Saturday, January 15, 2005

The Preparation Continues

Just two weeks until the Big Transition, and the pets have no idea. My last day at my Chicago job is January 28, and early the next morning the "Kitty Karavan" hits the road. Well, maybe they have some idea, considering that my husband and I just hauled in a jumbo cage. It's meant for dogs, but I've never been one to discriminate against species. It can be folded for easy storage and has a removable divider wall so it can be used for puppies and expanded as they grow. For our purposes, it will be the perfect separator between Stitch and Farquaad (a.k.a. the Unholy Duo) and their nemisis, Tooncinator.

Stitch and Quaad are joined at the hip. Wherever you find one, the other is not far behind. Sleeping, playing, eating (well, Farquaad eats and Stitch just tries to bury the food for some psychotic reason)...they are best buddies all the way. Farquaad was just a tiny ball of fluff when my brother rescued him, so young that he still had blue eyes. When we turned him loose in the house, and spotted Stitch and must have thought, "Mama!" Stitch immediately adopted him and was a good mother in almost every way (he drew the line at nursing).

Conversely, feral Tooncinator hates everything and everyone. "Like" is a foreign emotion to him. He simply has greater and lesser degrees of hatred. He will deign to sleep on the bed with me every one in a while, but woe to me if I make a move that he doesn't like. More than once, I've had a fang sunk into my hand. He's like a crazy relative that you stash in the attic or cellar, resigned to tolerating their insanity and cleaning up any messes they might make.

Unfortunately, Stitch and Farquaad are not as understanding as my husband and I. They pick on their "kitty brither" unmercifully, flushing him out from his under-bed lair and tag-teaming him with their savagery. He has actually become somewhat more tolerant of humans since they entered the picture because he knows we will protect him, like the outcast kid who stays near the teacher. Thus we will divide the front part of the cage into an area for the crazy cat, with the other two together in the back.

We purchased two small litter boxes that will fit nicely into the cage. I don't know if they will actually use 'em in a moving car, but I don't like the thought of confining them without some sort of "toilet facilities."

Hopefully, we will also be able to fit at least one of their giant cat trees into the car. We have two giant, carpeted monstrosities that they love to sprawl on. I know we could get new ones, but a) they're darned expensive! and b) it will probably be more comforting to have something familiar when they're in a brand-new place.

My husband is relieved because the cage has a removable tray in the bottom, so we can also use it to give the kitties a taste of the Great Outdoors. With the tray out, they'll be able to sit in the grass and watch for errant lizards to wander within paw reach.

So will the cats, bird, fish, and, most importantly, our sanity, survive the day-long roadtrip? The answer is a mere 14 days away.

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