Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Friday, July 06, 2007

How to keep a cat happy

AND quiet in the car!

Dulce loves being at Five O’Clock Somewhere, and especially since Tres’ death, she does not like being home alone when the rest of the family goes away. For the past few years, the cats have traveled with us. For the past year and a half, that allowed us to give Tres his medicine and his special diet cat food; now it eases Dulce’s separation anxiety.

However, getting there is not half the fun for Dulce, or at least it usually hasn’t been. She has generally been very vocal about her displeasure, often meowing nonstop for the entire journey. Sometimes, she will be quieter – for example, when riding in El Caballero she would occasionally quiet down about a half-hour into the trip, and she was more likely to be quiet when Tadpole or I was driving than when Pat was.

We tried getting some tranquilizer pills from the vet. We discovered that Dulce is a “talkative drunk” – the pills just made her more loquacious and a little bit groggy.

Now we have discovered what she really wants: a land yacht.

With El Caballero deceased, and with a limited-service donut on the right-rear of the Miata (reminder to self: Find out whether Jerry has a name for the car) until the special-ordered performance tires come in at the tire shop, and the “Service Engine Soon” light lit on Babe’s dashboard (we have an appointment at the Ford dealer for Monday morning), we decided to rent a car for this weekend’s journey northward.

Because it was only $3 more than a small car, Pat chose to rent a full-size car, so we’d have a trunk roomy enough to put in a couple of spinnakers, and the rear seat would have room for Tadpole’s legs, which get longer seemingly by an inch a day.

We got a Buick LaCrosse land yacht. It is luxurious, with lots of padding and cushioning and sound-dampening stuff throughout the interior. It just plain glides over the road, even on rough surfaces such as the washboarded gravel road leading to Five O’Clock Somewhere. It has automatic everything, including automatic climate control that quickly brought the cabin to a comfortable temperature and kept it that way with a minimum of noise and fuss.

And most important, Dulce stopped meowing after only a few blocks and settled down to enjoy the journey.

She’s come a long way from the starving stray that was rescued from a blizzard in the East Mountains in the record-setting winter of 1996. Back then, she would eat any food that was placed in front of her, right away, for fear it might disappear or that there might not be any more food coming. Now, Her Majesty picks and chooses what she will or will not eat. Back then, she was skinny, and her fur was so thin that at her initial vet checkup, the veterinary assistant listed her breed as “domestic short hair”; I wrote in email to friends, “She won’t win any beauty contests.” Now, she has beautiful, thick, long fur, and the veterinary assistant comments, “I can tell she’s a spoiled indoor cat because of all of that fur growing between the paw pads.” Back then, she was content to snooze on any lap, chair, cushion, or any other spot that offered itself; now, she has her own special places, such as her cushions on the back of the sofa at Five O’Clock Somewhere (one used to belong to Tres).

And now, we know, she also has a taste for luxurious automobiles.

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Blogger Tillerman said...

See? I told you that the cats had domesticated you and not vice versa. Now the animal is getting to choose what car you drive. Be careful. Pretty soon it will be deciding you need a sexier boat than the Etchells.

Sat Jul 07, 06:45:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

I just got an email from a major online book seller, recommending new titles I might like based on my past purchases. One of the books was titled "When Cats Ruled Like Kings" with an additional academic-sounding subtitle about searching through history for cat gods and other examples of cat magnificence.

The title alone was enough to intrigue me, but then I saw that the author's name was the same as one of my colleagues at the community college -- the last name is not common, and the two first names use the same alternate spellings that my colleague uses.

Now I know what she does with her time off.

Which reminds me ... I need to get back to work on the book that I'm writing. I have to get it finished by November, so I can write the sequel for National Novel Writing Month.

Sun Jul 08, 11:39:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Pat said...

That's right -- how will Murder at the Yacht Club end?

Mon Jul 09, 12:49:00 PM MDT  

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