Monday, April 11, 2016

Gratuitous Kitteh Monday - Goodbye Leo

This is a very sad kitteh Monday, as we had to rehome our kitten Leo this past weekend. It really wasn’t anything he did, but simply a result of a very, very scary incident between Chaz and Miss Thang.

My gorgeous little boy
Long story short, two weeks ago, only a few hours after my last post, Chaz slipped out the front door while I was coming home from my afternoon walk. My neighbor’s dog had followed me to my front porch and when Chaz saw the dog, he froze. I managed to pick up Chaz to put him back in the house, but he freaked and Miss Thang was on him in full attack mode the minute Chaz’s feet hit the floor inside the house. A very vicious cat fight ensued, with me getting bit several times while trying to break them up. All three cats were eventually separated in separate rooms in the house. I had to go to the emergency room for several injections and antibiotics, but I am very fortunate nothing got infected and I didn’t need to be hospitalized.

What happened between Chaz and Miss Thang is called redirected aggression, and it’s pretty serious. Poor Leo had nothing to do with it and was a scared mess, hiding during the whole thing. What happened afterwards, with Miss Thang still separated and then Chaz and Leo having run of the house, made me realize just how stressful it has been on Miss Thang this past year after we got Leo. At first, we were set on rehoming Miss Thang, as she is alpha and has had dominance issues in the past. She was the one that attacked Chaz. But after seeing how much more relaxed and even “happier” she was to be separated from Chaz and Leo, while also Chaz and Leo seemed to be much more relaxed and well behaved being away from her, I realized there was some dominance volleying going on between Miss Thang and Leo.

Miss Thang never took to Leo, although he tried to be her friend
She has hated him from day one, even though I took a whole month to introduce the two. Since we got Leo, Miss Thang had also started to display some other quirky/aggressive behaviors. After going over it a thousand times in my head, I realized the only way to give all three cats a chance at happiness and success was to rehome Leo. He’s still a kitten at 10 months, cute as a bug, fixed, micro-chipped, all medical vaccines and check-ups, and a great, over-all kitteh. He’d have no problem fitting in at another house with other kittehs, cat-friendly dogs, and even kids.

Back in happier times - The only time Miss Thang let Leo snuggle
Miss Thang, on the other hand, would not do well in a home with other cats, dogs, kids. Plus, who wants a 6 year old cat with behavior issues? She is still separated from Chaz and is now on Prozac. This introduction process (which I’ve done before for non-recognition aggression) will take a very long time and there is no bet that it will be a success. Many cats who go through a redirected aggression episode often become mortal enemies afterwards, so only time will tell.

In my heart-of-hearts, I think Miss Thang and Chaz will mend, but it will fail if Leo is in the mix. Leo just stresses Miss Thang out, makes her irritable, and causes her to display dominant behavior.

So, my sweet little monkey was given up to the rescue organization that we adopted Miss Thang from. I am confident that he will find a good home, and even though he was a handful, I miss him terribly.

So, goodbye my little man. You were loved very much and I'm glad that we had a chance to have you in our lives. You are going to be such a cool cat someday. 

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