OK, no mom news (hopefully on Wed., I'll have some), so I'm gonna ask you about my cats and see if anyone can figure this the heck out.
I did a really awful and irresponsible thing on Thanksgiving, but I swear it wasn't my fault. No, really. It was sleep deprivation and not having my wits about me (gee, I wonder why...)
So, normally when I come in, I drive into the garage, lower the door and come through the house like a normal person. But I realized on Thanksgiving Day that the garbage cans were still out, and had been at the curb all week. So I left the garage door up, brought in the garbage cans and then entered through the front door, rather than through the garage. And then I forgot to lower the door from inside the house. Do you see where this is going?
The boys wanted to go out in the garage, as they often do, and I just opened the door that goes from the house into the garage and let them out there. About, oh, 15-20 minutes passed and I was making something to eat, when I realized "oh. crap." I went running to the door, looked out, and sure enough, garage door is wide open. Fortunately, I found both boys right at the house. In fact, Trouble had not actually left the garage, although General was lounging on the sidewalk in front of the house. I was ever-so-grateful that since neither of them has been outdoors since I've had them, that they had the good sense to stick close to home. I scooped them both up and put them safely indoors while I lowered the garage door, then went about trying to find the girls. Both of them were huddled up underneath the futon like they were scared to death. I think maybe they'd looked out and seen the big, bad world, and declared they didn't want any part of it. Smart girls.
So, when Trouble and General came in from the great outdoors, they started hissing and growling at each other, and it eventually escalated to honest-to-God fighting. Because I seriously need a little more stress in my life, y'know? I finally had to separate them, because (a) I had to be up at 4:30 the next morning to get to the hospital and couldn't sleep for their yowling and (b) I was afraid they were going to hurt or kill each other. I kept General in my bedroom, where he normally sleeps and left Trouble out in the rest of the house. The following morning, they were still sort of stalking each other, but at least they could be in the same room without ripping each other to shreds. By the time I was ready to leave, they were tolerant of each other, so I felt OK leaving them in the same environment together. When I got home Friday night, they seemed sort of "meh." Not friendly by any stretch of the imagination, but they largely ignored each other. However, every now and then, a scuffle would break out and they'd be at it again. The weird thing is, even though Trouble is now much bigger, General was still quite obviously the Alpha cat, and when they'd playfight before, Trouble would always submit and General came out the victor. He never backed down. Since their little foray outdoors, General has been hiding like a little scared kitten and Trouble is quite obviously in control now. Why the power shift? I don't get how 15 minutes outside has changed the dynamic in our household THAT much.
My question is, do any of you have a clue as to what might have gone on? I'm wondering if they got a whiff of an un-spayed girl kitty? Or just the general smells of the outdoors? If that's the case though, I frequently leave the windows open to the screens, so they get smells of Outside. They're just not actually out IN it. And have any of you had a similar instance happen where all of a sudden a less powerful kitty suddenly overthrows the sitting government and takes power? It's just weird and I don't like it. General is almost 13 years old. Trouble is a year and a half, and nearly 20 pounds of solid muscle. I'm afraid he could hurt General (which had oddly never been a concern before, because General kept him in his place.) They're both neutered, so I don't know how it could be a testosterone thing, but they're driving me mad. last night, whenever Trouble would walk through the room, General would run and hide under the bed. It breaks my heart that he is scared to be out in his own home.
I want brothers to love each other again. :-/ I miss my boys getting along and being best friends. Will they ever get back to The Way We Were, or now that Trouble has established his dominance, is he gonna be keeping that title?
Cat people, advice please!!!