I have video evidence of a miracle!
So first I must share the amazing news: not only are Maggie and Yuan sniffing noses now, but Deidre has reclaimed a bunch of territory and has been super brave! She has joined me on the bed again, including when Yuan was also on the bed, and though a couple of times there were growls and hisses, there were also a couple of times where absolutely nothing happened. The other day, she not only joined Yuan and I on the bed, but she climbed over me to be on the same side where he was, growled at him a little, he gave her kitty kisses/blinky eyes, and she calmed down. Her nose was less than two inches from his foot and both of them were chill. And to boot, she had to cross within inches of Maggie, who has taken to curling up on the floor next to the bed, to hop up and join us in the first place.
So on that note, I give you the latest addition of Things That Have Helped With The Peace Process: Spirit Essences by Jackson Galaxy.
Spirit Essences are holistic remedies that you can give either in food or water, or topically (may I just say I love the topical option? Especially if your kitties are sharing dishes, and/or you’ve got food bullies (*cough*Yuan*cough*), it can be hard to separate who gets what in food sometimes if they need different things. So I can put Peacemaker (which is for everybody) in the water dishes/fountains which everyone drinks out of, and apply the Bully Remedy to Yuan and the Self Esteem to Deidre on their fur).
First of all, I have to say that they must not taste funny, because I’ve been putting Peacemaker in their water for a while now and no one seems to mind in the slightest. At first I tried it in the gravity waterer and not the fountain, figuring if they were going to turn their noses up at the taste, they’d at least have an alternative and not go thirsty – but no one avoided it, so now it’s in both. So that’s a plus from the get-go.
Secondly, the topical option, which not only is great for getting everyone their different needs, is *so easy*. I just drop some drops into my hand, rub it across my palms, and pet them. Especially Yuan, who loves the thorough, full-body pets will get into this, but I think he actually enjoys the essence itself, because he seems to get excited when I say, “It’s good juju stuff time!” …which is what I call Spirit Essences. They are Good Juju Stuff. 😉
But most importantly, they seem to be helping! We’ve made so much progress lately, which sure, you could say is a cumulative process, but the most dramatic changes have aligned pretty nicely with the continued use of Good Juju Stuff.
So – all three kitties and a human agree – Spirit Essences get two paws up!
It’s the little things that make me happy in the Quest For Kitteh Peace, and one of those things is Maggie and Yuan SNIFFING NOSES!
You may think that’s not a big deal, cats sniff noses all the time… but when they’re at war, they don’t!
Back when it was just the girls and I, one of the first signs of peace and tolerance for each other (which, incidentally, ALSO took about two years to develop) was that Deidre and Maggie would surreptitiously sniff each other. Usually that meant one of them was cuddling with me in the papasan with their tail hanging over the side, and the other would come up and sniff the tail, with the cuddler unawares. Or perhaps I was feeding them in the kitchen, and one would be so fixated on me with the food that they didn’t notice the other come up from behind and sniff their… behind.
Now Yuan and Maggie have been doing the while-they’re-not-looking sniffs, which made me happy in and of itself, but the other day they actually both turned the corner at the same time and sniffed *noses*. No growls, no hisses. Just sweet sniffs!
I am a happy human.
And yes – I’ve had Yuan for a little over two years now. Apparently that is the magic timeframe.
On a little side note, I finally got the water fountain working that had been out of commission for WAY too long (I lost two different parts at two different times when I had taken it apart for washing, and only found them months later, because yes, I think the dryer sock monster sometimes vacations in my kitchen), and Yuan is MYSTIFIED by it. The girls seem to be like, “Oh yeah, the fountain,” but for the first day Yuan was just staring at it, as though he was debating whether he should drink from it or pounce it (he eventually did drink from it, and yes, I still have other water bowls about). Simple kitty amusements.
And finally, the other kitteh news is: Maggie is frisky!!! And playing with TOYS! It’s a miracle!!!
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before that Maggie, historically, generally found toys to be evil. She would growl and hiss at them, and seemed to be stressed out by their presence rather than amused. As she is the fluffiest of the three (though Yuan The Food Bully is doing his darndest to catch up despite all of them being on a diet), I could never figure out how to get her to play so she’d get some exercise and have fun! Then she got some awesome wine cork toys for Christmas from a neighbor friend, and she’d actually chase and play with them in small doses. Previously, the closest we got to play was her rolling around in catnip or licking catnip toys enthusiastically – but she never chased them. These ones she chased!
Then the other day, I couldn’t find the wine corks, so I tossed a feather-ball toy that we’ve had for years and… she actually chased it and attacked it! We’ve had a few play sessions since then, and she’s actually having fun!
*sings the hallelujah chorus*
I have a Deidre curled up leaning on me right now, so I’m going to go and snuggle a kitteh. The peace treaties are working! Yay! 🙂
I will be working on a longer post soon, but just a quickie update to say that yes, the kitties and I are alive and well, and naughty blogger is naughty for not posting in so long. Sorry! As you may have noticed, I tend to blog in waves… a bunch of posts, and then a drought. Another wave of posts, and then another drought. That’s kind of how I function in most areas in my life… to everything, turn, turn, turn…
At this very moment as I type this, I am in my bed with Deidre and Yuan, playing Great Wall of China like I used to do with Maggie and Deidre. AMAZING! Especially since there has been a return of peeing-outside-the-box on the part of the girls as of late: Deidre because Yuan has been intimidating her, and Maggie because she has a boyfriend. But more on the boyfriend later in the longer post. I just repositioned a litter box again tonight – hopefully third time’s the charm on that front! I should buy stock in enzyme cleaners. And puppy peepee pads.
