Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Saturday, September 10, 2016


A few photos, as things develop between the new and old cats-- two tribes making our home less than relaxing as they try to sort out their positions. Three black cats and an orange one. 

 Raven and Blackie Sept. 9, 2016
I have lived with cats my entire life, from as far back as I can remember anyway. Mostly it's gone smoothly with the cats that don't like each other just avoiding the other with a few fanning the air with paws and hissing. What happened this summer is different with four cats.

Their history here is pretty simple. Blackie, about ten years old, has been with us about ten years but guessing his age, as he came as a stray. Raven we got from a cat rescue program in Salem from an ad we saw on Craig's List when I was looking for a cat to replace the one we had just lost. She's currently three years old. She and Blackie play together and love each other. From the time she arrived, they've gotten along great.

 wildlife cam-- winter 2016

For some years, we saw an orange cat around the farm. We didn't name him, regarding him as feral. Early this summer, we began to see he was looking less fit and worried that if we didn't adopt him, he wouldn't live through another winter. So we got him to come to us, had him neutered, tested, vaccinated, and called him Tigger as he responded to that name.He does not have total access to the house-- although he'd like it as when he's in, he has to be watched to avoid spraying or being drawn into a fight with the others.

While working it out with Tigger, we were aware another feral cat was around, black with a white chest and much younger with her ear notched indicating she had been spayed. It took a trap to get her to come into the house, but finding she used the dirt box, we took her into the veterinarian also for shots (she acted quite wild in the office-- not easy to control and growling all the way). Our grandson suggested we call her Babe and so far the name has stuck.

So here we are, after two months, trying to get these four cats to get along without fights. After a few cat attacks (Raven does not like Babe), we bought feel good diffusers, which are supposed to help with the civilizing process and get them to relax. We also are trying cat tranquilizers as they are in an attack and run situation with the two females (shouldn't the females get along better than this but they are both the hardest to handle). Raven has turned into a bully-- a side of her personality we'd never seen. She more or less gets along with Tigger but Babe is an interloper, who she drives to hide in the bedroom. Currently, Babe sleeps with us but during the day has to avoid the living room area. Raven had decided she didn't want to sleep with us before Babe arrived but Blackie generally does. Babe likes to cuddle with him, but he's less impressed.

The following photos are from our wildlife cam. Babe had been getting out of the supposedly cat fenced yard, and the cam was set up to let us see how-- although so far she's proven smarter or quicker than the cam can catch. Because we saw part of one escape, we know she gets to the roof of the greenhouse, then to the house roof, down the other side to the roof over the kitchen entry and firewood and then down. How she gets to the roof has been the mystery.

In the following cam photos of the black cats the final act was not captured-- it happened too fast with Ranch Boss yelling and bringing the water bottle into the fray. 

Raven was again the instigator, with Babe running from possible annihilation or whatever she fears Raven would do if she caught her. She hasn't caught her; so that's undecided on our human level if not on the cats'.

First photo is Babe relaxing in the sun... next one, Raven is approaching and then Blackie joins in but for uncertain reasons. He tends to try to break up trouble. The bad part is so does Tigger, which then leads to the two males hissing and swatting at each other.

 Tigger was not involved in that interaction and would like to be a house cat, but he has one habit that still must be resolved-- spraying to mark his territory. That is not okay. Telling a cat what to do has its frustrations. I won't say they don't know what we are saying. I will say, they don't care.


Rain Trueax said...

Last night, with the tranquilizers to reduce aggression still not here, we had gone to bed with Babe and the other two seemingly peacefully sleeping in the living room. About 2 am, Raven attacked Babe and it looked like she intended to harm her as this was no chasing her off as she had already gone under the bed. Blackie got involved with maybe trying to block the attack and Raven took swats at him. It looks like the trans-dermal tranquilizers are our only option-- other than keeping them apart totally. It took awhile to get that prescription filled is why it'll be Monday before the compounding pharmacy is open again. The one the pharmacist recommended he said is best for aggression and a two month supply. I hate having to resort to drugs but this attack last night was intended to hurt. Very upsetting. I need a cat whisperer ;(. I guess it would seem simple, get rid of one of the cats, but two need love and support for having trusted us and the other two have never had that kind of love. I have to believe we can work this out but it takes breaking a pattern and apparently that means keeping Raven high ;) φ

joared said...

Many psychological issues going on with these cats -- maybe some permanently mentally deficient. I would wonder if feral ones might always have some wildness and attitude toward one another. Also somewhere along the line i was told male cats not neutered until after they were adults, having had many fights for survival, arent calmed as much by the surgery as young male kittens. Simple territorial, dominance, jealousy may always be factor. Love does not always solve everything, nor does logic in some instances. Maybe i should be more positive, so good luck!

Rain Trueax said...

No, it is true and we are asking ourselves the same thing. We had a couple of kitty tranquilizers from car trips which we gave to the two females yesterday since we don't have the transdermal until the pharmacy opens today. The pills left them totally stoned and it will take time, as we adjust the dosage, to decide it will be a permanent solution. One thing I can say for sure is the two feral ones are wilder than the others and it may be that we have to settle for them being outside but in a safe zone. We have a greenhouse and covered patio area attached to it where we have plastic panels on the walls. As that is cleaned up for the cat usage, it might be they don't ever become fully house cats but only inside and out. We had that once before here. Last night, in his exuberance, Tigger bit Ranch Boss in affection but the bite broke skin. Paul is watching it carefully this morning since it was shallow and he immediately did all the remedies but still that's a cat with no boundaries. The female is that way too. We can give them a good life here but it may not be able to be in the house all the time. I don't want Tigger to bite Blackie, our old male, that way. So this is a learning process-- of course, as so much of life is. The drugs will determine the females but if Babe stays out with Tigger, he's happier; so...