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The furry little white boy wants to break up...

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I'm new here, I've been browsing around the net looking for information about cat behavior. It seems like you folks here probably have some important and valid opinions about cats and why they do what they do.
The short version of my story:
I have two barn cats, brothers, the loves of my life. They are 2 1/2 years old. Cirrus, the white one, doesn't want to be my friend no more. It sucks because he used to be such an affectionate cat. He would sleep on the bed everynight and you could always count on him being in the house for at least 12 hours a day. The rest of the time he's out hunting varmits, catching them, and then bringing them home to show me. He recently learned that he could eat them, too.
Anyway, for the last 4 months he has spent less and less time at home. As of last week I barely saw him for 10 minutes a day, and sometimes he would skip dinner time entirely. Then I found out my crazy neighbor has been letting him live with her. She has been feeding him and taking him in at night and letting him sleep on her bed. It seems like he is making a transition from me to her.
A week ago Cirrus had an abcess and I didn't know about it until it burst because I never see him anymore. Either his "new mom" didn't notice the golf ball sized lump on his face or she did but chose not to mention it to me or take him to the vet.
The whole situation makes me really sad and nervous. I am the one who pays all his vet bills and I am the one who has to give him medicine and clean his wounds, so of course he would rather hang out with her. Plus she has these giant, curling fingernails that are painted blue and it probably feels really good when she scratches him.
I need to talk to her about not letting him in her house, but in the meantime, why do you folks think that Cirrus wants to hang out with her instead of me? Maybe because here he has to share the house/food/affection with his brother?
I'm stumped.
post #2 of 4
It sounds like he has been catnapped and a victim of purrpaganda. Sink your fangs into that woman and show her what a cat fight is when its over a cat. Explain just because your cat is an outdoor/indoor cat it does not mean she has a right to take it into her house and feed it and keep it and you would appreciate if she not disturb his diet and you are shocked she would keep your cat with a medcial problem like that as well and not do anything about it. In the mean time take YOUR cat back to the vet and get him healthy and tell him to keep his tail at home from now on. Good luck!
post #3 of 4
Cirrus - what a delighful name! There could be any number of reasons. Sibling rivalry, like you considered, or perhaps the neighbor is "different" and inside her heart, knows it and feels lonely & is hurting inside,no matter what the bravado & Cirrus, compassionate, outgoing & caring, senses this and offers her healing companionship. That said, perhaps you could help your neighbor locate another cat in need for herself. You could cite separation grief of the other brother cat as an excuse, and voila! another cat could get a home, too, making a bad situation into a good one. I share your concern that the neighbor didn't get vet attention for Cirrus. I know that some vets consider those facial abcesses very common, and recommend a topical antibiotic cream after it bursts and monitoring, but I always feel more comfortable if the cat gets an antibiotic shot, too. If she does get another cat, or two, if she isn't stay-at-home, you'd have to make sure she was willing to get proper medical care. Please keep us posted on how this turns out!
post #4 of 4
Is he neutered? If not, he will roam. Did this woman know that this cat was yours? Are you friends with her? She could have just thought that he was a stray and was feeding him. Abscesses are difficult to spot until they erupt. A cat can get bit and be perfectly fine, and then two or three days later, have a huge swelling on their head indicating an abscess. Then the cat needs to go to the vet and be put on antibiotics and have the wound de-breeded.

Don't make an enemy of this woman, and look around your place and see what might have changed to cause your cat to roam off. I have several barn cats, and all are neutered, and though they do explore, they do come back home every night to eat, and sleep either in the hay barn, on the back porch or in the house.
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