The toy was a soft pillow filled with catnip. One of our cats, Lexi (the black boy kitty) is a catnip fiend, and he had his nose in the shopping bag before we'd even finished unpacking. So I pulled it out for him and he spent a couple of hours playing with it -- pouncing on it, biting it, kicking it. We also let him play around in the bag. He had a grand old time. "Success!" we thought.
And then our other cat, Tori (the silver tabby girl kitty), flipped out. She'd been in hiding ever since we got home, which is unusual but not completely out of character, and when she finally emerged, she was Not Happy. Not with the toy, although she eyed it with more than a little suspicion, but with Lexi. Hissing, growling, whapping at him, stalking around him with murder in her eyes. They fight sometimes -- mostly when he's trying to mount her; they've both been fixed since kittenhood, but the instinct seems to remain -- but she's never that vicious to him unless he went after her first. My best theory is that he smells too much like catnip, so she doesn't recognize him; it's also possible that he was bugging her while we were out shopping and she's still upset about that, but I've never known her to carry a grudge like that.
I assume, like most cat dramas, that it will eventually work itself out, but it's disconcerting to see her so freaked out for no apparent reason. Also, she hasn't eaten yet tonight, and there's enough dominance games over food that I worry that this will have long term effects on that. Right now we have Lexi locked in the upstairs bathroom (which is hardly fair to him, but it's the easiest way to keep them separated) in hopes that she'll feel comfortable enough to eat a bit before bedtime. Wish us all luck.
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