Tuesday, November 16, 2010

There and back again.

As you can imagine, I own a large number of cat books. Some are cartoons, some are stories and some are "how-to care for" books. In several of the "how-to" books, a cat owner is reminded that cats prefer routine. Anything that upsets the routine they have come to enjoy, upsets them and that's when you get behavior problems. One of the things that upsets them is travel, your travel.

It is suggested that, a couple days before you leave, you put out a suitcase so they can see that you are planning something. Gradually fill it up over those two days. This will plant the idea that you are going somewhere. Supposedly, separation is lessened by doing this.

So, before I left for Connecticut, I plopped the suitcase on the floor in the living room. Pilchard took to it right away. Mija took her time but eventually decided to investigate. These girls haven't given me problems when I leave so I probably could skip this step. It ensured that when I got to Connecticut, Faux would want to smell my suitcase.

There was one "incident", if you can call it that. It makes for a great story. Pam arrived to feed them. I always give them kitty treats in the morning before work and in the evening after work. (Yes, they have me trained.) I left the packages on the kitchen table. Pam picked one up and heard something hitting the floor. She looked at the bag in hand and discovered someone had chewed through the bottom. I suspect it might be Mija but I have no proof. Since I've been home, both have been up on the kitchen table in violation of "house" rules. They do get down quickly when I tell them to.

I mentioned how I broke into tears when I picked Mija up last week upon returning home. She came when I called and was purring up a storm when I scooped her up for a cuddle. I enjoyed my visit and my trip, but I also enjoy coming home. I think most people would say that. The girls were happy to see me and I let them out onto the deck while I unpacked the car.

Now that she's figured out the deck railings, Pilchard enjoys walking along them or lying on them. Mija simply enjoys coming outside, sniffing the air, walking around the deck, sitting for a bit and then going back inside. Things are back to normal. Mija's taking turns with Pilchard sleeping on the ottoman. It's a case of whomever gets there first gets it. As I emptied my suitcase, just tossing things onto the floor, Pilchard claimed the pile as hers. Some things were clean. I did a load of wash Sunday night at Carole's. But it all got mixed together, thanks to a nesting cat.

One of the more amusing things about being gone is being "yelled" at by a big black cat. Once she realized I wasn't going anywhere, she took to following me around the house while meowing. If you don't own a pet, you'll probably think it's silly, but you can tell "tone" in a pet's vocalizations. In this case, Pilchard's voice was not happy. The meow was rather pointed. I am convinced she was yelling at me for leaving them. She has calmed down although once or twice a day I hear it. She will come into the office at night, sit down behind the office chair and meow. When I swivel to pet her, she will move out of reach and sit down. Cats have personalities and I'm being reminded that I irritated the big black cat.

On the other hand, both have been lap cats of late, as if to say, "If we spend some time cuddling in your lap, will you promise not to leave us again?" Well, I can't promise that. I can only promise that there will be ear scratches and cuddles and treats and the rare can of tuna.

Home is where the cats are.

Beverage: English Breakfast tea


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