About a week ago, I noticed that Sodapop, one of my permacats, was doing an awful lot of scratching.
Here is Soda:
Cute little bugger, ain't he?
ANYway, Soda was all itchy and scratchy and nervous-acting, and I figured that maybe he had developed a flea allergy. I treat all the permacats with Frontline because it's effective against ticks, but I knew it didn't work as well against fleas, so when I noticed that Soda was scratching, I treated him with Advantage.
and voila! The scratching stopped.
and then Soda started hiding.
First it was in the hall closet, and now it's a cupboard in the kitchen. He's made himself a little nest in there (in a big colander, which would be funny if it wasn't so mystifying), and he stays in the cupboard all. the. time.
He comes out long enough to stretch, eat, use the litterbox, and be petted, and then he goes right back in.
At first I thought something outside had scared him, and he was scared to go outside again.
But not only won't he go outside, he won't even leave the kitchen. Plus, I have a game cam set up out back to watch the wildlife, and the only things that have been out there lately have been my three cats, and the regular random deer/squirrels/woodchucks/etc. There's not, like, a rampaging bear out there or something.
Then I thought, well, maybe one of the other permacats beat up on him in the house, and now he's scared of the other cats.
But when he's out in the kitchen and the other cats are there as well, he doesn't act weird around them at all, and they're all just indifferent to each other.
THEN I thought, well, maybe there's still fleas, in the throw rugs, and he's afraid to be on the rugs because he thinks he'll get flea-bit. I thought it was probably not likely, because usually if there are fleas in the house I know it because *I* get bit, and because I haven't seen a flea in months, but it was a possibility.
So I flea treated every rug and every piece of upholstered furniture in the house.
He's still hiding in the cupboard.
I took him to the vet, who did a thorough examination and could find nothing wrong. He did have some scabs on his neck and back (not in the area where he was flea-treated), which she thought might be indicative of an allergy to something other than fleas, so she put him on steroids to see if it eases the symptoms. (She feels that it's easier and more productive to treat the symptoms of a pet allergy than it is to try to find out what exactly the allergy is.) We're on Day Three of steroids, and while he is coming out of the cupboard for longer periods, he's still spending most of his time in there.
When he DOES come out, he's ... normal. Eats, and drinks, and uses the litterbox, and rolls onto his back for bellyrubs and purrs. But after five minutes, or ten, or half an hour ... it's right back in the cupboard.
I mean, I could SEE it if he had, like, wifi and gin and craps tables and kitty porn stashed in there, but there's just a colander in there, for Pete's sake!
I have to admit it. Soda has me stumped.