Post 401: Andy, Andy, Andy…!

Andy must be getting used to the routine now. In the beginning, it took real stealth and planning to capture the little rascal to give him his medicine for the heart murmur and high blood pressure issues his veterinarian discovered last Winter.

He’d hide under beds, he’d hightail it from one end of the place to the other. He’d hide behind the washing machine. He’d… you get the picture!

The past three days, though, ended with a jump onto the cat tree, with my little heart patient taking Olympic-level running leaps to reach the top.

Andy in the cat tree on another day.

Andy in the cat tree on another day.

He actually landed half inside the tube, which (the first day) was so amazing, I wasn’t ready for the next move: Without stopping inside, he jumped out the other end and added minutes to the freedom he enjoyed before I finally cornered and caught him!

Yesterday, he tried the same plan, but I was ahead of that time. When he leaped in one end, I put my hand in the other, effectively blocking the Great Escape! Whew! Even I was amazed how easily I caught him. Granted, I had to pry his little paws off the carpeted interior to pull him out, but that was a simple matter.

Today, Andy started the game on the cat lounger by the back door. He watched me from the dark. (Kind of like the joke about the black cat in the coal bin, he was difficult to spot.) I pretended I didn’t see him, and walked over to turn on my computer. That was too close for Andy’s comfort. He bolted to the guest bedroom!

Gad! The guest bedroom has a queen-sized bed, a perfect place to hide under, at least if Andy remembers how the last time he hid there he neglected to pull his hindquarters under the bed, too, giving me a good view of the fugitive and an even better handhold to catch him!

Andy will get over it. If not, he knows where I sleep...!

Andy will get over it. If not, he knows where I sleep…!

Instead of the bed, today he tried hiding in a cat playhouse, half in, half out again…his Momma didn’t train him very well on this “cover your tail” business! I thought I had him, but he escaped into the dining room, then just inside the bathroom door. “Crap,” I thought. Hiding behind the washing machine, which is in that bathroom, actually is a pretty good strategy if he uses it.

But, as I approached him, Andy tried the Olympic Leap to Freedom through the cat tree again. What?! Andy, Andy, Andy! I had that trick figured out >snicker!< the second day your tried it!

Yep, seconds later, I had him wrapped in the towel and dosed with his medicine. Woo hoo!

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Post 305: Double portrait of Dougy and Andy

Both boys on the cat tree usually means someone’s going to harass the other to get the favorite hidey-hole, but not today. Dougy (top) and Andy (hidey-hole) posed briefly for this double portrait.

As usual, the camera had difficulty keeping up with micro-moves by the boys, so it is soft focus. On the other hand, it’s rare to get both in one photo, good, bad, or indifferent:

doubler portrait of dougy and andy

Andy, surprisingly, let me take several flash photos of him inside the hidey-hole. This one turned out best:

Andy in his hidey hole

After this brief interlude, Dougy ran off to sleep in the bathroom, and Andy snuggled back down inside the hidey-hole. So why am I at the keyboard? I should follow their lead!

Post 293: “The best part was when we got home!”

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.

Andy's in the tube at the top of the cat tree, and the new carrier is on the settee.

Andy’s in the tube at the top of the cat tree, and the new carrier is on the settee.

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!

Yeah, taunt me, Dougy!

Yeah, taunt me, Dougy!

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!

Andy’s new fort.

Andy’s a happy cat today! A new cat tree arrived, one he quickly concluded was his and his alone.

“Let Dougy have the beat up old one,” Andy says. “This is in the same place as the old buggy I liked to sleep on. Therefore…this is mine!”

[Yeah, I heard Andy talking to himself. I wouldn’t lie about this stuff! He may be Persian, but his Catinese is perfect. “Purrfect”! Sorry, it’s an old joke, but all cat people wear each other out with this sort of silliness.]

See what I mean? Andy is adamant: The new cat tree is his!