Creature Thoughts: Sept 2017, The Vanishing Cat

The Mystery Of The Vanishing Cat

Hurricane Irma is approaching the southeast coast of the United States. It has already hit the island countries of the Atlantic hard. I have heard from a number of friends as they make evacuation plans. One concern that has repeated several times centers around cats that don’t cooperate with the attempt to put them into their carriers.

We’ve all been there, we cat owners. Even in non-emergency situations, such as a simple vet check-up, we have everything set to go, get the carrier out, and suddenly have no cat.

Sometimes we know where kitty is holed up, and just can’t get to them. At other times, the cat has vanished through that mysterious portal between dimensions that only cats can find. Regardless of where the cat is hiding, however, there go all our best-laid plans. Time off work is wasted. The vet appointment has to be rescheduled. And, a few hours after it’s far too late to do anything about it, the cat will reappear, looking as smug as only a cat who has outsmarted her owner can look.

In the situation in the path of this awful hurricane, far more than wasted time and frustration is at stake. Unfortunately, the sure-fire fix for this problem is not an instant one, and needs time itself to be implemented. It may be a bit late for those preparing for this storm, but it certainly can help for future situations.

The problem is, of course, caused by the fact that the cat associates the carrier with unpleasant things. Car rides, vet visits, and simply being confined against her will are all in that category. Cats are also very aware of the emotional states and thoughts of their owners. So, if you get the carrier out at the last minute, and are in that “last-minute state of mind,” kitty is going to pick up on that and add it to what is already a negative association.

The fix is an easy one. Leave the carrier out all the time. You can even leave it open, or remove the door. Put a cozy pad on top of it, and one inside, so the cat learns to see it as one of her own special places. She can sleep in it and on it, eat treats in it every day, include it in your play-time routine (you do have a daily play-time routine, don’t you?) Certainly, even with a larger cat carrier, the item is not going to take up that much room. It will become one of her own special possessions, and she will cease to associate it with bad happenings.

Missie’s carrier sits, at all times, at the end of the hallway in her favorite area of the house. She sees it every day. Though I don’t always keep the door open, whenever I do open it, she will always go right in there and play. It smells like her, and is a familiar part of her every day world. When the time comes for her to have to be closed into it, all I have to do is let her go inside, and close the door.

Make the cat carriers a part of your every day arrangement, and you will have forever solved the vanishing cat mystery.


News and Updates:

Have you hugged your bobcat today?

Okay, probably not the smartest idea. However, you can give a number of bobcats a virtual hug by supporting wildlife rescue centers. These folks work on their own dime, often day and night, without any official compensation and with very little thanks. If you’d like to help your local wildlife and the people who fight for them, seek out your nearest wildlife rescue center, and leave them a donation. The nearest and dearest to my own heart, of course, is New York Wildlife Rescue Center. The link will take you to their website, where you can click the PayPal button and lend a hand.

As always, please continue to visit my website for updates, changes of schedule, etc. I will always try to keep the Unavailable Times page current, and you can also follow my Twitter announcements in the sidebar.

Blessings and Light,