When we think of separation anxiety in pets, the first species to come to mind is definitely the canine... Dogs suffer through our absence in many ways, from chewing, to pacing, to ulcerating their stomachs! I had no idea that cats could have separation anxiety to the degree of a dog. Don't tell Harrison I just compared him to a canine, please... I value my life.
This past week we traveled to New Hampshire to visit my parents in Keene. We were packing and getting ready a few days in advance when I noticed Harrison acting strangely. He wasn't eating well, and he was constantly hiding under chairs and tables. I was mildly concerned, but he seemed okay otherwise so I put it out of my mind. It wasn't until just minutes before we were going to leave, at 7pm (planning to drive over night) that Jeremy began to pack up Basil's dog crate. The metal bars make a terrible scraping and clanking sound every time you collapse it, and within seconds Harrison was tearing around the house, landing finally in the broom cupboard in the kitchen, yowling and shaking. Oh boy. We (I, really) debated a while and finally decided to take him to the emergency vet in Plymouth.
The vet (Named DuFramboise which was awesome... hehe. Raspberry.) was SUPER helpful. I love when vets acknowledge that I know a thing or two about animal diagnostics. She went over some possible things, including a newer developed diagnosis of a nonspecific urinary tract irritation that they're finding more and more in cats (male, altered usually). She did a rectal, a urine check and a bladder check. This was literally two weeks after Harrison's trip to the vet for a colon impaction that we got to release using an enema. I figured it was a recurrance.
The vet couldn't find anything wrong with him, and after mentioning in passing that we were packing to leave, a very knowing look crossed her face. She said that separation anxiety is common in cats, though not commonly diagnosed. She wasn't surprised, based on Harrison's history of being abandoned in the snow as a kitten (living in a groundhog hole, eating a racoon carcus! Poor dear!)
Long story short, we toted our adorable little kitty to New Hampshire with us, and he enjoyed the car ride! He and Basil are very close, and they sat together the whole way. Apparently our cat is more unique than we ever dreamed! Yeesh... This is in addition to the walking-on-hind-legs thing that he does, the comes-when-he's-called-even-if-he's-sleeping thing, and various other non kitty things... We're convinced he's an alien cat and we're part of his bizarre social experiment.