An opinionated feline in Edmonton, Canada who lived with a retired cat behaviourist, Greyce provided behavioral advice to cats in need until her death in July 2014. Because her entries are useful even today, the blog remains posted.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Update on Dash: Swats from his companion; Coping with Change

Dear Readers,

As many of you know, Herself has been ill which really put a crimp in my blogging plans! Now we are getting back on schedule. Below is a series of letters from Dash - a cat who requires special care because of his emotional needs and moi on his current situation. If you want to follow Dash's case, just put 'Dash' into the Labels search box and you'll get all his articles.


Dear Greyce,

This is just to give you a few more details related to your last blog reply for me: Shy Cat Starts to Swat More Assertive Cat (12/16/10).

You know I have a companion, Skeeter, who is the more submissive of the two of us. Generally we get along just fine.

I order. He obeys. And if I’m in a snit or feeling out of sorts, he just backs off and leaves me alone. This is all fine by me.

However, sometimes he isn’t as meek and mild as I’d like him to be.

Case in point: A few times when Skeeter has been on Themselves bed first, just before bedtime, when I jump up to join him he swats at me! And sometimes if I walk past him, he will give me a swat.

What’s up with that?

Your puzzled friend,

Dear Dash,

Thank you for the added detail. However, I don't have much to add to the advice I already gave.

You must admit that Skeeter puts up with a lot, since you are a special needs cat requiring lots of attention and special care. And admittedly any of us can get fed up with those closest to us, once in a while.

In both cases you describe, I believe Skeeter is telling you that you are TOO close for his comfort. He needs his space. So he gives you a swat – or swats the air, just to get you out of his face!

At bedtime, if you can be encouraged to jump on another part of the bed AWAY from Skeeter, I think that would solve the problem. Surely the bed is big enough for the both of you – along with those humans.

As for walking down corridors within swat reach – c’est la vie!

Of course this is not a big issue, at present. But suggest that Themselves give Skeeter some alone time and/or some private attention, so that he is less bothered by your presence.

Best as always,


Dear Greyce,

I have started receiving the flower remedy Star of Bethlehem twice a day (to help deal with past trauma and the resultant difficulties in coping) and am responding really well. I did especially well when Herself was at home for 3 weeks straight during the holidays. I have even started to nap on the couch during the day, instead of walking back to the stairs and sleeping there when someone is home.

I did struggle a little bit after Herself went back to work, but am slowly getting back into a routine, which is proving to be very important to me.

The hissing and growling at Skeeter or Themselves still happens occasionally, however it is less frequent.

Themselves have also put up cardboard to block off the corner of the stairs upstairs and so far my peeing accidents are on the low side.

Themselves are very aware to exercise us nightly and give us equal and separate time. At bedtime I now feel more than comfortable enough to go upstairs and put myself to bed, in my the bed that is provided for me.

Skeeter still struggles with the nighttime routine, as he loves to play at night.

I am also busy studying the habits of the neighbourhood rabbit that seems to show up on occasion. When I do spot him, my interest is quite obvious.

Just though you’d like to know how I’m doing.


Dear Dash,

It is always good to hear from you. It sounds like you have the household well-organized and have done a good job of training Themselves.



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