The headache descends again, right about the moment a cat launched itself from the back seat of my car, onto the dashboard while I was driving. So it may not have been the caffeine to blame this time.
What was I doing with an unrestrained cat in the backseat? Good question. I’m still not sure myself how it all came about. I woke up this morning feeling quite fabulous even after not much sleep and decided on a whim, after a quick look at the pounds website to take an hours drive out to Edinburgh North (north of Adelaide) to look at a dog called Molly. It seems so naive of us now, to set out at 11am after a lazyish morning for a long drive to look at a very cute dog – a black and tan Kelpie only 8 months old. Still a pup but past the crazy stage. I was quite nervous that the headache would happen again so I took a Fizz stick and three bottles of water for my daughter and I and off we set. It was a lovely sunny day to take a drive and for the most part pleasant except for the strange road through Elizabeth that changes from 2 lanes to 3 lanes back to 2 lanes to 3 lanes again!
We arrived at the Animal Welfare League with no clear intentions. I’d said to myself all the way there ‘whatever will be, will be’. We announced we’d like to see Molly and were told she was already being seen by a family, but we were welcome to have a look at the other dogs. A quick look around, being taken past where Molly was being shown, sunk the disappointment in quite hard. She was a lovely friendly dog, and quite quiet also. She looked relaxed already with her new owners. But we still looked at the other dogs, most of whom barked at us and one who tried to nip my daughter. We spent some time with Molly as her new owners signed some paperwork and then I decided perhaps it was best to leave and I really wanted to, the brain fog was setting in slightly.
My daughter though really wanted to look at the cats and after some trying to persuade her otherwise, she won and we went to the section housing the cats. I’m not a huge cat fan, I don’t mind them but I’ve always held the opinion that they weren’t as good as dogs as far as being friends go. The cattery was pretty relaxed, with only 2 other people, a grandmother and her 6-year-old who were just there to pat the cats. My daughter immediately latched onto the other child which I suppose gave me time to look around and then I noticed Molly. Same name as the dog and unlike all the other cats, she perked up when I came over. She’s unremarkable looking for a grey and white tabby but her face looked sweet and gentle. And even though she was marked as not being good with children, she took to my daughter and her friend also who spent quite a bit of time cornering her and patting her as children do, unaware of the animal’s slight discomfort.
The attendant suggested we ask to spend some time with Molly in the ‘interaction’ room which I’m afraid I did say with finger quotes and so somehow we went from having a look at the cats to really wanting this one. And I liked her too. My decision could have gone either way, I was wavering quite a bit, I really wanted a dog but the more I considered a cat, the simpler it seemed and so for some reason we bought it. I really don’t know how I make decisions!
But it wasn’t as easy as that. We filled in paperwork, chose collars, litter trays and food, paid and then we were ready to go. My head was feeling a bit fuzzy, it was well past lunchtime, we hadn’t really planned to take this long, so I set my daughter up with some snacks in the backseat and we loaded Molly into a purpose-built cardboard box with blankets and a lid. I drank some fizz stick drink and off we set. We got down the end of the street and one turn before the car was filled with the sharp tangy stink of cat poo. Knowing we had an hours drive ahead of us, I couldn’t leave her in there with poo so we pulled over and I had to lift the lid of the cardboard box to retrieve it. Luckily I had a stash of tissues nearby and the poo was neatly deposited at one end and not on Molly. But I assume this is when she sussed out how she was going to make her escape, by cleverly distracting me with poo she was able to commit the make up of the box lid to her photographic memory and store the information away for future use.
We made it down to the end of that street, past a roundabout and almost over a bridge before she began forcing the lid with her head. I was trying to drive, my daughter of course was strapped in, no-one was able to stop her so she just rammed at the lid until it forced apart and she was free, and we had a scared cat on the loose in the car. I made it to a nearby supermarket car park without hitting anyone, feeling pretty nervous about the cat on my dashboard and tried to stuff her back in the box. I say stuff. I started kindly by just trying to put her in the box, but she was really determined not to go back in. After a quick call to the shelter, we headed back there for help. On the way there, Molly jumped on and popped a balloon which had been floating around the car for months, which stopped her for only a few seconds. The shelter made us buy a cat carrier (which we needed anyway) and loaded it up with a ‘calming’ stinky pheromone apparently designed to smell like her mother would have. This cat is 5 and a half years old, I’m not sure the smell of her mother is cutting it. And we were off again, me wondering what we’d done, my daughter happily YouTubing again like nothing happened. Molly meowed all the way home and when we got home, she stalked around sniffing everything fast and then retreated to the laundry where we’d set up her carrier, litter and food.
And now she’s perched next to me on the couch, being no trouble at all, apart from stinking a bit of mother cat pheromone. My head still hurts but I did skip lunch and had some Tic Toc biscuits with a cup of peppermint tea when we got home which I thought was actually quite restrained! I hope it all works out well for us. My daughter seemed so lively and happy when telling her Dad on the phone that she had a cat. I still really wanted a dog, but I think I might have made a good decision. I’m not really sure.
Day Five: Back to the program?