So, Trooper (and Mozart, and Sprite; and Socks, and Hexapuma before them) hates to Travel In the Box. Hates it. He doesn’t growl or bite or claw, but he does run around the house like a crazed box-avoider who weighs upwards of 16 pounds, all of it muscle, and when you do finally catch him, he extracts his Other Eight Legs(tm) and flails them all around while you’re trying to get him into the box (see 16 pounds, muscle, above). And then, once you do manage to get him into the box, and you’re exhausted and ready for nap, it takes two of you to carry the box out to the car (see 16 pounds &c…, above), whereupon Trooper commences in to moaning, and drooling, and asking in his quaint, quacky little voice what he’s done to deeeeesserrrrrrrrve tttttttttthhhissssssss. And by the time you get him where he’s going, which is, yes, usually the vet, he’s a mess and so are you.
What I do for Mozart (and did for Socks and Hexapuma) is wrap him in a towel, carry him out to the car and hold him in my lap while Steve drives. Even in his days as a young athlete, he was kind of a marshmallow, and I didn’t really worry about carrying him anywhere.
Trooper and Sprite are another matter. Trooper’s big and strong and forceful; Sprite is big, squirmy, and scratchy. So, I haven’t dared the towel. However, we did have several cats who used to walk on a cat string. Archie was the first (poor Archie had Much to endure, coming in as my first cat after I’d had a lifetime of dogs, but he actually liked to go outside in the grass and to visit his favorite flowers, and if the price of that was wearing the stupid blue string, and have Mom tag along, that was a bargain he was willing to strike). We therefore bought a harness and a leash, and have been trying to reach an accommodation with the two newbies.
Sprite wants Nothing to Do with the project, even though I bought a pink glittery leash especially with her in mind (also, it was on sale). She screams and rolls around and tries to kick the harness off, and, when that doesn’t work, she races around the house approximately three feet off the floor. I think the plan here is to run so fast that she runs out of the harness. This hasn’t worked so far, and I’ve needed to wait until she’s exhausted herself, then bribe her with cat treats so I can get close enough to take the harness off.
Trooper, however, allows me to put the harness on him, and will wear it for half-an-hour, 45 minutes at a time. He doesn’t particularly care for the fact that it jingles (the loop that the leash snaps into is metal). Granted, he clings to my side the entire time (so I know Exactly where he is when I get the notion to take the Stupid Thing off), and his demeanor is that of a cat Sorely Tried, but he doesn’t freak out, and he doesn’t hold a grudge. I guess my next step is to snap on the leash and walk with him around the house; carry him with the equipage on. And if that works, I’ll try to carry him outside and down to the car. I’m pretty sure he won’t willingly walk down the stairs to the driveway, but will just do the belly-down-I-weigh-five-thousand-pounds-and-you-can’t-move-me thing that cats do.
So, anyway, this is why Trooper has my nomination to the Cat Hall of Fame for Most Patient Cat EVER.
In other cat news, Trooper and Sprite have apparently decided that it would be Much Better for Grandpa Mozart to have company, rather than being a grumpy old cat in the corner, and they’ve been taking Active Steps to impose a more comfortable social order.
Sprite has already been cleaning Mozart’s ears for him from time to time, which he accepts with a certain attitude of bemusement. The other day, when I was working on the couch, he came up and snugged next to me. Usually, he will Not Allow another cat on the couch during such times; it’s Him and Me and nobody else.
But, Sprite came by, saw that there was half a couch untenanted, and jumped up. Mozart tensed, but she didn’t even look at him, just flopped over on her side, flipped her tail casually over his rump and stretched her back foot out until it touched his back foot. She went to sleep.
Mozart looked up at me as if to ask, “What just happened?” But he was already relaxing again, and finally sighed, put his chin on his front foot and went to sleep, toe-to-toe, and Sprite’s tail still covering him.
Trooper is also making an obvious effort to be with Mozart. Yesterday, for instance, it was cold and rainy, and Mozart wanted to sleep in his Special Warm Corner in my office. The problem being that it’s currently filled with books from the bedroom, which I moved in anticipation of the Return of the Contractor. Mozart threw a temper tantrum, by which I mean that he started to yell, stomped under the desk, and instead of lying down on the nice, comfy towel down there, started whaling the hell out of various wires, yelling all the while. Trooper, who had been sleeping in the red basket, jumped down, and went under the desk. The whaling and the yelling stopped, and, when I looked down a couple minutes later, Trooper was lying on the towel and Mozart was next to him, up against the UPS, which was probably a much warmer situation than he would have had, even in His Corner.
So, that’s the State of the Cats here at the Cat Farm, as of Saturday, June 14.
Here, have some cat spam: