My wife got her cat — note that's HER cat, not OUR cat — about eight years ago. Since then, Princess Sadie has lived her life almost exclusively within the confines of our home with the exception of special trips to the veterinarian.
And, let's face it, going to the vet ain't exactly the kind of experience that gets your cat excited about field trips or leaving the house.
When I first met my wife a few years ago, Sadie was going for regular stroller excursions around the neighborhood. As if it weren't embarrassing enough to stroll a cat around the neighborhood in the feline equivalent of the Popemobile, the darn thing was pink. I'm not sure whether this was really something to benefit Sadie or her way of testing me.
Sadie would occasionally sit on the screen porch out back and be visited by other cats in the neighborhood who lived normal lives of going in and out of the house, chasing mice and birds, and angering neighbors convinced those cats were ruining their flower beds. These cats would be excited to see Sadie and run up to say “hi” through the screen, and Sadie would hiss and swat at them for having the audacity to think they were on such a high and mighty level to be allowed conversation with her. If Kanye West were a cat, he'd be Sadie — well, except Sadie has some musical talent.
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But Sadie's world has now been rocked. We're in between homes right now as we're selling that one and building another. That means we've had to cram ourselves, our furniture and one spoiled cat into a tiny rental house.
Sadie responded the same way she does when going to the vet — by panting, whining and looking at us as if to say, “I'm going to kill you when you go to sleep tonight.” If she had claws, I'd be pretty worried.
My wife took great pains to ease Sadie into the house. She showed her all the furniture she usually lies on and sheds fur all over. She showed her where her stinky food — the cat's, not my wife's — would be for a few months. She showed her the window from which she — the cat, not my wife — could look out upon all the peasants of the world and any inferior cats that might attempt a visit or interaction.
Sadie responded by trying to find an escape route, systematically testing windows and doors for potential weaknesses like those smart dinosaurs from “Jurassic Park.” Not being smart like a dinosaur, Sadie decided the best approach would be to hide amid some boxes for a few hours with her face buried in a corner. My wife considered this abnormal behavior. I find having a cat or any animal in the house besides a pet rock to be abnormal behavior, so I was OK with this.
However, by the end of the night, Sadie came into the bedroom to explain her thoughts on the matter. To quote, she said, “MEOW!” She said that a lot. She said that about every two seconds from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. We didn't sleep a lot.
I believe Sadie is starting to adjust, however, because she is once again lying around the house and giving us that familiar, loving, you-know-I'm-gonna-kill-you look.
So, all is as well again — or at least as well as it can be with a spoiled cat.
And, in a few months, we can do it all again.
Visit Chris Johnson's website at kudzukid.com.