoms that are stress-related. He’s sick because he is stressed, and he’s getting stressed because he’s sick. I’m having a hard time breaking the cycle with him. And frankly, I’m starting to find his neediness, his constant pacing, and the small puddles of urine everywhere really, really annoying. I feel guilty that I’m feeling a lot of anger and resentment towards him when he disturbs my sleep, or my attempts to relax. My vet tells me there is nothing he can do. We’ve tested for infection and there is none. He says these things are usually stress related. I’m dosing his water with Rescue Remedy and I’ve sprayed Feliway all over his sleeping areas. The only thing I haven’t done is throw Tangerine out of the house.
I hope it doesn’t come to that.