... by sleeping together on the bed.
They grew up together, but there are times when you'd never know it. I have had to physically separate them; Mija comes into my bedroom and Pilchard is shut into the office. I leave them in these rooms for 15 minutes, which, to them is like an eternity, and then I open the bedroom door first. Mija is usually lying on that pillow. She's content to stay there. When I open the door to the office, Pilchard can't wait to leave. I ignore her for another hour or so, in an effort to reinforce that growling, hissing, spitting, attacking your sister is not permitted. We're fine for another 2-3 months and then something sets them off.
I took 2 days on top of the past weekend, to use up vacation days. That is a change to their routine, me home for more than 2 days at a stretch. Sunday evening, all heck broke loose in the kitchen. I don't know if something was on the deck or what but Pilchard cornered Mija under the kitchen table. I had to get the broom to separate them. Things like this make me really upset. I shut Pilchard in the bathroom with the lights off for a half an hour while I checked Mija out thoroughly to make sure she hadn't been bitten or scratched about the face. When I opened the door, all I could hear was growling. A black cat in a black bathroom is not easy to see. I didn't say a word to her and I ignored her for the next 2 hours, even when she hopped up next to me in the chair in the office and gave me that pitiful meow of "Please mom, I want ear scratches". Mija growled and hissed all evening. They settled down but I worried there would be another incident, particularly at 2 in the morning, when these things seem to happen most.
The next day, I see the above. Make my bed? Nope. Can't move the cats.
So, I ask those of you with multiple cats, how do you handle this? My House Panther is something of a diva. She outweighs her sister and is clearly the more dominant in the relationship. It stresses me so to have them growling and hissing and spitting. Plus, I worry there will be a cat fight when I'm not around and someone will be hurt. 3 years ago, Mija reached the end of her rope and bit Pilchard when I was at the office Christmas party. I didn't find the bite, on Pilchard's chin, until it abscessed, even though she likes her chin scratched. There was nothing to indicate there was a problem. Ugh. That was smelly.
I realize that cats are like kids and they won't always get along, but what recommendations do you have for creating more of the above and less of the cornered kitty in the kitchen? I've had cats in my house for 25 years and we've had our ups and downs, but never quite like these two.
See you next week.