Who needs the shrink around here?

The cat shrink is coming this afternoon to see if our new housemate, Ophelia, is beyond help. Meanwhile, my mom Cathy got really worried last night. Ophelia dived under the bed and refused to come out all night. Usually she sleeps right next to Cathy’s pillow.

So early this morning Mom got up and poked the box springs cover where Ophelia (literally) hangs out. She installed Ophelia in the laundry room with food, water and a litter box. She cleverly set up a barrier so Ophelia can’t get behind the washing machine and refuse to come out, the way Creampuff does.

I peeked in while Mom was scooping the litter box. Ophelia seemed to be happy. Maybe she’s a seeker of solitude. Maybe she’s part mushroom and she likes small, dark spaces. Hmm…from a certain angle, she does kind of resemble a mushroom. cat in laundry room

Then Mom turned to me with that gleam in her eye. “You know, Gracie, if these behaviorists seem to know what they’re doing, I can hire them to work on your jumping and pulling issues.”

Uh oh. Training. Tugging my leash. Squirt guns. Anyway, what’s wrong with a few jumps now and then? I only jump on people we know or people who seem, well, suspicious. Mom should be thanking me.

Mom calls the shrink…

Not for her. She’s far too cheap.

But Cathy is worried about our new housemate, Ophelia. After making progress, Ophelia has regressed. She staked a claim on a corner of Cathy’s bed and she won’t leave. She sits on a cushion, right next to Cathy’s pillow, and she won’t budge. When she freaks out, she dives under the bed. Not good.

So Mom asked the vet for a referral to a cat behaviorist. When Cathy called for her appointment, they said Ophelia might be suffering from shelter shock. Sort of like post-traumatic stress disorder for cats.

We’ve got a PhD-qualified, trained shrink coming next week. He comes to our home and spends a couple of hours analyzing Ophelia. Mom was aghast at the cost till she realized that’s what she charges for a diagostic website makeover session. And she doesn’t even go to clients’ homes.

Hey Mom, I’ve got a better idea. Let’s find Ophelia a home with a nice little old lady, where Ophelia can be the only cat. She can sit on the old lady’s lap and watch the old lady drink tea.

Except, my mom would say, they don’t make old ladies like they used to. And she adores Ophelia. They’ve bonded.