Monday, July 27, 2015

A Tale of Three Cats.

This is how I remember these events and my memory may be a little faulty, but we'll go with this version anyway:

When my daughter and her family moved to Las Vegas, the cat belonging to her husband's boss had kittens. He brought one home - the cutest little black and white kitten you ever saw. They named him Dobie. Dobie needed a friend. The kids picked out a cuddly gray one at the animal shelter so everyone was happy, most of all Shadow who now had a loving family and the family had two delightfully playful kittens they adored. They put in a cat door so the kittens could go in and out by themselves.

A neighborhood cat decided he liked the food better at their house than at his own home, so he came daily through the cat door to dine and lounge around with his feline friends. This was an unusual cat - it had six toes on each paw, funny round short ears and short curly hair. They named him Padfoot because of his very large feet. Padfoot's family moved, leaving him behind, and Padfoot was happy to stay with his new friends.

When my daughter took him to the vet to have his shots, the vet was amazed. This was a very unusual and rather rare cat - a Rex. The extra toes, funny ears and curly hair revealed his identity. Thus, the family now had three cats that grew up during the four years they were in Las Vegas. The cats became hunters. They brought all sorts of wonderful presents to their owners like birds that were still alive, mice that were still able to run around the house, and other delightful (shudder!) gifts that made the girls scream and sent the son scrambling to catch and dispose of the creatures that belonged outside, not inside.

The cats went with them to South Dakota. Much different climate. Snow! The cat door had to be adjusted with a tunnel so the snow didn't blow directly into the house when blizzards arrived. The cats didn't like that as much, but loved basking in the sun on the picnic table on the deck. They still delivered dreadful presents when spring and summer came.

Then in two years another move. This time across the country to South Carolina. The cats went along in carriers - but they couldn't be left in hot cars so there was no sightseeing along the way. Just get to their new home so the cats wouldn't suffer. But the nights in the motels were an endless nightmare. No sleep. Cats awake all night. Noisy, jumping on the beds. Not all motels will take animals so they were not able to stay in the nicer ones they preferred. A totally miserable trip for everyone, cats included.

But the worst was yet to come. They stayed in a hotel for 3 weeks while house-hunting and the cats continued their nighttime routine. After three nights of no sleep, a boarding house needed to be found for the felines. $600 for three weeks! Expensive pets.

Fast forward one year. South Carolina was hot, humid, muggy, lots of bugs. Rain nearly every day. The family hated it. The cats hated it. A new job back in California solved that problem, but the cats presented one additional problem - how to transport them from coast to coast and be able to sleep at night, in a decent motel, and still stop and see a few things along the way. They would ship the cats to California via plane. Gramma would meet the plane and keep the cats till the family arrived in California. The cats would be happier. The family would be able to visit the presidential libraries and sleep at night!

They bought two carriers: two of the cats get along very well. They could travel together. Dobie gets along with no one. Dobie got his own carrier. But when they delivered the cats and carriers to the airline to be shipped, the lady at the desk says Dobie's carrier is not big enough. They've already spent a LOT of money on these carriers, so my daughter asks what can they do? "Go to Wal-Mart and buy a dog carrier", she said. "They are only about $75 to $100." Good Grief!

So the cats returned home, throwing up all the way. Good thing they didn't fly. It would not have been pleasant to cross country in the mess in their carriers.

Needless to say, the trip from South Carolina to California was another nightmare - long travel days to get here as quickly as possible, no stopping and leaving the cats in hot cars to sight-see.

I was waiting at their new home (for which we had searched and searched until we found what we thought they'd like, forwarded pictures, and got their approval.) Suddenly the door flew open and three cats bounded into the house before any humans appeared. Release from captivity! Freedom is a wonderful thing, for all species. Now the cats are happy, the family is happy, and we are happy to have our kids closer.

I'm glad we no longer have pets. My husband's favorite saying is: Retirement begins when the last child leaves home and the dog dies. In this case, the cats. My last cat lived 13 years. These are only seven years old. So about the time their youngest daughter leaves home in five or six years.................

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