Those Doggone Cats!
There was nothing special about my two cats I had adopted off my grandmother’s farm in Arkansas. They were just your ordinary, common garden variety type cats. Grandmother had more cats than she knew what to do with roaming around her house in the Ozark Mountains, all outside cats, of course.
By the time my wife and I got them they were what you might call a little wild, which made it a little difficult to make house pets out of. At the time, I was about to be discharged from service in the Marine Corps. Therefore, we were contemplating moving to California where I had a good job prospect as a newspaper reporter.
With that in mind we decided to build a double-decker cat cage to carry the two female felines in on the long journey. Of course my wife knew how to build one better than I could. That’s why she asked for my assistance when starting the project.
I graciously offered my services and began putting one together. “Tommie”, my wife, immediately began pointing out what I was doing wrong and making suggestions as to how it ought to be done. Since she obviously knew how to do it better and really didn’t need my help, I dropped my hammer, stomped off and let her. The last thing I heard as I went into the house was “but, but, you got to…” No, I didn’t “got to!” Why ask for my help when she was going to do it her way no matter what?
She finally got the make shift apparatus put together and then put the two cats in to test it out. Since they were outside cats it was a difficult chore to get them in it. They didn’t seem too happy with the arrangement.
The time for our move arrived and once more we tried rounding up the troublesome pair who didn’t want nothing to do with our planned trip. The grey tabby “Tiger”, hid in the bathroom, while the grey and white calico, “Missy” climbed up into the kitchen cabinets. Tommie got the calico while I went after the tabby. Tommie successfully coaxed Missy down and got her caged. I, on the other hand got my hand bit for my trouble. However, I finally got her caged as well and into the car they went along with the rest of our belongings.
Who knew cats didn’t particularly like riding in cars? As we started our trip, one of the cats managed to push the cage door of the well constructed cage my wife had made open. Both escaped into the car interior where the two went berserk scrambling around looking for a way out. The car interior suffered intensive damage as their sharp claws dug into the dash board and seat upholstery.
We had to pull over and stop for about 30 minutes before they calmed down sufficiently to get them back in their cage. Tommie “fixed” the faulty cage door lock. Things settled down until evening time when we decided to get a motel room for the night. It’s odd how you can’t find a motel that allows pets when you need one.
So, we covered the cat cage and slipped the cats into our rented room hoping no one noticed. Tommie and I then went to get something to eat and brought it back to the room. Sometime during our meal as we watched TV, I noticed the cat cage door had once more been opened. They were nowhere to be found. Somehow they had both flown the coop unnoticed when we opened the motel room door on our return.
It was over an hour before our frantic search found them sleeping behind a bush in front of the managers’ office. Quietly, we picked the two up hoping the manager had not seen them. On the way back to our room we passed a kind looking elderly lady who saw our cats and commented on how pretty they were. “Don’t tell the manager about our cats”, I pleaded. She graciously agreed not to tell.
The next morning I went to the office to turn in the room key. The kind, elderly lady was behind the managers’ desk. She just smiled and told me she was the manager and was a cat lover herself.