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Old September 29th, 2019, 10:36 AM
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An update on the Saga of JD and Dusty, Kitties Extraordinaire

Some days I'm still really discouraged, but there are many moments like these, which I need to remember when things are getting loud :

Name:  Both of the cats love Grace 9-17-19.jpg
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Name:  Conversations over grass dessert 9-18-19 A.jpg
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Name:  Kittles on the loveseat 9-19-19.jpg
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Old September 29th, 2019, 10:41 AM
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This is probably more typical of their usual playtime:

Name:  Dusty is keeping a watchful eye on JD 9-19-19.jpg
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Name:  Playing around the crinkle tunnel 9-21-19 A.jpg
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Name:  Playing around the crinkle tunnel 9-21-19 B.jpg
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Old September 29th, 2019, 10:48 AM
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And although the Feliway seems to have relaxed them both a bit, we still have scenes like these with the Feliway in play:

Name:  Back off, Buddy! 9-21-19.jpg
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Name:  Gonna bite your belly, JD! 9-23-19.jpg
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Name:  Boxing on the computer desk 9-23-19.jpg
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Old September 29th, 2019, 10:55 AM
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Dusty is no pushover--I'll have to pull JD off of her because he's got her pinned, but then she sometimes comes right back and sneaks up on him from behind. I have a little video that shows a Dusty-ninja-attack on JD's tail, but I can't upload it to the site. Might try to put it up on FB later...

Given the number of times I have to run to Dusty's aid to pull JD off her back or neck, it won't be any time soon that I'll be comfortable with leaving them alone unsupervised, but there have been no injuries, or even pulled-out hair, which gives me hope that the time is coming... And if Lili ever grows up enough to be gentle with the cats, they'll have more room to roam (right now, it's pretty tight quarters in the rooms they're allowed in).

So what do you think? Is this play or just sheer annoyance from JD that Dusty is allowed in 'his' house? Neither of them gets so out of their heads that they scratch or bite at me when I separate them. But they do get sort of noisy and screechy and growly, sometimes.

Right now, we have one Feliway diffuser up in the family room, where Dusty stays and JD comes up from his Kitty Palace to visit every day. (The pics are all from the family room). Would it help to put another diffuser down in JD's Kitty Palace so he's 'under the influence' when he comes upstairs? It seems like the longer he's upstairs, the more relaxed with Dusty he becomes, and I'm attributing that to the Feliway. The only reason we didn't put one downstairs in JD's area right away is that he has that chronic URI and they caution that Feliway contains petroleum distillates that might aggravate breathing problems.
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  #5  
Old September 29th, 2019, 11:57 PM
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Love the first pic w/Grace

Looks like play, JD might just be a bit rough with his play, like he was with the dogs when you first got him. From what you've described Dusty just isn't telling him off sternly enough for him to back off.

I think JD is comfortable with Dusty in his house otherwise he wouldn't be grooming while she's that close watching him.

The pic with JD leaping from behind Dusty in front of the tunnel - that's play if he was attacking his ears would be back.

The last pic is what Lilly & Pixi look like at the beginning of their tussles, the ears are back & the eyes are closed just to protect them.
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Old September 30th, 2019, 10:51 AM
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I guess, come to think of it, it's usually Dusty who has her ears back. So JD is playing rough and Dusty needs to be a little more firm in her come back? I've let her claws go so she's got a little more weaponry than JD does, but they're only rarely out that I can ever see.

JD really doesn't seem to know when enough is enough. For instance, he still waltzes up to Lili like he thinks he can take her down in a strangle hold. I keep telling him she outweighs him by 40 pounds, but he considers that a small impediment to his goal of total domination.

Last night, Dusty and JD were muckin' about out of sight behind the table when I heard Dusty getting a little panicky. When I got them in sight, JD had Dusty in a throat hold--like a lion trying to suffocate an antelope--and he just wouldn't let go until I got him off the ground entirely... She was vocalizing, so probably it wasn't as much of a death grip as it looked, but he had a huge bulge of her neck skin in his mouth. Once he let go, his body visibly relaxed. Does that sound like normal play? If it is, cats play scary...

Given that she has needle claws right now and he doesn't, maybe I should let her defend herself a little longer before I swoop in for the save?
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  #7  
Old September 30th, 2019, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazelrunpack View Post
JD had Dusty in a throat hold--like a lion trying to suffocate an antelope--and he just wouldn't let go until I got him off the ground entirely...
Sounds like dominance play but yeah scary. I'd separate too simply because the neck has so many delicate structures & an accident could happen if he gets spooked while playing. I also separate for much less too or try a little "uh uh" correction & toss a toy to redirect them from each other.

Maybe see if you can redirect him to attacking a kicker toy instead even before they are let loose together hopefully that'll help to get the crazies out.
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Old October 1st, 2019, 11:39 AM
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Lili has a big toy that we call Fat Ass Moose (because it's basically a fat ass with a bit of moose-like head at one end ) that I could throw at him--it's about 3 times his size, but weighs less. It's about the only thing that seems to distract him when he's on one of his power trips

Here's a pic of Lili using Fat Ass Moose as her pillow :

Name:  Lili using her Big-Butt Moose as a pillow 9-14-19 A.jpg
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  #9  
Old October 1st, 2019, 04:15 PM
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Great photos Hazel. The one of JD and Dusty on the computer table leaves a bit to be desired, and I would be separating them as well. Growlers idea of chucking a toy in the general area sounds like a good one to me. I think it is a little more attention-getting than a laser beam. But it is worth trying both of them to see which one gives you the best satisfaction.

You were mentioning earlier that the Feliway diffuser could be an issue because of the petroleum distillate and JDs chronic URI. Something that might be worth looking into would be Boch flower essence. I have used them in several different instances and had good success. If you decide it's worth a look let me know, and I can give you a hand.
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Old October 1st, 2019, 05:30 PM
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Thanks, Reg! I'll look into that and let you know!

Meanwhile, the past two days have been pretty mellow! They play a lot, but there's no pinning, no hissing, no panicked cries from Dusty! Today they were in and out of the crinkle tunnels and having a ball. I wish I could put video up on the site.

I tried the laser but if they're in the throes of a wrasslin' match, they don't even notice the laser light is there. So a stuffy it is! It's really pretty easy to separate them by hand, except that one time with the neck hold; and even then it just took me a little longer to get him off her and relaxed than I expected, but it couldn't have been more than 5 or 6 seconds before the release. Next time I'll toss Lili's moose at them and see what happens...
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"We are--each of us--dying; it's how we live in the meantime that makes the difference."

"It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived!"

"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."
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  #11  
Old October 8th, 2019, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hazelrunpack View Post
Lili has a big toy that we call Fat Ass Moose (because it's basically a fat ass with a bit of moose-like head at one end )
so funny, sounds like a good kitty attack toy
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  #12  
Old October 9th, 2019, 08:10 AM
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I wish they'd use it more! Yesterday, we were suddenly back to JD using Dusty as his attack toy.

It might be because I had her downstairs in the Kitty Palace (JD's territory) for a while before we came up to the family room. I suspect he was feeling a little 'violated'... It's a work in progress...
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