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Camping with my Cats

Part 2

by Catherine Sadler, Ramah, CO, USA


The saga continues... I took a nice long nap yesterday since I got so little sleep the night before. The cats all snuggled up with me. Why not! They didn't get any sleep either! I am surprised Sheba has a voice after all the complaining she did the night before.

Anyway, awhile after supper, I called the unsuspecting felines into the bedroom where all hideyholes are blocked and shut the door on them. Then I got the carriers and slipped them into the bedroom. But not without incident; Djoser tried to slip out underneath the carriers. But I just tipped them down and he was trapped. Mean ole me! :-(

I decided to put Sheba in the smaller carrier since she is pretty fat. It has an opening on the top as well as the end. I opened the top one and tried to get her in. She had so many claws honed to needle-sharpness grabbing at everything in sight, including me! So I closed the top door and stood the cage on end and opened that door. I grabbed her by her feet in a sort of cradle carry and slipped her in butt first. Then I had to push her head in and keep unhooking her claws from the door edge! I finally got her fastened and the crate set on its bottom. She shrieked and growled like a jungle cat and made my hair stand on end. What is with this cat? She has been in a crate many times over the years.

Then I set the big carrier on end and grab Amber and stuff him in pretty easily and fasten the door. Then I play a bit of chase with Djoser and finally grab him and cuddle him a minute to calm him. Fat chance of that! But I finally manage to slip him in on top of Amber and set the crate down before he is squished. Then I decide to have a drink and rest from my labors for a few minutes. I get back to the bedroom in time to put a stop to a fight between the boys. I think I made a mistake in who rides with whom. :-(

As soon as I get them to the tent and the door zipped up, I let the cats out. They promptly disappear under the cot. I set the carriers under the cot and add the extra blanket to my bedding and climb in. Whoops! I left the windows partly unzipped. So I crawl out of bed and fasten most of them up and leave only two unzipped a little way. Back to bed.

A tight army cot is not the most comfortable thing to sleep on, especially when you have arthritis. I laboriously try to get comfortable enough to sleep. Then Djoser climbs on top of me. Normally he sleeps against my feet. Not now. He wants to be on top of my hip and ribs and have me pet him and if I quit he digs his claws in to pull himself closer to my hand and meows at me and butts my hand. So I pet him some more.

Then Sheba comes out and tries to get near my head and that is too close to Djoser and she snarls at him. Unfortunately she is right in my face when she does it! She hangs onto my blanket as she carefully lets herself down. I guess she has arthritis, too. :-)

Amber decides to explore and slips beyond the room divider and I hear scratching. I yell. I certainly don't want their needle claws to tear a hole in the tent. He comes back and jumps on the cot and looks at the slightly open window. I yell. He gets down and comes under the cot toward my end and climbs up behind my head, carefully stepping on my hair as he settles down! Sheba is mad by now. The boys know the head of the bed is hers. They belong at the foot. She proceeds to tell them so, at great length. I try to calm her by petting her.

I must have dozed a bit. I woke up and needed to get up and visit the plastic chair. Cats went tumbling. When I got back in bed and laid on my other side, Djoser didn't come so Sheba had her spot. Amber had my knees. Then I heard scratching. Djoser was at the window. I yelled. He kept at it. I sat up and tried to swat him but couldn't reach him. But he did get down. Back to bed.

It is the dark of the night and I wake up hearing scratching. Well, I also need to visit the chair and change my position in bed anyway. This time I was able to swat Djoser away from the miller he was after but he left claw marks in the tent. I closed the windows all the way. I get back in bed and can't find the small pillow I put between my knee bones. So I stuff the covers between, resulting in one cold knee.

I hear more sounds in the night. Eating dry food, scratching the litter, the dog scratching and thumping. The wind is blowing and rustling the plasticized tent. My bones are aching from the hard cot and why did I ever think it would be fun to camp out at my age?

I finally get up at the crack of dawn stiff and sore and tired. Sheba has been hollering for her breakfast and Amber has been jumping on me to get me up. I tell Sheba there is plenty of dry food. She says, where is her canned food? This time I put Sheba in the big carrier. And Djoser goes in the small carrier. I can't get Amber. He is too wily and will not be caught. I am too stiff and sore anyway.

My son takes one carrier and I take the other. As I zip the door behind me Amber comes running and sticks his head through the last four inch gap. So I pick him up and carry him to the house just fine. He doesn't even try to get away. He wants his breakfast, too.

Tonight I am sleeping in my own bed. I have to catch up on a lot of lost sleep and rest my bones. And I am not sleeping on that army cot again. I will sell it cheap for $5! Any takers? I am going to get me a folding bed with springs and soft mattress. And bigger. After all I need room for three cats!

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