Cabell is very disappointed in me

This morning our friend Dillon came by to pick up Cabell’s stuff to drive it up to Madison for her. Including her cats. We’ve had Cabell’s three cats living in our basement (to avoid conflict with our three cats, living upstairs) all summer. I was looking forward to getting them back to their mommy. However, we should have planned it a bit better. This morning, Robin left for work, and I went downstairs. The cats were milling around meowing for breakfast as always. I figured that this would be the time to get them into the carriers. So, I picked up a carrier and opened the door.

Of course, anyone with cats knows what I saw when I turned around. Disappearing cat tails. I went back upstairs and did other stuff for 15 minutes, then came back down. Two of the cats, Pandora and Bart, were back at the food dishes, and it took only a few minutes to get them into the open carriers. Legba, on the other hand, was lurking in the depths of the basement somewhere.

I waited another half hour, then went down and put food in a bowl and sat by it. Legba stuck his head out of a stack of lumber, but that was it. After a while I went over to him with the bowl and rattled it invitingly. After much coaxing, he finally came out and approached the bowl. I reached out to pick him up.

Devotees of Terry Pratchett will know what I mean if I say that this is like trying to catch Greebo* and put him in a cat carrier. For the rest of you, just imagine you’re picking up a friend’s pet bobcat. This is a BIG cat, and it’s all muscle. And he doesn’t like being picked up at the best of times.

In retrospect, this job should have gone to someone not taking blood thinners. I got most of the blood off the basement floor, although the shorts I was wearing aren’t ever going to be the same. Meanwhile, Dillon has come and gone, and Legba will be residing with us a while longer.

*He’s really just an old softy.

12 Responses to “Cabell is very disappointed in me”

  1. Erin says:

    only having two cats, i go with the approach of:
    1. have the cat carriers in the room 1 day prior to leaving anywhere.
    2. open both of the doors 1 hour prior to loading.
    3. at a time when i can see both cats, pick them both up — 1 under each arm — and load them simultaneously.
    i’ve been doing it this way long enough that they both require only a small shove on their butt to go in. they give their obligatory hiss and then take it like a man (cat?).
    this is a far cry from the early days when sam (the 15 pound, all muscle boycat) would brace all 4 legs against the side of the carrier and alternately sink claws into whoever was closest. some of those rounds definitely went to him. lucy has always gone into the carrier willing — largely b/c i’m convinced she’s not the brightest crayon in the box.

  2. K says:

    My parents would sympathise. I think I’ll show them this entry to prove that Sirius and Cassiopeia are actually not that much trouble… of course, Sirius is showing signs of being quite big and muscly, so they may have it all to come. They’re getting fixed at the end of the week, so more fun with boxes will no doubt ensue.

    I hope the bleeding has now stopped. Sounds like Legba would be less trouble if he could turn into a man as well… at least you could explain things to him.

  3. K says:

    I mean the kittens are getting fixed. Not my parents.

  4. Reno says:

    The bit about “blood thinners” is a nice touch.

  5. Travis says:

    Yeah, I’ve never been able to figure out the upside of owning a cat.

  6. Allen says:

    Erin –

    1 & 2 are good ideas, and I did realize this morning that it would have been good to have opened the carriers the night before. But they were in the same place they’d been for months. As for the rest of your strategy, this only works when you have a) 2 cats and b) cats that allow you to pick them up. In retrospect, I don’t know how I could have gotten Legba into a carrier without a tranquilizer dart.

  7. Erin says:

    i like giving Sam a 1/2 tablet of Acepromazine. fun to watch the drunk kitty stumble around and even better to watch him willingly go into the carrier.
    i haven’t had to do that in a long time, thank goodness.

  8. Allen says:

    By the way, in Cabell’s defense, she called me back this afternoon and apologized for being crabby when I woke her up this morning to tell her that she wasn’t getting one of her cats back.

  9. Allen says:

    Oh, and Erin –

    I’ve helped give Legba a pill before. This also requires chain mail. I’m telling you, high-powered rifle with a tranquilizer dart.

  10. Erin says:

    Legba sounds awesome! I love cats with purrsonality.

  11. Cabell says:

    Erin: Legba is an unfortunate combination of muscle and terror. He’s skittish, and generally hides for 30-90 minutes when new people come over. As demonstrated by these recent events, however, when cornered, he is fierce. …He really is very sweet when he’s not feeling a terrible sense of doom. He’s just a big softy.

    I also put the carriers (open) out the night before, and try to entice the cats nearby to give them a shove. I think Dad may have tried to topload Legba (that carrier can be opened on top or on the side), but I would never do that with Legba. Who, when I give him pills, has to be held down with my legs because there is no way my arms are strong enough.

  12. Erin says:

    Cabell:
    I know the feeling — my boycat Sam was the same. He was an abused kitty that I adopted and was 15 pounds of mean “leave me the F alone” cat. Now that he’s settled into his 5th year of life with me, he seems to have mellowed and actually seeks company occasionally; however, he will still hiss and swat whenever you cross his path. I (as well as my Dad, ironically) have some deep scars from our early life together that will serve as a reminder of just how far he’s come along.

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