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Because my bipolar cat told me to.

I think my cat is bipolar.

Pye is unpredictable, as you all know: she pees in the box, she pees on the chair; she snuggles, she runs away from home; she licks me, she bites me. I know the peeing is purely behavioral: she gets mad if I start the RV, or leave her locked in when she doesn’t want to be.  But I can’t figure out what triggers the rest of the sudden changes in behavior. At the moment, she’s on a cuddley streak, after being on a 3-day “I’m wild and don’t know you unless I’m hungry” streak.

The latter started shortly after I gave her flea medicine on the back of her neck.

She appears to have an allergic reaction to the flea drops at the treatment site; she scratches at the spot for a day or two. But after this latest application, I’ve began to suspect the allergic reaction goes deeper than just a bit of itching. This was the first time I noticed a change in her mental behavior for several days after the flea medicine was administered.

This sure would explain a lot about her unpredictable behavior. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be much about this kind of side effect on the internet. Have any of you ever experienced a change in behavior with your dog or cat after administering flea drops?

"Meow?" "Yes, Kitty, in a minute."

Pye: “Meow?” Me: “Yes, baby, in a minute.”

I talk to the animals. I know you do, too.

A conversation about talking to your cat started on Facebook after a friend posted the above graphic. Many people were quick to confess their conversations with a cat. It seems we all talk to our pets, and are completely secure in this. If we are ‘crazy cat people’, we’re all OK with others knowing it. I, for one, will talk to my cat in front of people without a second thought.

It’s not like the conversation is one-sided, Pye and I talk to each other. She meows to me, and I utter a version of little kid English to her. It’s highly likely only one of us will understand half the conversation at any given time – the half of the conversation we’re speaking.

And no, having conversations with my cat does not make me crazy. Other things might, but not this.

Checkers was a bit brighter; she understood many hand signals, and audible and verbal commands. She came when I called her most of the time. I could look at her and say. “Who’s your Mommy?” She would look up at me and reply, “Meow.” (That means “You are” in cat speak, just so you know.) That would get a good chuckle out of my guests.

Pye is learning, albeit slowly. She is starting to come when I call her, as long as she’s already inside, and doesn’t suspect I’m going to put her outside. She lets me clip her nails with minimal fuss.

Pye is also teaching me… She insists on being petted when I come home, even if she was just outside and I let her in with me. This petting must take place in a very short period of time or I get a nip on my leg. She will wait within a few feet from the door as I put my armloads of stuff down. I have to come pet her – and pet her for several minutes – or I will incur a nip on my leg. It doesn’t break the skin, but it let’s me know she isn’t satisfied with either the speed or the quality of the greeting.

But it’s my fault; I trained her to want the greeting. You see, I inadvertently trained Checkers to roll over whenever I came through the front door, or whenever a guest knocked.

Whenever I came home, I would call to Checkers, as I do with Pye now, and then greet her by way of petting or cuddling. Whenever a guest would knock on the door, I would open it, greet them, and have them greet Checkers, too. Hey, we both live there – it would be impolite to ignore one of the occupants.

Checkers then developed a Pavlovian response to a knock on the door: she would go and roll over on to her back a few feet in front of the door. She would wait like that, patiently, until the guest petted her. Some guests needed prompting, so I would gently point out, “You need to greet the kitty. See? (pointing at fluffy kitty sprawled on the floor near their feet) She’s waiting for you to pet her. No, I don’t care if you’re allergic, take a pill and greet the kitty.”

So I wanted Pye to do this, too. However, I think she may have missed the point. The greeting should not include biting.

But I do it anyway, becasue she told me to.

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