Monday, February 04, 2008

Cat Adventures

So, as part of my trip to the land of cold (more on that later) I had to take the cat to the kennel.

Cat 2(Very sad, longest I've ever had to put her in a kennel. The only other time I've been away for two weeks, I had roommates who looked after her.)
Now I have heard tales - even seen for myself - of cats who willingly curl up in their cat carrier, snuggle in laps for car rides and so on. My cat is not like this. She made claw marks in the box she came to live with me in. I tried - before one car trip - a week of car desensitization to no avail.
So, originally I had a duffel style carrier, but after enough use, my cat had scratched holes in the mesh panels and I figured it was time for a new carrier. So, I got this.
It's cute, it has a shoulder strap, it has mesh side panels with skinnier mesh (thereby making it hard to make bigger holes, or so I imagine), a mesh panel that goes across the top and snaps and a top flap secured with a magnetic snap.
Well, on our way to the vet/kennel, my cat discovered if she poked her head against the top with enough force she could get her head between the top mesh flap (which only has snaps at each end) and the top flap and then from that position further head poking would pop the magnetic snap such that I looked over at a stoplight to discover my cat's head looking back at me.
While in the waiting room, filling out the paperwork, my escape artist jumped completely out of the carrier - fortunately at that time we were the only ones there. So clearly I knew it was time for a new carrier and had plans to purchase one after I returned.
Just in case I wasn't entirely sure, after I picked her up, I parked the car and then had a several block walks to the apartment building. I had checked the snap on top was walking with one hand over the side panel in a theoretically reassuring manner. (Yes, if you saw a woman in the Dupont or Mount Pleasant area this weekend talking to a blue bag - that was me.)
So, on a residential street, I heard sounds that suggested we had another breach and next thing I knew I saw a blur as my cat poked not her head but her whole body out of the carrier and ran underneath someone's porch.
Yes, this street was all rowhouses with porches. The porches were had lattice covering for the most part in various states of repair. Most had enough space at the bottom for a cat. None had enough space for a person, although one did have a squeeze worth of space at the side. So I stood. I called, I cooed, I told one man who was coming home that yes my cat was under either his porch or the one next door and he was very nice about it. (I did worry that people thought I was nuts or dangerous or something.) According to my watch it was about fifteen minutes later that my cat was convinced to appear in one of the squeeze spaces between two porches where I was able to grab her. It felt longer. She tried to escape again as I tried to stuff her back into the carrier. I kept a really tight grip on the thing for the rest of the walk home.
I worried that people were looking at the strange woman talking to her bag, but when I got a look at myself I realized if they were looking it was more likely the mud on my jeans and coat from wrangling a kitty that were attracting attention.
Since our return she is appropriately sweet and cuddly.
Oh, and yesterday, I bought this.