Yes, my cats will use puppy peepee pads when they won’t use the box.
Anyway! I also wanted to mention that as I was looking things over today, I noticed that for some mysterious technology is the spawn of Loki reason, almost all of my embedded YouTube videos on this site have transmogrified to show the last video I uploaded to YouTube – which is a drive down Pikes Peak, instead of the relevant video, such as building cat shelves. I do not know how that happened, but when I am working on the long post tomorrow I will see if it is fixible, or if Loki just wants to laugh at me some more. 😉
Finally, even though I am employing ever-more strategies to help my kitties get along all the time and hoping they will take, y’all know I have been at this for a while (Maggie joined Deidre and I four years ago this December – Yuan will be two years ago this October). For those that don’t know me outside of this blog, I have been slowly working to downsize my massive amounts of clutter – for many reasons, but especially because I have a dream of building/owning my own tiny house.
The kitties already have territory issues in 600-some square feet… going smaller would take some serious progress on the making friends front.
So with that in mind, I saw on Facebook today that My Cat From Hell is now casting.
What do ya’ll think? Should I ask Jackson Galaxy to come and play peace treaty negotiator for my kitties? I’m seriously thinking about it!
This is part of a blog hop! Check out the start here: Cokie the Cat A very beautiful tribute that happened at BlogPaws.
First, Maggie and Deidre were spending more time together. I’d find them on the bed like this:
Or in their new favorite setup, with Maggie on the papasan and Deidre on the papasan’s footstool right next to her. They’d be inches apart, but on separate pieces of furniture.
Then, the past two nights, Deidre was on the bed with me and Yuan joined us! Deidre was about where she is in the above photo and Yuan up near where Maggie is. I have yet to dare to climb down and try and take a picture; it could be that I am acting as the Great Wall of China as I have often done for Deidre and Maggie, and if I move, then suddenly all bets are off.
Just days ago, Yuan was hopping up, almost jumping on the bed, which would send Deidre in a fit of fear/rage that he was invading her safe space, and I’d hear hollering from her galore. This did not deter Yuan in the slightest, as like any little brother, he seemed quite content to torment his sister. I’d often have to cart him off, or stand in between and herd him away before poor Deidre’s ears permanently became flattened to her head and she gave herself a sore throat from screaming.
Here we are, the very next evening, me reading a book, and two kitties calmly and contentedly napping next to me. Will wonders never cease?!
Now my goal is to get all three of them on there with me at the same time. It could happen. A girl’s gotta have goals…
In an unrelated note, I give you: stuff on my cat, catception edition:
Just a little update for today, with some happy news on the progress front. Above you see the very first time in over three years that Maggie and Deidre have sat next to each other on the scratcher – and they even stayed put for a while!
What prompted this show of tolerance and peace? The big, scary, noisy, yellow thing, AKA the vacuum. Deidre had already taken refuge in the cubby, and Maggie hopped up to the other shelf when the vacuum came too close. At first, I don’t think she even realized Deidre was there, or perhaps she was just the lesser of two scary things right then, as both the girls seem to agree that the vacuum is a demon from the seventh circle of hell. There were some growls at first, but then they calmed down and settled in to weather out the invasion of the noise-making monster. No swats, no fights. It brought a tear to my eye.
Then just last night, all three kitties seemed to get a case of the midnight crazies all at the same time. As Yuan is the more energetic of the three, I’m used to him having a moment of pent-up kitten-like energy and zooming around or trying to get into things he shouldn’t (the boy could rob museums he’s so ninja, is what I’m saying). Maggie’s bouts of midnight crazies, on the other hand, are so rare as to be shockingly notable – but she’s had three frisky moments in the past week! Last night was even more notable as she was playing with a couple of toys on the ground. So, she’s playing with toys, you might say. That’s not notable.
Except that toys, with rare exception, have historically either fallen into the “EVIL! RAWR! HISS!” category of unhappy Maggie sounds, or the “…and?” category of cat apathy. She’ll lick a few, and chase a laser, but other than that, she’s never really batted them around or otherwise seemed amused by their presence. But last night, she not only played with the Stinky toy from our furriend M-chan, but she also attacked a tribble! I was delighted, to say the least. She’s been opening up so much lately, it makes a mom proud.
Then Miss Deidre, who hasn’t been too playful as of late either, had a crazed session with a fur mouse the other day, and last night decided that the marker/magnet board that is mounted on the wall above my bed that she has ignored for months was suddenly *too* tempting to resist. Deidre is like that – feign nonchalance at something for a long time, and then, after a year and a half, eats my betta fish (true story). Well last night the siren song of dangling markers and paper held in place by magnets finally was too much to ignore. As I was trying to sleep, I was laughing my butt off as she batted at dangling objects above my head. I woke up and plucked magnets, markers, and paper from my pillow (remarkably, nothing clobbered me).
I love frisky kitties.
I love when Deidre gives me a bath. She’s such a sweetie! Just a short video.