I miss my dog. This is a feeling I can share with you, but apparently not one I should share with my cats.
Today, I had to take our two cats for a drive. It wasn’t a task I was particularly looking forward to but it had to be done so I loaded them up in their carriers and we cruised off down the highway. Yes, I’m that lady. The one who drives with cats in her car.
God, help me. Please.
As I was driving, I started reminiscing about my dead dog, talking out loud to the cats about how much fun dogs are to travel with. My dog could barely contain herself in a vehicle, sticking her neck as far out the window as she possibly could without tumbling out; her tail thumping in my face and a grin from ear to ear. She was the life of the party anytime we went for a drive. My cats, on the other hand, were sitting there, hunkered down in their carriers, as if WWIII was about to begin in the back seat. They appeared to be mortified at the idea of going ANYWHERE.
I was trying to calm them down by telling them about my dog—trying to boost their enthusiasm in going places and trying new things. That plan backfired. We got about a mile down the road and that’s when a distinct smell hit my nose. It was the smell of feline diarrhea, a smell that brings tears to your eyes and sorrow to your soul. Right away, I knew Rodeo the Cat was offering me payback for my dog talk. With no place to pull over, I kept driving, the stench burning through my nostrils and causing my gag reflex to exercise as if it just paid for a new gym membership. I couldn’t pull over and I couldn’t go back home. I couldn’t let the furry culprit out of his carrier knowing he was covered in watery poo, so I continued to drive and contemplate my options.
The PetSmart parking lot was the only thing that made sense. As I turned the vehicle in that direction, Rodeo started gagging and then throwing up. Every time I hit a pothole, he threw up more. Finally, as I made it to the parking lot of PetSmart and jumped in the back of the vehicle, I assessed the damage. Cat the Cat eyeballed me as if to say, “I don’t know why you ever got him. Look at him. Just look at him, all covered in his own filth. He disgusts me!”
I ran-sprinted- into PetSmart looking for cleaning products for cats. Have you ever bought washing products for cats? My options were a ten pack of the-equivalent-to-baby wipes for twenty-two dollars or an organic misting spray for the price of a steak dinner and a bottle of wine. What I really needed was a gallon of bleach, a hose, and a six pack of beer.
I managed to block off a perimeter of the parking lot for the hazmat incident that was my back seat as I cleaned Rodeo with an old blanket we had stowed away and some of those handy PetSmart baby wipes. The cat carrier is a goner. But, it seems Rodeo was more fond of riding in the pickup like a dog on the way home anyway. Once he was cleaned up and left to ride free, he enjoyed the drive considerably more. I think I even saw him wag his tail.
But, damn. I still miss my dog.