Married to the Empire

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I May Be Certifiable

I may have earned the Crazy Cat Lady title. While our youth group was at the park for recreation during Disciple Now, I went home (only 2 blocks away) to get Calvin. He likes people, loves the outdoors, and will wear a harness and leash.

Yes, I put a leash on my cat and took him for an outing at the park.

It was funny to hear people's reactions. Strangers walked by, and they all pretty much said the same thing: "Cat on a leash! Cat on a leash!" They probably thought I was a nut, but that's okay. Calvin enjoyed himself, and I'm willing to look like an idiot to give him some happiness when his life is growing shorter.

I was a little embarrassed, though, by how many people commented on how skinny he is. I always worry that people will see him and think he's malnourished. Really, he's just sick! We're doing everything we can to get him to gain weight, short of feeding him a steady diet of chicken and tuna. That would be his dream, but it would also be his death.

I learned what it must be like to be a dog person. Lots of people coming up to chat and asking to pet my cat.

Of course, the problem with having done this is that Calvin is now unbearable at Mail Time. Because he spent an hour outside at the park that day, he now expects to be put down and allowed to sniff and run to his heart's content. He's no longer satisfied with being carried to the mailbox each day.

(If you're wondering why we don't treat Doogie this way, it's because Doogie would probably have a heart attack if we took him to the park. He's scared of new people and the world as it exists outside of our own yard. And the one time I tried to put him on a harness and leash, he moaned horribly, then fell over and just laid there. He's perfectly content to keep to the freedom and safety of his beloved bushes in our yard.)


Allison said...

I think it's cute...not crazy :) Plus, isn't walking through a park a nice way to meet people?

When my little Coco was adopted, she was morbidly obese from never having a consistent suppy of food - she could barely walk because of all the chub and breathing was hard even at rest. I would have strangers come off the street and flat-out accuse ME of abusing her! Then again, I suspect that Texans probably have more manners than Philadelphians :)

Farwood said...

First: Oh how cute!!!

Second: When I first adopted Kit-kit I tried to get her to walk on a leash. I gave up after a few tries!
How long did it take you to train Calvin? Any tricks to help make it easier?

As for weight gain-- we've had good luck keeping our little ones a healthy weight with Fancy Feast (but it can get expensive quick!).

Becky said...

Too cute!
I put my cat, Charlie, in a harness and leash regularly since he was a kitten, and he will actually try to help me get him into his harness so he can go outside!
My other cat, Mr. Darcy, I got as an adult. He obviously had never had a harness on before and acts just like your Doogie does - he just lays there. My husband tried to train him once... that did not go well ;)
I'm so glad Calvin is still doing pretty well!

Anne Marie@Married to the Empire said...

I should clarify that Calvin doesn't really walk on the leash, at least, not in the way that a dog does. I set him down and he races off to sniff and look at whatever he wants to. If I want him to go somewhere specific, I have to pick him up and take him wherever I want him to be. He's a cat, after all! LOL

He's an amiable cat, so he's always been willing to wear the harness. The leash only bothers him in that it doesn't let him go wherever he wants. He gets frustrated by its limitations, but that's why we have it. He's a runner and will be off like a shot if we just let him out without it. There wasn't really any training involved, just a good nature on his part.

Farwood, Calvin has kidney disease, so he's on a prescription diet. He's not crazy about it, but it's what helps keep him alive. Even with that, though, weight loss is just one of the side effects of his illness. In fact, it's how we knew something was wrong. That, and the fact that he was drinking a lot of water.

Anonymous said...

LOL, wear the crazy cat lady title prouldly ;). Both you and Calvin had fun and I bet you gave a lot of people something to smile about. My first cat used to enjoy going out in our yard on a harness and lease. I just adopted a resue kitty so right now it's a victory just getting her to come out from underneath the bed. I must say I always look forward to your kitty posts!