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Harnessing the Kitty ...

by Lynda Koenig


Murphy loves the Outside. Murphy will do anything to get Outside. Mordred sits in the window looking out like "i don't want to be out there."

My roommate's girlfriend (Erin) bought him two sets of matching cat harnasses and leashes for the cats. Tuesday night, we decided to try them out. After watching Erin made a fool out of herself trying to put the harness on Murphy, i decided to step in.:-) I took the harness, detached it from the leash (goodness knows why she was trying to put them on together), and lassoed Murphy from behind. Quickly, i reached under her and started to buckle the harness (figure 8 type). To my dismay, the holes for the buckle were woven into the harness, and very hard to find. Murphy decided to make a fool out of me too, as she squirmed away three times before I could find a hole to fasten the harness.

She then sat there like "Oh. So that's all you were trying to do?" while cleaning her face. After her face was as clean as she could get it she then proceded to attack the long dangly extra piece of harness hanging from her side (we trimmed it later on). Next came Mordred.

I let Erin get him. He's much bigger and more likely to use claws when stressed :-) As soon as the harness went over his head, he froze. didn't move a muscle. Then, it was on, and he crawled under the couch... He seemed to have this fear that the ceiling was now attached to his back. We were finally able to coax him out from under his hiding place and attach the leashes to both.

Then came the struggle of getting them outside. Murphy was all for it once she realized what was going on. Mordred would have none of it. So there was Erin: one cat straining to stay in, and the other straining at the 6 foot leash to get as far out as possible; we (being me, my boyfriend, and my roommate) were practically rolling on the floor :-)

Erin's comment of "It's not really that funny" set us off even more... We eventually did contain ourselves :-) My roommate picked up Mordred and unceremoniously plopped him down in the 10x10 foot patch of grass in front of the house. He eventually started moving. His attitude slowly seemed to change from "Let me in! Let me in!" to "Okay, this isn't so bad... Oh look. grass.. mmmm.. munch munch munch." Murphy, on the other hand, took Erin for a walk down the street.

Eventually, Erin brought Murphy back and set her down in the yard where she joined Mordred for some grass munching. Then the neighbors cat showed up.

His name is Smokey. He's a very nice, very lovable, sweet, friendly kitty. Walks up to strangers and asks to be petted (we seem to have a large population of strays and ferals; I can't resist a cute face :-) He's really pretty: ginger colored with dark bronze colored eyes. He hops up onto the dining room and living room windows and taunts Murphy. He's also been known to appear in the upstairs window (shocked me to see him sitting there watching me at the computer); my house is one in a series of row house, where there's a tree that the cat's climb at one end of the row.

And he decided to visit his "behind the glass friends." They always eyed each other though the windows of the house. Murphy usually went wild when he sat on the window sills outside. She would puff up and start growling, then try to attack him through the glass (and to our amusement, fall off the window sill inside only to get up and do it again). You can imagine we were a bit worried when he showed up.

They were instantly nose to nose sniffing. Murphy never let out the smallest growl. Then, all of a sudden, they were head butting and purring! At which, my roommate looks up with a grin and says "Aw! It's love!" in such a way, that we were looking for things to throw at him :-)

Eventually, we had to take the kitties in. It was getting cold (it was almost midnight). We got them back inside and took off their harnesses. Mordred finally stopped looking like he expected the roof to come crashing down on him at any instant, but he did hide from us again. Murphy immediately put her nose to the door wanting back out.. The Smokey hopped up into the window and Murphy hopped up on her side of the glass. And the growling, hissing, batting, falling off the window sill cycle started all over again :-)

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