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Friday, June 9, 2017

Cat: Jekyll and Hyde.

Yesterday [?] I introduced Smoky to the fish toy. At first he wasn't too sure about this odd thing. What was it? Why was it on a string?

The fish seemed like a toy, but it resisted. Smokepuff could smell that Mommy had gnawed on it, and his aunt Vee too. Hmm!

Then Sweetpea played with the toy right there: Mommy liked it, oh, it must be fun then. 8) He was enthralled.

Smoky played like any cat does with a pole toy, and he clearly enjoyed himself.

Today... Smoky went postal on the toy.

Not right away, but once the string got near his whiskers, everything altered.

First he bounced up and down, and although that sounds playful, it wasn't. No, the best description is any scary toy in a 'toon or movie. Particularly the toys that turn out to be bombs. That kind of jittery spastic movement.

Vibrating -- I kid you not. Hissing. Growling so loudly he sounded like an adult cat.

Hell, I honestly looked around, trying to figure out what cat was growling... then I realized it was him. The little kitten was suddenly going into freakout mode. His growl sounded exactly like Sweetpea's, like Vee's, like Shadowcat's... so he can mimic. Good to know. :/


Same reaction for the tip of the pole, which hadn't troubled him before. Spasm kitten.

In retrospect, Smokepuff wasn't frothing at the mouth, fortunately!

The only way the pole tip didn't trigger this... was when I used the tip to push bits of cat food over the edge of the step.

Apparently for him, once this behavior is activated, it's like Hulking out.


I think he finally stopped all this when he nearly fell off the steps, and was hanging on by his claws. Reaching the cement patio, he turned back into himself.

I'm not sure what upset Smoky so much, but even Sweetpea looked at him like "WTF?"


The growling began when Shadow approached the food nearby.  Then he growled and swatted at her. Just like she does. Exactly like Vee might, or any adult cat lashing out. Smoky stayed wrapped around that toy.

I tried pulling up the fish toy, which often derailed Sweetie or Vee when they were younger. Not him. He got more upset, growled more, and clung to that toy like Velcro.


It's looking like some major displacement mingled with "The upset cats react like this; so shall I!"

Watching Smoky, he was shouting MINE so loudly, it was amazing. Also horrifying.

Because I could tell that something happened between this time with the toy and his initial contact. I just don't know what it was. If an adult cat scared him, or took a toy... which, come to think of it, would likely be Dingdong. He's a jerk. He plays with our cat toys, chases our cats, and has wanted to chase Smoky from the first time he saw the boy-kitten.

And I've always stopped Dingdong before.

I wonder if that's the change. If Dingdong chased or scared Smoky -- or stole his toy... oh, farathoom!


I closed the door wall when Smoky first disentangled from the fish toy. Yes, he's maybe 8 weeks old... little kittens still have teeth and claws.

Then I put the toy out again, to see if this was an aberration. Nope. Experiment successful: all behavior replicated by kitten. :(

Except that Shadow stayed away. :b


Now I'm grateful that when he was tooling around merrily inside the dining room, Smoky hadn't been spastic or postal. He'd been normal. A kitten who decided yesterday that hey, Mommy walks into the house, then it's good.

Interested exploring kitten. That's all.

Now, he still hisses at us humans. When Smoky realizes one of us is near. Or maybe touching his head.

But this new behavior... jeez.  It's like having insane Daffy Duck going into "Mine mine MINE" mode, without the benefit of the cartoon's relative safety.

I don't like this. I wish I'd thrown water when he first did it. Not on him -- that would have been overkill, and probably freaked Smoky out. But he doesn't like it when I throw water at marauding fauna, or feline invaders.  He's seen me do this; I doubt he understands why... he just finds it upsetting. Sudden unauthorized noise/area attack!

Filed under bizarre behavior, kitten. :( 

1 comment:

Starbuck O'Shea said...

[ Now attached to correct post! ]

Ahhh! My SO informs me that this is typical of tomcat kittens... having tantrums. When they're older, they get the crap beaten out of them, and they stop.

While they're toddlers, adult cats give 'em a pass. No wonder Sweetpea looked shocked. She and her sisters had no tomcat kits around!

Which means that Shadowcat, Chaosium, and Fluffy were either all queens -- Shadow and KayKay certainly are -- or Fluffy was a tomcat and never freaked. Possibly she never had a tantrum IFO me, but it's looking like the previous generation were all queens too.

Live and learn, eh?