Yesterday morning was Andy and Dougy’s semi-monthly grooming appointment.
I knew it would be an ordeal catching both to put them in the carrier. It always is. I try to strike a balance, then, between catching them in time to take them for their appointment, but not so early they have to spend excessive time in the carrier. Andy handles it well enough, but Dougy is a whiner…!
Different tricks work different times, but the boys are onto the old “close all doors to bedrooms and the bathroom” plan and “leave the carrier door open so the boys can get used to the idea of exploring and being inside it” trick.
The game starts when I select the most likely first victim. Andy came first this time. He always traps himself. (Good boy!) But I always get a hard workout in the process. Yesterday, he made a tactical error, and climbed onto their cat tree to hide in the tube at top.
I just reached in the front, grabbed him mother cat style by the nape of his neck, and pulled him out. He was as surprised as me at how fast and effortless this entrapment had been! Next time, he won’t go there, guaranteed!
Now, to catch Dougy. I get around with a cane, but can get around adequately well without it at home because there are points along the trail I can hang onto if necessary for balance or support. Sofas, desks, table, chairs, bed, the floor…! Ha! Dougy made me use them all.
He ran to the south bedroom, only to find the door closed…! He assessed his position, and ran behind the recliner. I tried to catch him by tossing a comforter over him, but he slipped away to the kitchen.
I looked and looked. “Dougy! Where are you?” I said, noting that I had 15 minutes to trap the last cat and make it two blocks to the groomers’. He was silent as a mouse…. I spotted him hiding behind a box. I was sweating heavily, mad at the bad kitty, not making much progress catching him, and – irony of ironies – then he ran into the kitty fort I recently made the boys out of a salmon-colored tub Dougy likes and several boxes taped together. Yeah, the one with holes connecting each box so a cat can escape a brother chasing him. Or me when I try to catch that cat to put him in the carrier!
“Rats! Foiled again!” I said. (Actually, it was much more colorful by this time, but I try to keep this blog sort of G-rated.)
I tried to grab Dougy through one hole, then another. In frustration, noting I had to catch and cage Dougy in less than five minutes if I hoped to be on time, I grabbed the end of the fort, lifted, and attempted to dump him out.
Oh, he got out! He ran behind, then under the raised fort, over to the kitchen table mess, and I knew my hopes of an easy catch were slim. He could hide under the wagon (twice), he could hide behind the cat carriage (two, three times), he could hide under chairs (multiple times), he could run under the table to the side opposite from me, and I couldn’t move fast enough to catch him (over and over!!!).
Dougy tried my patience, left me soaked in sweat (then I’d have to go, wet, into 14 degrees F outside to the car). It seemed unlikely we’d be on time. It was a test of wills. Then, at one minute before “too late”, he trapped himself behind some items that fell off the table during this chase that landed behind the wagon. I reached down, grabbed him mother cat style, and transported his whining butt over to the hoosgow!
I laughed sadistically! “You are mine now, kitty! Meow-how-how-how! (That’s my imitation of an evil cat laugh…!)
The new carrier has wheels and a pull-along handle. It is a good investment, and I really appreciated the benefit of not having to carry the dang thing after this cat round up.
Dougy whined, of course, because of the noise of wheels on pavement, but we got to the car – preheated for the comfort of all. Amazingly enough, we actually arrived at the groomers’ shop moments before one of them arrived to open it!
From then on, the boys would be pampered all morning at the groomers’! Dougy was a good boy (so the groomers said), and so was Andy, though he gets bored and growly after a point.
When I picked them up four or so hours later, pulled them into the house and opened the carrier door, they rushed out, sniffed each other, sniffed the carrier, sniffed the floor, sniffed the bag of cat litter I set down by the cat fort a moment earlier, ran into the front room to sniff everything there, then both ran back out into the dining area to sniff around the table before having one good whiff of each other’s butts. (Seriously!) Dougy ate a little dry food and got a good, long drink at the fountain. Then Andy got a good, long drink.
“The best part was when we got home,” they seemed to say!