Herman the Housecat Overtaken by Holiday Stress

Just because I channel my cats’ self-improvement tips here at Self Help for Cats does not mean my household is beyond having its own seasonal and other feline challenges.  The trouble started a few years back…

When Herman saw Santa Claws out the window on our first Christmas morning at the house where I now live, he went utterly ballistic and turned on his very best friend, Brody.  I had to jump out of bed to separate the fighting madcats with a broom and sweep Herman Panther into another room, closing the door on the devil cat he had become.  Peace on Earth it wasn’t.

Herman, we have since learned, was suffering from his first case of displaced aggression. He saw a cat outside (ever since known by the name Santa Claws) and got so upset and confused, he failed to regonize the friend he sleeps on top of every day of the year.  After a short while apart, he calmed down and was absolutely fine again with Brody.

Now, after a few similar episodes ever so often, Herman did get better.  After he got used to the house more and that one time he got outside  for a few hours. That seemed to really help him, even though it scared the hell out of me when I realized he’d escaped. (He was found sauntering the sidewalk looking supremely confidant for an indoor cat).  For a blissful year, Herman’s occasional aggression seemed to be cured.

Unfortunately, Herman also struggles with Catfood Gobbling Syndrome, as I named his need to inhale food.  He’s had some see-sawing weight issues that have finally landed heavy on the unacceptably-fat side.  Herman is dangerously overweight, putting him at risk for bad cat diseases, including diabetes and more. He needs to lose several pounds.

Unfortunately, our efforts at weight-loss, like taking the food away so it’s not available at all times, has stirred Herman’s animosities.   He complains loudly and has even taken to going outside the box.  Once, he started pissing on the bed when we were in it!  Herman’s stress has also led to a couple of aggressive incidents with Brody. 

Clearly, Herman is upset about getting his food limited.  And because our other cat needs more food (he’s older and has not adjusted to food not being left out), Herman is very likely mad at the sense Brody is getting preferential feeding. It all came to a head with the cats fighting at 6 am starting a yelling argument between me and Hank. So we got cats fighting now AND people fighting.  Peace on Earth doesn’t stand a chance.

Well, we’re all just trying to chill now, and make sure everyone gets enough grooming, doting, feeding, and playing to feel like we can make it through these holidays. Between this month’s traffic accident, totalled car, big pay-cut, roof leaks, not to mention the residue of stress from larger bad news sources, my cats haven’t had it easy being my dharma protectors of late.  In fact, I better end this sad report and go wake them up and get them to play.  I’m on a mission for World Peace and feline weight-management, if I have to accomplish it one cat at a time.

I welcome your stories, ideas, and solutions.  May many Happy Chill-Out Days come to you and your humans!  Peace and purrs to all!

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Categories: Brody, cats, Herman, play, relationships | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Herman the Housecat Overtaken by Holiday Stress

  1. Hey great post! Cats can be very emotional creatures. 🙂 Take care. Sean

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