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Sleeping with Smore

Posted by: | July 3, 2015 | 6 Comments |

So one of the cool things about our vacation is that for once, Smore is able to be in my bedroom at night when I sleep. At home, she’s not allowed on the floor where our bedrooms are. Because of that, I haven’t really experienced what it’s like to sleep with a cat. I was nervous about it because cats apparently love to play at night. The first night, she was an angel and slept at the foot of the bed without moving.

Sleeping in her own bed for once

Sleeping in her own bed for once

After that, she became more rambunctious because the room was cool. We’ve gotten better about sleeping together in one room, but sometimes she wakes me up to play. At times, she freaks me out because she uses her teeth, although if I remain calm and don’t jerk back, it’s rather delicate. However, it is annoying. And it freaks me out.

With dogs, such behavior never happened. I trained them not to. Pebbles, my husky, never put her teeth on me. She would occasionally paw at me in play, which hurt, but I was taught that if my dog bit anyone – me included – she was gone. So I trained her not to.

I suppose I’ve taught Smore bite inhibition as well; however, she still tries to do it on occasion. Usually it’s when she’s hyper.

She’s also begun to adjust to our new schedule and has learned that when I’m on the computer, it’s a good time for a nap or it’s a good time to go back and forth between the windows on either side of my desk. Bonus points if she steps on the computer.

She has a cat bed between my desk and the couch where one of her towels from home is. I’ve never honestly seen her use the cat bed until Sunday when a friend came to visit. She decided that was the best place to sleep since the couch was too close to let her guard down I guess. She must have decided it’s a good place to relax because I’ve caught her there several times since.

Today though after my alarm went off and she came hurrying over for snuggles, she began trying to play as if I was her stuffed toys. I ignored her until she stopped before getting up because I don’t want to teach her to use it to get me out of bed. I fed her and we played, and then I logged onto my computer. She was quiet, so I turned around to find her lying in the middle of my bed sound asleep!

Pfft. Apparently alarm clocks do not apply to cats.

under: traveling

Traveling with Smore Part 1

Posted by: | June 19, 2015 | No Comment |

Almost every article about traveling with cats says to avoid it like the plague. Or at least that’s what they seem to be hinting at. I can’t tell you how many times I read “leave your cat at home” or “if you absolutely must travel with your cat because there is no other option…”

What have you done to me, human?

I thought you were my friend!

It makes sense though. I imagine to a cat it’s very similar to if you were blindfolded, thrown into the back of a car, and driven to an unknown location to be held hostage for some unknown reason by someone you thought was a friend. Oh, and that “friend” also speaks a foreign language. Sounds like fun, right?

Normally I leave Smore at home by herself, though I honestly hate to do it because I miss her and because she has this bad habit of overturning every water bowl I leave for her. There’s no telling how long she goes without water. She’s on Cosequin now too, and although I don’t think it harm her to miss a dose, I’d rather not skip it.

However, I found myself contemplating what to do with Smore recently.

My dad and nieces were heading back home for some doctor appointments, and I was looking forward to having the place to myself until my dad asked if I wanted to come. My uncle, who happens to be my neighbor, was willing to look over the house. Problem is: he’s terrified of cats. He can’t stand them, so he’s definitely not cat sitting material.

My mom agreed I could keep Smore in my bedroom upstairs, which also includes a bathroom. It has a seperate ventilation system from the rest of the house, so allergies shouldn’t be a concern for anyone. It sounded like a fun idea until I read about all the “Do not travel with cats” posts. I mean, sure, they generally said it could be done – if you were one of those wise people who got your cat used to car rides and carriers.

I am not one of those people. Poor Smore only goes in her carrier when it’s vet time and that’s the only car ride she’s ever known.

Since I had to take a test to get my teaching license in the state, I had to go for at least one day, but I had hoped to stay a little longer to visit with family and friends. What’s a pawrent to do?

My cousin has left her cat alone for longer than a night or even a weekend, but I didn’t feel right doing that. Smore is different than her cat. Even if it weren’t for her strange habit of overturning her water bowls, she still craves human company and play time in a way that her cat never has. Whenever I come home from being away, she seems extra cuddly.

So it was settled. Smore was going on vacation too. To make things smoother, I knew I wanted to bring a wide arrange of toys and things that would remind her of home.

I packed my suitcase! Let's go!

Look, I packed my suitcase! Let’s go!

I Smore packed all her toys and things inside an under the bed storage container. When I folded up her blanket, she tried pawing at it as if to say “NO! NOT MY BLANKET!”

When I put it on top of the container, she plopped down on top as if to say, “I’m not leaving and neither is this box.” Or perhaps it was more of “If my blanket is going, I am too!”

Now I just had to figure out how to transport her.

My dad offered to take me in his truck, which meant me in the back between the two little ones and Smore in the front seat or floor. But what if the family really was allergic and the cramped space of his cab triggered allergies? And what about the fact that her carrier doesn’t actually fit in the floor of his front seat?

I didn’t want her in the front seat itself because it doesn’t seem logical that it’d be safe for a cat if it’s not safe for kids under a certain age or weight. And I couldn’t put a cat in between two possibly allergic kids either. And what if she howled and meowed the whole way there like the articles I read made it seem like she would?

She usually meows the whole way to the vet. It’s not an annoying meow, thankfully. It’s always a rather quiet/high pitch beyond hearing sort of meow. But what if it got worse and lasted the whole way? The farthest she ever went was when I was I took her to an orthopedic specialist two hours away to see if her leg was salvageable and that was back when she slept all the time because she was young (or perhaps not feeling well due to her leg).

I decided to take my own car to control the sounds inside from human and radio alike. Plus, I knew I could turn around and just leave for the night if need be.

Ive got my seat belt on. Lets hit the road!

I’ve got my seat belt on. Let’s hit the road!

She almost went into the carrier by herself, but my dad was locked out while I was trying to get her in so she wouldn’t escape out of the house. He was knocking on the door, so she turned away. I had to put her in, but she didn’t struggle at all. She didn’t even meow. She just looked at me. I strapped her in the car and away we went. It wasn’t until we were down the street that she began to meow.

I am the magic blanket that blocks the sun

I am the magic blanket that blocks the sun

Turns out the sun was in her eyes, so I used her blanket to block it when I stopped for gas a few miles up the road.

I discovered the radio makes her meow too. I’ve had passengers tell me you can feel the bass in my backseat, so I kept it off and used the portable stereos for my iPod since I can’t handle 5 hours of silence in a car.

In the end, this arrangement seemed to work. She slept on and off, using her snowman toy as a pillow. She only meowed when I would talk to her.

Sometimes though when I turned around to see how she was, I’d get that expression from the first picture. I’m not sure if that’s a “we’re not going to the vet, right?” or “how dare  you drag me on this mission!” or what that look is all about.

We stopped and got food a couple hours in. I thought about getting the litter box out and seeing if she had to go, but I was worried I wouldn’t get her back in the carrier. I was not going to let her explore the car alone while I drove either. I decided to just let her stay inside. I had her extra towel and some wipes if I had to clean up a mess. We stood in the parking lot and ate while I kept the air on in the car. I had my dad watch my car too while I went to the bathroom. I don’t leave any of my animals in the car for any reason unless I have the air on and can watch the car like that. The warnings about heat stroke terrify me.

We arrived at our destination safe and sound. The warnings about car travel with cats thankfully didn’t seem to apply to my Smore. I’m glad she can’t read or surf the internet. If she knew all the things people say about cats and followed through with them, I could be in trouble!

Now it was just a matter of finding out how she’d do once I let her out of her carrier…

Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?

How do your tripawds travel?

under: traveling