Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Musings from the Junque Pile, or Tails of Two Kitties

Thanks to my mom for that title...it's all hers.

So, most of you know that my mother moved in with me with in the last month. She brought with her two cats, which added to the 3 that already rule the roost here at the micro-mini ranch. Buddy and Kibs are hers, and mine are Boston, Norm, and Celeste.  Celeste doesn't have too much to say in this story, as she doesn't come out from under the bed very often.

There was the normal hissing and spitting contests that happen when new cats are introduced to one another. We didn't think it would be much more than growling and batting at one another, as all cats are in the advanced adult age, all but 2 are over 10 years old.

A couple of days ago, mom came to me holding Buddy, saying, "I think he broke his tail."  We examined him, and his tail did have a lump in it, but he was holding it up, and it would wag around. He cried when we touched the lump, and we felt bad.

Now, Buddy is a special needs cat. We don't know if he has a birth defect or was malnourished as a youn'un, but he's extremely skinny, and his back legs are too long for his body. He's got really bad balance, and he walks just plain funny. Teetering from side to side, he often stumbles and falls on his rump. We try not to giggle at him, because we don't know if it hurts his feelings or anything like that. For the most part, Buddy is a happy cat. He loves to snuggle, and years of being in a neglectful home, prior to Mom rescuing him, he was picked on by other cats. It has given him a spunky attitude. He doesn't take crap from anybody. He will bitch-slap any cat that gets in his way. Or so we thought.

We figured he took a slightly harder than normal fall, and bumped or sprained his tail. We were pretty sure it wasn't broken. The other thought we hard was that one of my cats, Norm, had bitten him. So we decided to watch Buddy's tail and see if the swelling was more like and infected bite. As I said, the tail was up and swishing, so while we were concerned, we weren't whisking him off to the vet just yet.

Fast forward to yesterday afternoon, when I picked Kibs up for a snuggle. He's got a little hernia on his belly, that he's had forever, and doesn't seem to bother him much. But when I picked him up, he cried like he hurt. I figured I put too much pressure on his little belly, and vowed to be more careful in supporting him when I picked him up.  He is also a sweet heart, and a rescue, and though we aren't sure, we think he's the oldest of the bunch, which would put him in the 16-17 year range.

Last night I bent down to pet him, as he is always at my feet looking for love. As I ran my hand over the base of his tail, he made a pain noise. Oh no. And oh yes. He's got a bump on his tail, too.  WTF?!?!

He, like Buddy, has his tail up and swishing, so it's not broken, but damn if he doesn't also have a swollen bump, too. What is going on here??

We've made the tentative conclusion that both of the new cats have been part of some weird Kitty Hazing Ritual. Mr. Norm, who is the most gentlest cat when it comes to people, is a weee bit territorial around other cats. I'm thinking he's throwing his weight around, and making sure that everyone knows who's king of the jungle around here.

Rotten little bastard.

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