*achoo* I have a confession to make. It’s about cats. I don’t like cats. At all. In fact, I will go on the record to say I hate cats. Yep, it’s true. I’m a dog person. I mean, I won’t hurt a cat, but I’m not going to go out of my way to befriend one. There are cat people for that.
The black cat named Muchacho who glares at me with haughty eyes every time I retrieve my foster puppy from the farm where I volunteer never has to worry about my bothering him. *achoo* I do my best to ignore cats. All cats. *achoo*
Did I mention *achoo* that I’m quite allergic to cats? I recall the nurse yelling, “Doctor, come in here quick and look at this!” as she watched the whelps on my back swell up like Jiffy Pop popcorn when I had a battery of allergy tests done several years ago. Another reason I stay away from the spawns of satan—they take away my ability to breathe.
So this evening as I returned my foster pup to the farm, my first stop was the training room to feed her dinner. The moment I opened the door, one of those darn orange cats shot out of the room like a Pinewood Derby car waiting for the green light, which set ALL the dogs into a hifi bark-a-thon. Simultaneously, the pup took off for the remaining orange cat who was hiding under a wheelchair.
I took care of my puppy duties and got the pup and her litter mates settled back together and pondered what to do about that darn cat. For a fleeting moment, I thought about leaving it loose since I “don’t do cats,” but that probably would’ve been pretty tacky of me. I stood there a second looking at this cat perched up on the Dutch door taunting me when I heard myself say, “Here, kitty kitty.” It glared at me. It may have snarled. Or laughed.
Standing there with my leash and collar and two doors between my getting out the door and back to my husband who was waiting in the car, I walked up to the cat and slipped the collar over the its head. Now that has to be one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever done. In all my life, I don’t think I can recall ever seeing anyone walk a cat on a leash, so why I thought this was a good idea is beyond me. The cat jumped down to the floor and rolled onto its back.
“Come on, cat,” I said. It lay on its back refusing my request. I repeated myself. It wiggled more on its back. I took the loose end of the leash and flickered it like some pathetic cat toy. The cat rolled its eyes at me.
Somehow I had to get this cat from its present location past about 45 dogs and into that training room without that other darn cat escaping. The only thing I had going for me was, well, nothing. I had absolutely nothing going for me. The last time I’d reached out to pet a cat, it grabbed my hand with all claws extended and chomped down its teeth on my hand so fast I think I saw angels. I don’t trust those little lupine beasts, not at all. Can you sense my hesitation?
Since the cat obviously was not going to walk beside me on the leash no matter how much I clicked and treated, I faced a new problem of removing the leash and collar while keeping my hand intact. Dragging the animal on its back would be frowned upon. *achoo* Enough dilly-dallying, I had to put on my big girl panties and give it a try. Maybe this was one of those “nice cats” those cat people talk about. Ugh.
I talked to it and asked if it would eat my face. No response. I continued to talk to it hoping it might feel a bit of sympathy for me, though that’s asking a lot of a cat. My imagination already had the ambulance on the way. As I reached down, it didn’t attack. I slipped the collar back over its head. My hand was okay. Part one was complete, but we were no closer to the cat’s destination than before.
Meanwhile my husband remained patiently waiting for me in the car. The dogs had stopped their barking. The cat, though, was not about to budge. So I went for it. I dug in my heels, put on my imaginary suit of armor, gritted my teeth, and picked up the feline and carried it through the first door, past a dozen runs full of canines with big teeth, and opened the training room door and dropped the cat down. The cat was now somehow tangled up in my leash. No! Not again. I had to flip the light on hoping the other cat wouldn’t escape and untangle the little monster. Could I possibly touch this animal any more?
Finally. Free. Untangled. Lights out. Door closed. Anti-bacterial wash on my hands as I hopped back into the car with my patient husband at which point my sneezing attack began. I think I sneezed twenty times on the way home. And then my eyes began to itch. And then my face began to itch. And then my wheezing started. And then I looked at my two pet dogs and thanked them for being canines. I am a dog person, because breathing is not optional. *achoo*