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July 22, 2011

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The Bean and The Bear: Road Trip

My wife and I like watching TV while sharing a bowl of popcorn. Of course, the Bean and the Bear enjoy this time as well. They are usually curled up by our feet, and the Bean will occasionally meander towards the bowl to enjoy the smell, and perhaps a taste. The Bear is not a fan of popcorn, but the Bean loves it. Whenever I toss a piece towards the Bean, she looks at it and starts to meow. 

My wife reminds me, “You have to break it up, remember?” Right. How could I forget? Before we started our cross-country journey from California to Tennessee, our vet gave us some sedatives to help the Bean and the Bear relax during the 3-day ride. She recommended we hide the pill inside a treat, giving it to the cats about an hour before the drive.

The first day went pretty well. The pills were consumed without much of a fuss. After the car was loaded – and about an hour of verbalizing their displeasure – the Bean and the Bear settled into their kitty-carriers and drifted off to sleep. My wife and I could finally listen to hits from the ‘80s and enjoy the scenery.

It was just before lunch when the Bean started to get quite agitated, letting out some very loud cries. The Bear, not fond of being disturbed while he sleeps, started yelling as well. My wife and I tried to calm them down and wondered what could have set them off so suddenly. It was getting close to lunch, so we decided to pull off the road and look for the cause, as well as a resolution, to the pathetic crying in the back.

Soon, an odor emerged… After one whiff of the Bean’s carrier, it was obvious what happened. Between the sedative and the excitement of the trip, she had an accident. Not a big one, but enough to stink up the car. This was what she was crying about. We cleaned out her carrier and gave the Bean a quick bath with moist towelettes.

We then set up the litter box in the back seat, hoping they’d put it to good use. After my wife and I grabbed some lunch, we checked the litter box. Nothing. It turns out, our cats will not use the litter box until they are in a more settled environment. So, we packed up the cats and hit the highway. A little further down the road, the Bean started to meow, again.

My wife answered, “Yes, Squirt? Did you have another accident?” The name stuck for the rest of the trip. The following morning, we went about the same routine. We hid the pills and fed the cats. The Bear ate his treat in one gulp. I bet we could have hidden a golf ball inside, and he still would have eaten the whole thing.

The Bean? Not so much. She tried to eat hers and immediately gagged. Then, she started puking. In between heaves, she would look at us with tears in her eyes and meow in a pathetic tone.  She would have nothing to do with the pill, or the treat. We tried to hide the pill in a fresh treat. The Bean, with precision, picked apart the snack using her paws, and removed the pill.

Since it was getting late, we put the Bean in her carrier and got on the road. To our surprise, the Bean was much happier without being sedated. She really seemed to enjoy the scenery and would make her happy meows from time to time. The rest of the trip went by much more smoothly, and 2,200 miles later, we reached our new home.

My wife chuckles as I break a few pieces of popcorn into miniscule bits. As I place the tiny morsels in front of the Bean, she licks them up and breaks them into even smaller bites. “Don’t worry, Squirt. I promise there’s no pill hidden in there.”

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