Wednesday, March 01, 2006

A series of misadventures, or...

Cleo's Bad Day

Yesterday started off normally, but at about 10am, Cleo frightened herself pretty badly. I'm still not quite certain what happened, as I was out of the room, but from what I could tell, Cleo jumped in an empty box on our spare bed and ended up tipping it off the bed. When I got into the room, she was staring at the box, then suddenly jumped really high and literally bounced across the bed, across the hall and into our bedroom. And there she basically went to ground. Slinked all over the place, jumping every few feet. Wouldn't let me near her, poor little thing. I looked at the box and under the bed, but couldn't see anything. Eventually she let me hold her, so I stayed with her a few minutes, then drew the curtains and closed the door, thinking she just needed some peace and quiet to calm down.

But an hour later, she was still as bad. So I let her wander around a little more, but when it was clear she was still horribly frightened, I went into the bedroom and lay down on the bed, figuring she needed some comfort. Sure enough, within five mins she was stretched out on my legs and finally went to sleep. So I stayed there till Sean got home, about a half hour later. She was frightened of him at first, but did calm down a little. But she wouldn't stay with him during his post-work nap - the blue blanket, the one she loves, now seems to scare her.

She followed me to the bathroom, then down the stairs. I put her on the desk with Chloe - she snuggled up to her and Chloe washed her thoroughly and they fell asleep together. At this point I thought all was well, but when we got back from the gym, she was still pretty skittish. Not quite as bad, but not herself.

However, after eating dinner and wandering around the house some more, she seemed way more comfortable. I thought she was ok and took her up to see Sean - she climbed onto his shoulders and wouldn't get off! I was cooking dinner, so left them upstairs. Now as it was Shrove Tuesday, we were having pancakes and bacon for dinner. I decided to do the bacon in the oven, but it wasn't cooking quickly enough, so I turned on the broiler. Of course it cooked really well then. And created a lot of smoke. Which escaped the oven when I took the pan out. And triggered the smoke detector. Under which, you guessed it, Sean was standing with Cleo on his shoulders.

Naturally she completely freaked. We were running around trying to get doors and windows open. I opened the deck door, only to discover the screen stuck open, so quickly shut it again - figuring if Cleo got out, we'd never see her again. The stupid smoke detector was still making its nasty noise (at least we know it works!), so Sean opened the deck door and forced the screen shut. At last the noise stopped, but by this point Cleo had fled to the basement. Sean found her there later, on my desk - we'd left the heater on.

For the rest of the evening she was ok as long as she was in the basement. Even wanted a game of chase (which involves me throwing assorted toys and her deciding which ones she'll chase and which she won't) - then I threw the mouse and it landed on a bookshelf. She jumped to get it and brought a pile of books down on herself. More freaking out *sigh*.

She came upstairs with me and slinked about for a while, then spent the rest of the evening on top of things - her cage, me, the entertainment unit, Sean's speakers. As long as she was up high, she seemed fine. I took her up to bed with me and she settled fairly quickly.

Now, the most we can figure is a) she was actually trapped under the box before I found her and had flipped it back off herself, but not quickly enough or b) she gave herself an electric shock - our house is really dry right now. Or maybe both.

Either way, she's still freaky this morning. Slept all night with me and seemed fine at first, but not quite herself. I'm figuring we'll give her more time to realize whatever scared her really isn't going to happen again (and I'll try not to cook anything that might set off the smoke detector!!), but if she's still skittish on the weekend, I guess we'll have to take her into the vet.

On the upside, she's still hungry and eating well, and when she's not feeling threatened, she's fine. I'm wondering if the earthquake really scared her as well, and all these other things have compounded the problem. Hmmmm.

So, anyone else here have this happen with their cat?


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