July 5, 2007

Have Cat Will Travel

Just when you thought it was safe to go on holiday, the New York Times offers up this little horrorfest of housesitting nightmares.

If you have pets and go away, you always hit that dammit moment when you have to decide what to do with them. We usually take the cats up north with us when we go, though we now have to sneak around pretending we're not going anywhere. Under cover of darkness, we load bags into the van the night before, and walk around with our hands in our pockets, whistling aimlessly saying things like, "gee, it would be so nice to get away, too bad we won't be this year".

This is because putting a cat into a cat cage is like putting a cat into a bathtub. Or putting a cat into a headlock to trim its nails. Or, come to think of it, like getting a cat to do anything at all. Why am I so enamored of the ornery little buggers, anyway?

So we hide the cages and the coolers until zero hour, when we can corner each of them and stuff them into their cages. We then pack up everything else at lightening speed and squeal out of the driveway. The cat that puts up the biggest fight, JoJo, promptly goes to sleep. After all, that's all she had on the agenda for the day anyway.

Maggie sings us her special song all the way to the cottage. It's a mournful, dirgy little ditty she picked up from her Irish grandmother. I made that part up. We got her for free from a place advertising 'free kittens'. She's a mutt. At some point, she will flip violently onto her back, grasp the bars of her cage in a pathetic homage to 'Dead Man Walking' and howl all the rest of the way. There is more drama in this 7 pounds of calico than in any actress with an Oscar on her mantel.

Once we get there, we flip open the doors, they run around like idiots for ten minutes, and then get that look - 'Oh, yeah, we like it here. Forgot. Sorry.' And the trip home is this special hell in reverse.

But the choice would be to hand over our house to someone else, and frankly, now that I no longer know any university students who would jump at the chance to live rent free (or just parent free) for a couple of weeks, it's getting tougher to do. Our neighbour is great for coming in and playing/feeding, but these cats are used to me being around 24/7. I don't get out much. They get spoiled.

And after reading the linked pieced, I'm not so sure I won't just go on putting up with the cat travelling blues.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok the dog is going with me!!


July 05, 2007 4:23 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home