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Camping with my Cats

Part 1

by Catherine Sadler, Ramah, CO, USA


Sheba surpried me today. My vacation started and so we are camping out in our own backyard. I got everything ready in the tent, even the cats' dishes and litter pan. Then I put the harnesses on the cats. I planned awhile after supper to take them out to the tent, reasoning that bedtime would be the best time so they would snuggle up with me and settle in better.

At first, each cat fell over as soon as the harness went on. But I didn't put the leashes on yet. I went about whatever it was I was in the middle of. Pretty soon I saw Sheba walking along like normal and thought , Hey, she has adapted at last! But Amber went to his hidey hole and Djoser slunk along close to the floor.

At twilight I was ready to go to the tent with the cats. I put Sheba's leash on and she fell over again and just lay there. So I got Amber from his hole and fastened his on as he lay on the end of the bed. He laid there for an hour before he diasppeared. I found him under the couch only because the leash trailed out. I tugged. He tugged. I tugged and gave it some play and we took turns tugging. I swear it was like playing a big fish! But I finally got him out.

I can't find Djoser. He is hiding in his personal black hole somewhere. I have looked and called and rattled the food dish. But I can't go to the tent and leave him here with his harness on to snag on something. I have to find him. So we are staying up late waiting for him to come out. At least I don't have to get up early.

After I ignored Sheba with her harness and leash, she finally got up and found out she wasn't tied down. Since then she has been all through the house trailing her leash and seems just fine with it. I haven't quite got the nerve to ruin everything by trying to lead her with it. After awhile I heard her making her throaty call like she does when carrying her shoe. I went to look and she didn't have her shoe. She had the end of the leash! After that she picked it up and carried it several times, calling all the wile. She has learned to lead herself!! :-)

Jeff finally got his flashlight and mirror on a elbow stick and looked in the cubby under the heavy tv console. Sure enough, that is where Djoser was hiding. Jeff squirted him with water to make him come out; but all he got was a wet cat. So then he used the backscratcher to boost him out. Djoser didn't like that and came climbing up between all the tv and vcr wires right into my arms.

I got the boys into the two carriers and got them to the tent. Then I had Jeff bring Sheba. She was fine in his arms until he went around the corner of the house and she saw the tent all lit up with the electric lantern. Then she freaked out. She made this moaning howl and leaped out of Jeff's arms and took off. However, the leash was around his wrist and she jerked him to his knees as she started frantically wrestling the harness. She slipped it and took off at a dead run.

I finally found her under a shed and coaxed her out. She was fine in my arms as we went back to the house. I got the harness back on her and carried her out again. As I rounded the corner of the house she freaked again. But I was prepared and had a good hold on her. But I now sport some artistic scratches. I carried her back to the house and yelled at Jeff to turn off the light. Then we stumbled to the tent in the dark. After I got her inside I turned on my little light in the back room of the tent. Sheba was fine exploring as I closed the room divider and made my bed. The boys crawled out of their carriers and slithered under the cot. Sheba joined them.

After I crawled into the cot, Djoser came out and crawled on my feet, where he spent most of the night. Amber stayed under the cot most of the night. Sheba tried to get on the side of the bed near my hand and fell off the narrow cot! Unfortunately, she tried to hang arm was handiest. I now have some more decorations on my arms. I finally settled down; but Sheba never did. She meowed All Night Long! I think she was telling me to go home to our real bed.

It was windy and got a mite chilly. Tonight I think I will take out an extra blanket or two. And the campout continues.....

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