Have you ever seen a dog with head thrust out a car window just reveling in the breeze during a car ride? Ask any dog, “Wanna go for a ride?” and they know exactly what you mean and start going crazy happy in anticipation. Cats? Not so much; they are more like, “Screw the ride…let’s eat!”
Ever try to put a large tom cat into a pet carrier that he has absolutely NO desire to be in? It’s easy. [koff…] Being a generous, sharing citizen, here are 28-easy steps I’ve documented based upon a true story that unfolded at our house Saturday morning. I cannot certify that these 28-easy steps will work for you, but there may be several learning moments revealed for your benefit as I recount the adventure.
His name is Monster. That should be your first clue; 10-pounds plus of year old tom cat. My wife rescued him off an on-ramp at a truck stop on I-74. The boy has had it hard from the get-go…so the “Force” is strong in this one.
He belongs to my stepson and had been visiting us and our other three cats over the Christmas holiday. Bob, Wesley and Lilly will not be sorry to see him make an exit, though Bob was a little concerned over the ruckus leading up to his departure…but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Saturday was Monster’s last day, and it was time for my wife to drive him home to Greenwood, IN. Like I said earlier, cats aren’t so much for riding in cars; especially, when seeing the pet carrier in your hand translates to, “We ARE going for a ride and YOU…the cat…have no choice in the matter.” In advance of ever even seeing the car, there is a direct correlation here – pet carrier = car ride. Solution options that surface in a cat’s brain? Flee. Hide. Fight.
Unfortunately, those three options are not actually discrete options; instead they represent a chain of escalation.
After numerous adventures in transporting Monster previously, I’ve managed to reduce the number of steps required to stuff his sorry cat ass into a pet carrier with no injuries to anyone and minimal property damage. Here’s all that is required: (Quick hint: Stretch out a little first to prevent blowing a hammie...)
- Pretend you’re NOT trying to capture the cat; in fact, do not even go near the pet carrier.
- Set a trap by closing all bedroom doors upstairs…denying the famous under-the-bed escape tactic.
- Search to find out which couch he’s hiding under because he can already feel the capture vibe going on and his cat senses tell him shit is about to go down.
- Wife puts raincoat on backwards and slips into gloves to minimize personal injury.
- Move couch away from wall so wife…who has arthritis in her back that limits her ability to effectively execute a snatch and grab…can attempt to snatch and grab the cat. Epic snatch and grab fail…
- Swear after cat bolts by crippled wife and flies upstairs.
- Dash to bottom of stairs to successfully spring the second floor trap, as all bedroom doors are shut and there is no way out for the fugitive cat. Cat meowed loudly once…sounded like “Bastard!”
- Move into defensive posture to guard bottom of stairs while crippled wife wearing backwards raincoat and gloves starts up the stairs on all fours in an attempt to execute another snatch and grab…sweetly calling the cat, “Here kitty, kitty, kitty, mama has some treats for you!”
- Regroup after he out-maneuvers my wife and blows by me saying, “Outta my way fat ass!” Wife is left sitting on the stairs wearing a backwards raincoat and gloves laughing hysterically.
- Repeat search step number three and discover he’s now under couch number two in the den.
- Realize that second floor trap strategy is now hosed, and move to Plan B – that calls for ripping the couch away from the wall and grabbing the f#*king cat myself. Epic snatch and grab fail number 3
- Resume chase…sprint through den…hurdling coffee table…stubbing toe on door jam leading into living room…swear…and stumble into living room knowing the f#*king cat is now under couch number three.
- Swear some more.
- Throw loose Christmas ornament at cat under couch number three and return to den to find wife doubled over on couch number one laughing her ass off and discovering she may have peed a little.
- Rest while wife empties bladder in downstairs powder room…still laughing…and formulate Plan C.
- Yank couch number three away from wall to grab f#*king cat. Another epic fail…
- Give chase back into den to couch number two…again…swear…again…
- Move rocking chair and recliner to block path out of den and position wife at choke point like a shortstop anticipating a hot grounder coming her way in the event of another failed snatch and grab.
- Move couch slowly so cat can’t see me coming. Ignore wife who is still laughing so hard she’s snorting…
- Grab a handful of fur on cat’s flank…cat won’t budge…unable to drag him out from under couch number two…all four paws locked onto carpet, claws extended through pile and backing and embedded in padding underneath.
- Shove couch with hip and grab another handful of fur on back of his neck right behind his head just like his mama would grab him.
- Squeeze tightly using the Vulcan behind-the-neck grip to release claws and cause temporary Vulcan Grip paralysis, thrust hand and mostly-paralyzed cat into the air and crow triumphantly, “Gotcher ass, big boy!”
- Refuse to hand him off to wife who is wearing backwards raincoat and gloves knowing as soon as my hand comes off his neck, releasing the Vulcan Grip, he will go bat-shit crazy on her.
- Shout, “Just get the f#*king crate door open while he’s still mostly-paralyzed.
- Attempt to stuff wild-eyed, mostly-paralyzed cat into crate ass first while wife wearing backwards rain coat and gloves attempts to pry his rear claws…which apparently still function while mostly-paralyzed…off the edges of the crate door.
- Nearing a successful capture, attempt to slam crate door to prevent repeating steps 1 thru 25 again…despite there being three human hands still inside crate…with an unhappy tom cat.
- Remove hands quickly and carefully to latch door…never mind that one glove was lost in the scuffle and now is in possession of the pissed off tom cat.
- Walk away victorious…muttering something not very nice and start re-positioning all the furniture in two rooms like nothing ever happened.
And there you go. No fuss. No muss. You’re welcome!
About five minutes after the car pulled out of the driveway I found something my wife should’ve taken with her. I called her mobile and when she answered…she was still laughing. I hope she peed a little more…
Gary G. Wise
Hostage Cat Owner and Story Teller