It's taken nearly two weeks, but Sheba the deaf white cat is nearly back to normal. After our vet ran tests to make sure there was nothing wrong with her thyroid, blood sugar, liver, and kidneys, we put her on a low dose of Prozac. Each day she got slightly better, less agitated, and began spending more and more time on the main floor of the house with the other cats. Today she resumed demanding water from the tap in the bathroom, and slept on her usual towel on the counter under the Xenon lights. And she pulled the kitchen calendar off the wall.
A few days ago we discovered what we think caused Sheba to flip out while I was in Florida. She goes outside for a brief period once or twice a day. When I returned from Florida, she was rushing outside at every opportunity, and then holing up in the cat tree on the front porch. Attempts to bring her in involve literally dragging her out of the cat tree while she held on with claws.
Friday morning I spotted Sheba on the neighbor's porch, getting ready to attack an enormous black-and-white male cat. According to neighbors, that cat spends most of his time on a nearby porch, inciting that family's indoor cats to hysteria. I shooed the cat, and Sheba agreed to come indoors. However, I think she has since nailed him.
We're keeping her on the Prozac for a while.
Meanwhile, I now have the electronic alarm system set up to catch the dog, which had left two more piles of crap on our lawn over the weekend.
The system was not triggered last night, but there wasn't any evidence on the lawn. We'll be on alert again tonight (the indoor-alarm half of the system can be turned off during the day while the outdoor sensor remains in place).
The worst case scenario is that the owner has spotted the sensor (camouflaged by a small shrub) — but even that's a win in terms of keeping our lawn clean.
One final note about animals — this afternoon there was a large black cat in the backyard that was covered in dust and appeared to be trailing pieces of rope or a harness. Whatever he was "wearing" didn't in anyway impede his movement, and after giving me a startled look, he vanished through the "cat opening" in our back fence. This attracted the attention of Mabel, Kaylee and Zoe, who looked utterly incredulous. Sheba, fortunately, sleep through it all.
Tomorrow: The semi-annual car check up at High Road. After I drop off the car in the early morning, I walk back along Ballard Avenue and see what new shops have appeared. Usually stop for breakfast at Vera's or at the Smoke Shop (which is pure time travel back to 1965).