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Feuding cats fuel fear and frustration

We almost had a ‘cat’astrophe at our house last week while we were at work.

There was a catfight and nobody was home to intervene. One of our tenants heard the most awful cat sounds resonating from our upstairs bedroom and was sure the fight of the century had broken out between two or more of them. She immediately notified Ray.

We were at work (in the middle of a snow and ice storm) and couldn’t do a thing about it. Our sister-in-law/pet sitter, Kat, was still two hours out. All we could do was wait and pray that no cats were injured and no other cats or dogs ventured upstairs. I sat through a meeting texting Kat the potential gory details, absent-mindedly preoccupied with the possible carnage that was taking place. Not knowing is often the hardest part but Kat said she was going to try to get to the house sooner, storm and all.

Ray had two cats when I moved in: Brother and sister Krusher and Katie. I just adore them and love spending quality time with them in the evenings before bed. They are both older than Methuselah, quite fragile and can be quite moody, especially Katie. She doesn’t like to be messed with. She was most likely the target of the brawl.

And, because the four cats (Gracie, BoBo, Grayer and Odilia) I brought into our Brady bunch mix don’t get along with Katie and Krusher, we let the brother and sister duo have the run of the upstairs and the foursome is restricted to the downstairs. All cats are separated by two sets of French doors. Therein lies the problem — the whole messy problem.

In the summer, the wooden doors are swollen from the humidity and hard to open and close. In the winter, they basically open with the touch of a finger … or paw. So, we barricade the doors during the winter with totes in one room and a cabinet and chair in the living room. I’m telling you, we look like the Clampetts from “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

We first started barricading the doors because Rio learned how to break through and run upstairs to get into mischief. Now apparently, we have to worry about the cats, too.

However, once my sister-in-law was able to plow through the treacherous snowstorm that day and get to the house she didn’t find too much amiss.

She found the culprit BoBo on the other side of the doors peering through waiting for his release back into the downstairs. Whatever damage he had caused was done but nobody was talking. Not even the dogs.

Kat assessed the situation and found everyone to be in good shape, with Katie still a tad perturbed.

She’s the dramatic one and would have qualified for an Oscar if we would have actually witnessed her skirmish with BoBo. Apparently, and because nobody’s talking, there was a lot of swatting, meowing, growling (yes, cats growl) and hissing.

Although Kat confirmed all was OK and sent pictures to prove it, I still felt uneasy the rest of the day. All I can think of is that I had the one set of doors open for a brief minute to grab a hat out of the hall closet that morning and BoBo used that spit second to make a dash for “the other side.”

Thankfully, nobody was hurt. Two hours of sheer panic and worry for nothing. But, it goes to show I need to barricade the doors better and do a better job conducting a head count with the pets before we leave for work.

I’m happy to report all is back to normal in our house — that is, the state of affairs that we call normal in our home anyway. On to the next drama!

Amy is the author “Have Dog Will Blog,” editor of the Central PA Pets magazine, and director of the Central PA Pet Expo. She can be contacted at ahanna@altoona

mirror.com or by mail: Paws and Reflect, c/o Amy J. Hanna-Eckenrode, Altoona Mirror, 301 Cayuga Ave., Altoona, PA 16602.

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