Teaching an Old Cat New Tricks

Lots of folks have been asking me about Sammie. She’s doing great. The symptoms I noticed a few weeks back have disappeared. Or were never really there in the first place. Paranoia is part of the process when you have a cat with cancer. We continue the regimen of piroxicam every other day with cimetidine for her stomach.

That she’s still alive is incredible. That she’s still free of symptoms is nothing short of a miracle.

However, I find myself with a bit of a situation. It’s summer (maybe not on the calendar, but we all know it’s true). We have a camper. Hubby has vacation days.

Two years ago, my dad was still at home and we couldn’t leave mom with the burden of caring for him. So we didn’t go anywhere. Last year, we got away twice. The first time, it rained most of the trip. The second time, we had to deal with Ray’s broken foot.
Suffice it to say that it’s been a few years since we really had a vacation.

And now we have Sammie who needs meds every other day. There is no one who can give them to her. So I’m torn between kitty needing her drugs and hubby needing an escape.

Which brings me to my next big project.

Training Sammie to be a camping kitty.

I have a friend who takes her cats camping. They get tied with a leash to a log and stay around camp. I can’t quite picture Sammie doing this. I have a cat harness, but when I put it on her, she does this “I can’t walk” thing. She’s an indoor cat. The great outdoors both fascinate and terrify her.

And then there’s the matter of GETTING to camp. Sammie associates all motor vehicles with one thing: the vet. She yeowls and cries and makes sounds like she’s going to barf up a kidney. I have visions of three hours of this as we head off for our peaceful, relaxing get-away.

You can see why I’m less than enthused about the prospect of going on vacation this year. Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled that Sammie’s still around to create this dilemma. But personally, I’d rather spend our vacation doing day trips on the days she doesn’t need meds and going to the movies in the afternoons of the days she does.

Ray doesn’t see it this way. “Take her with us,” is his solution.

The camper has been moved from its winter parking space behind the workshop to the driveway in front of the house. I need to go out and clean it out, sweep away the cobwebs, and restock the supplies. Phase one of Project: Camp Kitty is to put on the harness and take Sammie out to the camper with me. Let her get acclimated to the new location.

I tried this last year when the idea of taking her with us sounded like fun. I seem to recall that I gave up in short order and decided it would be less like fun and more like work. Well, I guess it’s time to try again.

I’ll keep you posted.


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