After all the fun I had had in the Kitty Cabana the day before I was looking forward to another day outside. It turns out I did spend a day outside, but it wasn’t like what I had thought.
“Nina, where are you?” I heard Miss M’lu call.
I was sleeping in a cubby on the cat tower. I stretched out and went to her as she called again.
“There you are,” she smiled. I saw the harness in her hand. I figured it was going to be more house training today.
I was wiggling so she was having a hard time putting it on. I had heard she had arthritis in her hands and fingers.
“Grr-r-r,” I said showing my displeasure at being inconvenienced.
“Stay still, Nina. You’re just making it harder for yourself,” she admonished as she clipped the leash to the harness that was now securely fasten around me.
“I’m going to take you for a ride.”
“A ride? What’s that, I wondered?”
“Hey, this is your lucky day,” Ringo remarked as he walked by.
“What’s a ride?” I asked him.
“That’s when you go in the car and she drives you around. She bought a pet car seat for me when I go with her and I guess that’s what you’ll be using too.
I was about your size when she got it. I was so small I couldn’t see out the car window. So she got a box to put under it covered with material with cute cats so it would look nice. Then she folded a blanket and put it in the pet seat so that I would be high enough to look out of the window. I don’t need it now since I’m bigger than some of those small dogs,” he laughed.
Miss M’lu picked me up and took me out to the garage.
“Sorry, Ringo, not this time,” she said as she closed the door to the kitchen.
She took me to her car and opened the passenger side door. There it was, the car seat just as Ringo had described. She put me on top of the folded blanket and then snapped a clip onto my collar. I guess it was like a pet seat belt that would keep me in the seat so I wouldn’t jump out and go running around. I eventually got used to it after a few miles and just sat down.
The garage door opened and off we went. I remembered the sensation of driving in a car from when I was little, but I was in a carrier back then. Now I was a real passenger in my own seat!
I put my paws on the top of the pet seat and stood up. This way I could see everything. When we stopped at a stop light the driver next to us waved to me. I gave her a big kitten grin! I was having fun, there’s so much to see all around when you’re in a car!
“Gosh, Nina, you’re so laid back,” Miss M’lu said. “You sure don’t sit like a normal cat!”
I guess she was referring to my stance. I loved hanging over with my arms dangling. I did it on the cat towers, too. It felt so relaxing just like I was floating. I guess that’s what they mean by ‘hanging out’!
Soon she drove into a parking lot and I recognized the building. It was the SPCA. I wondered what we were doing here.
Miss M’lu got out and went inside. She came right back out with Miss Karen, the Director.
“Why look at you, Nina! You’re so cute in that car seat! That’s the same one Ringo uses, but he’s so big now he fills it up. You’re just a tiny bit of fluff in it.”
As she was talking to me the back trunk door was lifted and Miss M’lu started pulling out grocery bags filled with newspapers. Miss Karen went to help her
“Marilu,” she said, “you can’t imagine how much this helps us! We’re so grateful for all these newspapers. We’ve had a rash of puppies come in and between us and our clinic SNIPPET we just can’t seem to stay on top of it. That was such a wonderful idea of yours to hold a paper drive at Meadow Lake!”
“Well, I thought it would be something we could do help after I saw your plea in the your newsletter. All the Residents have really gotten into the spirit and are more than happy to aid the cause. I thought we could keep it going for a few months, at least until your “crisis” abates a bit. Even our Activities Director is all for it and has sent out flyers to everyone informing them of your need.”
“We really appreciate it,” she answered.
“I’ll be in touch and when we have a big batch maybe you can come with the van and we’ll load you up.”
After they unloaded all the bags Miss Karen came back to pet me before we left.
“How’s she doing with her training?” she asked.
“So far so good. Time will tell. We’re still in the early stages.”
We started out again and I was getting drowsy. I could feel a nap attack coming on. The car motion lulled me into a deep sleep and I simply slumped over the car seat and wiped out.
I don’t know how long I had been snoozing, but I woke up when I heard voices.
“Who’s that sleepy head you have there?” I heard a friendly voice ask. I looked up and saw a man looking at me from a drive-thru window.
“That’s Nina.” Miss M’lu told him. “I’m going to see if she’ll train into being a therapy cat.”
“Well that will be a first!” he smiled. “I’ve heard of therapy dogs, but a cat, that’s something else!”
I saw this drawer come right out of the wall towards the car. I was amazed! A drawer in a wall, what next?”
“Here are your prescriptions. One’s for you and the others are for Doc. You take care now and good luck with that cute kitten.”
“Thanks. We’ll see you around.”
“Next time I’ll bring you inside, Nina, so you can meet Sonny and his people. They’re real nice.” Miss M’lu told me as we drove out of Rose City Pharmacy.
We started to head home. I recognized the fountain as we neared Meadow Lake. Once in the garage Miss M’lu got out and came around to my side. She unlatched the clip from my collar and I tried to jump down. She stopped me.
“No, Nina, you can’t just jump out of the car. It’s too dangerous. You have to sit there until I pick you up.”
She held up her hand with the ‘stop’ signal which was new to me. I kind of figured what she meant so I sat there.
“That’s a good girl,” she praised. “You’re getting the idea. You are smart. When you’re bigger and older, then you can jump down when I tell you it’s all right.”
She picked me up and carried me into the kitchen. Ringo was sitting there waiting for us. After she took off my harness I ran to him and we sauntered away.
” ‘Ingo, you’ll never believe it. I saw a drawer come out of a brick wall!”
“Meow-ha-ha,” he snickered, “you must have gone through a drive-thru. A lot of places have them. People can order things without going inside of the store and pick them up at the window. Makes life easy if you can’t go into the store itself or are in a hurry.”
“We also went to the SPCA and I saw Miss Karen again.”
“I have good memories of her,” Ringo said as he reminisced. “She was always nice to me and still is. I remember the first time Miss M’lu took me there in my new car seat and she was walking by the car and saw me. She got so happy to see me and making a fuss that others came from inside to see me too. Guess they were surprised to see a kitten in a pet seat instead of a dog. I felt like a celebrity!”
“I like going around in the car seat. I get to see everything. Don’t know why people find it strange,” I said perplexed.
Miss M’lu went to her study and we followed her. We both jumped up on the cat tower by the window and I raced Ringo to the top platform.
“I win!” I said as I settled in.
“Only because I let you,” he smirked.
“Well, Nina, you had a nice adventure today in the pet seat,” Miss M’lu said to me. “Tomorrow I have something new for you to try out.”
I was all excited. What was going to happen tomorrow!