Mods, if this is better served in GQ, please feel free to move this thread.
I have two cats, Molly and Dax, for the past 10 years. Mrs. D and I got them from a pet shop when they were 8 weeks old. For their entire existance, they have lived together and gotten along quite well for the most part. During thier time with our family they have had to endure 2 moves, both of which they went through pretty good, and the birth of 4 children. Dax has never really forgiven us for having the first child and has been pretty much anti-social ever since, but Molly had started becoming more social when child #3 came around and now even lets my 3 oldest kids pet her.
During all this, the two cats have pretty much gotten along with each other. Being strictly indoor cats, they have established a pecking order of sorts when it comes to who’s first at the food dish, and once in awhile have had a few skirmishes, but for the most part, they get along just fine.
Being summertime, we leave the door open to our screened in porch. We had not noticed, but this year, part of the screen in one of the panels had separated from the baseboard enough that if they wanted to, the cats could get outside of the house. In years past, we have left the porch accessable to the cats and they usually have had no problems, usually just hanging outside where it is usually cooler. This was the case 5 days ago.
Dax was out on the porch and had seen another cat walking through our yard. Historically when our cats see another cat, it’s usually when they see if from inside. Their hair will stand on end and they will growl, but usually that’s about it.
Well, this time, Dax, started with the hair and the growling, went through the hole in the screened porch and started violently fighting with this “intruder” cat. Neither cat was hurt and “Intruder” cat had bolted the scene, but Dax was pretty freaked, and she wouldn’t come back into the house. Mrs. D managed to scare her back through the hole in the screen to get her in. Again, this happened 5 days ago.
Now every time Dax sees Molly, she freaks out and the two start growling and fighting each other. It’s like Dax has been permenantly freaked out by this and can’t get this “intruder” image out of her head.
Why is this effecting Dax this way? She’s been living with Molly for 10 years and all has been great. Why would this one incident that didn’t even involve my other cat cause her to do this? I’m not a cat psychologist and I’ve never seen this type of behavior suddenly just show up in my cats. They have always been pretty buddy-buddy with each other until now.
What do you think?