Now that we have the living room barricaded to the cats and turned into a plant room, we’ve decided that we will work on bringing Nosencrantz and Marlee in with us every now and then, to try and get them used to being outside of my office/bedroom, but not have to worry about other cats.
Yesterday, I was able to grab Nosencrantz and give it a go.
She was not happy.
I set her on the couch while setting up my tea and trying to find something to watch on TV for a while. Ended up watching The French Chef, because absolutely nothing newer appealed to me! Once I settled on the couch, I shifted her over against my leg, she leaned hard against me and did. Not. Move. for nearly an hour. When she finally did move, it was to tuck her face against my leg.
Which is an improvement from previous times we tried bringing her out. The last time I did, she crouched onto a step between the old and new parts of the house, frozen in panic, even as other cats had to basically jump over her to go through the doorway. She was so stressed, she shat herself. *sigh*
With no other cats around, she was definitely stressed, but not to that point. We’ll need to do this more often.
The frustrating thing is that, if I could just leave my door open, I’m sure she would eventually go exploring. As would Marlee and maybe Butterscotch. Unlike the other two, Butterscotch is not the least bit stressed out, has zero interest in leaving the room, and is very happily living her best life. If the door is open, some – not all – of the other cats come in and out, which would be fine…
Except for Turmeric.
While other cats will sometimes go for Nozencrantz in particular, or maybe even act aggressive towards Butterscotch and Marlee, it’s not much different from when they get ticked off at each other. Even with Potato Beetle added to the mix, aside from the rare altercation with one of the other males, his integration into being an indoor cat has been seamless. Why it’s so different with both the ladies, I just can’t figure out. Especially since, when Butterscotch and Nosencrantz were first brought into the house, Nosencratnz did leave the room and start exploring. Then some of the other cats got aggressive with her, and she’s been a bundle of stress and anxiety ever since.
Turmeric, however, is the one cat that is most aggressive. She’ll be absolutely fine, but as soon as she comes into my room, it’s like she’s hunting for the ladies. I tried having my door open last night, just because I was tired of having to get up every few minutes to let Leyendecker, Cheddar or Fenrir in and out, over and over. The other cats ignored the open door. Only Turmeric came in, saw Marlee in her favourite spot in Baby Jail (we still have the cage set up, simply because Marlee likes going in there so much, and Butterscotch likes to sit on top of it), and made a beeline straight for her, snarling away. She wouldn’t stop, and I had to close my door again. *sigh*
So we’ll see how it works, bringing them out for supervised time in the plant room. Marlee doesn’t like to be picked up or carried, so it might be a bit harder to get her in there.
All in good time.
My plans for the day changed a bit. I was debating whether or not to go to my mother’s today or tomorrow, as I had some things for her. Then I got a call from my brother. He just had a very strange call from my mother. She started talking to him about some disturbing dreams she had, then said she thought he should come visit. He told her he was taking a test right then, so that wouldn’t be a good idea.
The line went dead.
He tried calling her back, but her line was busy. After about 7 times trying to get through to her, he finally called me.
Only then did he realize he’d forgotten to pause his test. It’s a timed exam!
He’s really stressed out about this exam. The last I talked to him, there were no exam times available until next month, so getting to do it today had to have been a pretty last minute thing. He’s been working on this course for some months now, and he’s concerned that if he doesn’t pass it, it might actually put his job at risk. I can’t imagine him failing the exam, but understand the stress he’s feeling. His employer has paid thousands of dollars for this course, and the exam along costs over a thousand dollars – and if he fails, it’s another thousand + to take it again later.
My mother would have no ability to understand what he’s going through. It’s so completely out of her experience, and outside her ability to comprehend.
So he was quite concerned about her. He wasn’t sure if she’s accidentally hung up by pressing a button on the phone with her face, or if she deliberately hung up, or of something else happened. Especially with the line being busy immediately after. Even with calls between him and I in the past, we’ve had weird things happen with the line, and one of us would try to call back the other only to get a busy signal because, at the other person’s end of the line, it hadn’t been cut off yet.
I told him I was considering visiting her this afternoon, and promised I would check up on her. He, meanwhile, did try to call her again, and finally got through.
It turns out that yes, she did hang up on him, and immediately called our sister, because she “didn’t hear what she wanted to hear”. So was our sister going to come over? Oh, no. She’s working today. I don’t think my mother even asked her to come over.
First, our sister works nights. She had plenty of time to come over for a quick visit.
Two, since he was in the middle of this test when my mother called, she was actually calling him while he was working, but still expected him to drop everything and visit her.
On top of all that, I don’t think she even considers how badly she hurt him, a few months ago. Frankly, it’s a testament to what a good man he is that he hasn’t cut her out of his life completely.
Yes, it was that bad.
And she totally doesn’t get it.
I had other errands to run, so I did those in my mother’s town instead of the one closer to us – things are noticeably more expensive where she lives, but for the amount I needed to get, it wasn’t worth the cost of gas to go elsewhere.
There were a couple of things I brought for her, and one that I made for her. I wasn’t sure how she would handle it. She kept saying she needs a new chair, to replace the one she uses at her little dining table. She said it was breaking, but it turns out that only the vinyl seat is starting to crack. So I got some blanket yard and crocheted a cushy for her tushy. Just a rectangle in waffle weave stitch, so it’s twice as thick as ordinary single crochet. I made ties at each corner, even though I couldn’t quite remember how the legs were on this chair. It’s got a metal frame, and the legs are all one piece of metal tubing, forming a triangle shape on the sides from the back for the legs. Turns out there’s just open space under the front half of the seat, so my ties at the front were too short, but I could at least tie the back to the frame. I told her it would hide the cracks until she can find a suitable replacement chair. She did laugh about it, but accepted the cover. I knew it would be either that, or she would get angry and rant about how she’s worth having a new chair, or that I wasted yarn or something. There’s no in between with her!
The bottom of the triangles that form the legs has also been leaving black marks on her flooring, from being slid back and forth constantly, for years. So I got some self adhesive felted floor protectors that came in a long, narrow strip that could be cut to size. I cut a couple of pieces and stuck those on the bottom of her chair, and she seemed happy about that, too.
Overall, it was a very good visit. She was definitely having one of her better days. It wasn’t until I was almost ready to leave that she started to tell me about her dreams. They were definitely nightmares, where she thought she was losing her mind, and needed to get home – but home was an area of the city my parents lived in, before they bought the farm – and so on. Then she started asking me if I knew what these dreams might mean. Which seems to be the crux of the problem. It’s not just that she had these nightmares (it turned out she woke from one nightmare, couldn’t sleep for hours, then when she did fall asleep, she had another nightmare). She thinks these dreams had some sort of prophetic meaning.
So we talked a while about dreams, and how sometimes things you worry about in the back of your mind can lead to disturbing dreams. I also described similar dreams that people often have, about needing to get somewhere, or trying to run away from something, but it’s like something is holding you back and keeping you from getting where you need to go. She practically lit up as I described these, as it was familiar to her. Knowing other people get dreams like this was a sort of revelation for her.
I think she felt better by the time we were done talking about it and I headed home. It’s hard to know. She might feel better about it now, but start feeling bad about it again, later.
Needless to say, as soon as I got home, I sent a message off to my brother to reassure him. As far as I know, he was still working on his exam at the time, so I don’t expect to hear back from him for a while. He’s got enough on his plate, that’s for sure!
Hopefully, she’ll ease off on giving him a hard time. Probably not, but it would sure be nice!