I hadn't had a chance to venture outdoors yesterday before my mom stopped by. As I opened the door and beheld the smudgy sky and inhaled the smoky air, I asked, "Is that smoke?"
"Yes," dear mother replied.
Ah, and Jason wonders where my pithy zinger skills come from.
We are in day three of the five day separation. I have been alternately confining them to rooms one at a time to let the other roam about the house so they keep each other's scents fresh in mind. I brushed Loki this morning and let Thor smell the fur and he tried to mark it with his scent and then tried to lick it. Which is, I suppose either a good thing or a good way to get hairballs yakked up on the rug. They ate treats on opposites of a door without episode and seem interested in each other through the doors.
The problem lies in that while Thor's scent doesn't bother Loki, seeing him does. Yesterday, there was a moment when they saw each other and Loki hissed. The plan is to keep them separate for five days then begin gradually reacquainting them. If we can properly barricade the door between the kitchen and the hallway, we will leave them separated like that with Loki having the bedrooms and front room and Thor having the kitchen, back room and laundry room, while we are away in Arizona. That way, they can interact at the hallway door, but we will have the peace of mind of knowing that they won't have a relapse while we are away and unable to intervene. My brother will be coming by every day to feed, water and scoop, but he won't be here if something goes wrong.
What is hard is that they miss each other terribly. They are both super needy and super affectionate and cry and scratch at the doors for each other. But my vet and Jason's research emphasize that not keeping them separate for long enough before reintroduction is the number one reason why incidents like these become chronic aggression problems between cats.
My brain knows that, but my heart breaks every time one looks for the other.
But this is my goal: