As we began the process of introducing Velvet into the household, Xena shifted from hissing aggressively to withdrawing and pouting. We actually thought it was funny for a little while: "Xena's having a snit. What a diva!"
By the time Monday night rolled around, we were starting to suspect that Xena's problems extended beyond mere stress and jealousy. After I watched her park herself in Velvet's cat box and lie there for a long time, my suspicions sharpened.
When I woke up this morning, Xena was a mess: stinky, covered in kitty litter, with cat puke on her chin that she hadn't even bothered to clean off. Either she was sick or she'd spent the evening partying with Lindsay Lohan. I thought it was safe to assume the former.
My husband took her to the vet, who is probably shopping for a fine European sports car thanks to our generous contributions, and got a tentative diagnosis of urinary tract infection and a possible ear infection. Now Xena's back on her favorite banana-flavored liquid antibiotic with some oily ear drops for good measure.
The second source of drama began when my husband got home from the vet's office. Our cleaning lady was leaving at about the same time and once she was gone, Velvet was nowhere to be found.
I presume that 'Velvet' is her shelter name, which means there's little chance that she knows it's her name, much less that she would come when it's called. My husband searched the house from top to bottom and then resorted to wandering down the street in case she'd gotten outside. No reply. No cat.
When he called me to tell me about it, I thought of all the paperwork I'd signed at the shelter promising to take care of Velvet for the rest of her natural life. I also remembered the part about how they reserved the right to sue me if I didn't.
Fortunately, she turned up a short time later from some unknown hidey hole. My husband guessed that the vacuum cleaner had freaked her out, which sounds plausible. From now on, I suppose we'll have to confine her somewhere when there's vacuuming going on.
So Xena's on her meds and Velvet is resting comfortably in Velcro's cat bed. The cat drama seems to have subsided for the time being. Wish me luck that it stays that way.