It was a sad day in Whoville this past weekend. Our beloved kitty cat Luca moved out. Luca is actually my daughter's cat, but because she has been living large in the big city in a place that had no appreciation for all things feline, he has been here with us. When she recently moved into a cat friendly dwelling, she asked Mom to bring him to her.
Luca is a beautiful animal. He is all white with the exception of some flame colored markings on his face, he has beautiful crystal blue eyes and he is the single fattest cat I have ever laid eyes on. I have contacted the Guinness Book of World Records and they are sending someone with a scale, a crane and a Polaroid to have a look at him.
I have no idea why he is a cat-zilla. He is only fed Science Diet sensitive stomach kitty food, which I can't imagine is very fattening. It's not that I am one of those people that enjoys spending crazy amounts of money on specialty cat food that I can only buy from my vet. On the contrary. I hate that the cat eats more expensive food than I feed my family. But I learned rather quickly that giving Luca anything other than Science Diet meant that the entire house would have an odor not unlike a drunken raccoon wearing smelly gym shoes had died under the kitchen table... And went undiscovered for at least a week.
You can see the need for the spendy cat food.
My daughter says Luca's enormous weight is entirely my fault. She says I feed him too much. Maybe I do go a little overboard on his feedings, but I saw enough 1980's horror movies to know that if I don't feed him when he meows, he will wait until I'm asleep and eat my eyes and finger tips. It's not worth the risk as I am very fond of both these things.
Once in awhile, Luca is sneaky and manages to nab a morsel of an unauthorized food source. I don't have to see him do it to know he's guilty. He tells on himself. Every step he takes, it is like someone is slowly letting the air out of a child's birthday balloon while simultaneously boiling cabbage. It's entirely unpleasant, but at least it makes Mr. Man feel like he's not so bad in comparison.
So, what have we learned so far? This cat is enormous and has the potential to be quite smelly. Armed with that knowledge, how would you like to then stuff him into a cat carrier and ride with him in a tiny, enclosed space for two hours? Before you make your decision, you should also know that he hates the cat carrier and always gets car sick.
Yeah. That's what I thought.
I had no choice however, because my beautiful daughter missed her giant cat and because I love her terrible, I can be easily manipulated into doing things for her, like taking long trips with angry, puking animals.
I thought and I thought about what I might do to make this journey a little less traumatic for both the cat and for me. A light bulb went on over my head the day before our trip and I called my friendly, neighborhood cat dope dealer and asked if there wasn't something I could give Luca that would not harm him in anyway, but would simply cause him to sleep peacefully for the duration of the ride. To my relief, there was such a drug available.
Even though I explained that the trip would be approximately two hours, I was given a total of eight pills with the instruction to give one-half a pill every four hours as needed beginning forty-five minutes prior to our leaving. I guessed that they gave me eight pills so that if they were not effective for Luca, my son and I could take them so that we wouldn't notice what was going on in the back seat. I made sure I brought drinks for the two of us in case we needed to down our cat valium quickly if it all went to heck.
The fun began when it was time to give Luca his tiny half-pill. Even though I explained the joys of the occasional prescription drug induced high to him, he was not inspired to open up and swallow. I tried to trick him by wrapping the pill with ham so he would think he was getting a treat, but I underestimated his ability to smell a scam. He ate the ham and left the pill.
I knew I would never outsmart him, so I enlisted the help of Mr. Man. The ex-farm boy popped open Luca's mouth, pushed the pill in and rubbed his throat to make sure he swallowed. This did not make the cat especially happy. I knew if I didn't get him out the door before nightfall, Mr. Man would wake up minus finger tips.
My son and I stood around the kitchen staring at the cat, waiting for some indication the medicine was working so we could head out. We waited and we waited and we waited. When Luca staggered into the cat carrier of his own free will and fell down, I knew we had the green light.
Taking a trip with a stoned cat was a new experience for me. While typically on a car ride Luca would make horrible angry cat noises and throw up repeatedly, he spent his time staring at his paw and purring. Since Mr. Man is really getting on my nerves lately, I made a mental note to slip one of the cat 'ludes in his oatmeal so that maybe he'll sit around staring at his hand and purring rather than complaining about what's for dinner. In fact, I'm thinking a daily dose of a couple cat pills in the morning OJ could change my marriage in a most positive way.
As I drove, I was patting myself on the back for being so smart as to drug the feline. "Go, Sher!" I said. "You are brilliant!" Just when I was about to give myself permission to buy something pretty as a reward, my son asked, "Hey Mom. Do you smell something?"
No sooner were the words out of his mouth than I was hit with an odor I can only describe as unholy. It seems that while cat LSD makes cats easier to get along with, it also can induce what I would say qualifies as explosive diarrhea.
Let's take a moment to do the math here in case you're behind. Giant white cat + explosive diarrhea + moving vehicle being driven by obsessive-compulsive woman = immediate freak out and a string of bad words that no mother should ever utter in front of her son. Or a sailor.
We pulled over in the nearest gas station parking lot and I instructed my child to exit the vehicle and hold the huge cat with outstretched arms until I could find something with which to clean his pet carrier. Usually my son is very good about doing exactly what I tell him to, but this simply made no sense to him. He bucked up at the very idea that I would expect him to hold a stoned cat covered in poop and in a public place, even.
"Son," I said as lovingly as I could, "If you do not help me by holding this crap soaked cat, I will beat you within an inch of your life with my purse."
You may think I was too harsh on the kid, but something about the smell of cat diarrhea fries the part of a mother's brain that ensures she behaves like June Cleaver.
So there I am in the parking lot of a busy gas station trying to clean a disgusting pet carrier with an old tissue and my tears, while my son is standing with his eyes closed tight holding his breath and a disgusting cat that is having the best trip of his life and... it happens.
I started to laugh. Not a chuckle either. A maniacal, hysterical laughter that you usually only hear in state hospitals or in old scary movies starring Jack Nicholson. The more I tried not to laugh, the worse it got. People were staring, the cat was experiencing another bout of liquid fireworks, my son was yelling at me to do something and all I could do was snort and laugh till my stomach hurt.
The moral of this story? Just say no. To cat drugs and beautiful daughters that ask you for favors. Oh yeah, and never feed your cat ham before you take him on a two hour car ride.
Copyright 2004-2005, Sherri Bailey
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