I have always loved animals. My mother used to love to tell the story of Whiskers, a cat that eventually stole the heart of our family. Whiskers, a black and white cat, that wandered into our life one day, wasn't supposed to come into our house. In fact my mom specifically told me not to open the door for it. It did not take me long to figure out that if I raised the screen on the screen door, that the cat could get in without me opening the door. Whiskers went on to become a great pal, often helping me do my homework when I was in elementary school.
Yet for most of my adult life I have a Labrador Retriever guy, and most recently my wife, Glenda, has been in charge of spoiling our cat, Malarky. She has actually done an exceptional job of doing that. The cat as you can see enjoys a fairly comfortable spot in our home. He also has become very adept at drinking water from our bathroom sinks. Still Malarky doesn't have a completely easy life. He sometimes get visits from our youngest daughter's Lab-Boxer, Dozer, who thinks that cats are a lot of fun to chase. Once a year he gets to endure the three cats of our oldest daughter when they come to visit for Christmas. Malarky handles both Dozer and the visiting cats in the same way. He retreats behind the sofa when threatened, hisses, puffs his tail, and just toughs it out.
Still the biggest challenge in his life is traveling between our Roanoke, Va. house and the North Carolina coastal home we share with some friends. The first couple of trips we tried medicating him. Fortunately he didn't have to pass sobriety tests since he ended up pretty tipsy. After that we figured out that he would be mostly fine if he could ride in someone's lap. Actually that wouldn't be too bad, but the drive is five hours and change. That's turns out to be a lot of cat holding.
Usually I do most of the driving in our trips, but something unusual has happened recently. Malarky has become a little difficult for my wife to handle on the trips. For some reason all of my cat experience has come back to me. I can rub his ears, tickle his chin, and in general work him over until he ends up being a calm cat after about two hours of riding on my lap. I have decided that I am a cat whisperer.
I am not sure that buys me anything but a lot of cat fur all over me, and not much time under the wheel. Our last trip down, I had to plead with my wife to let me drive. She was afraid the cat was going to start climbing all over her if she relinquished the wheel. Fortunately she gave in and my cramping leg got some rest. Being a cat whisperer requires providing the cat with a very comfortable position cradled in my arm and resting on my leg.
So if you need some advice on unruly cats, send big checks, and I'll start working on it.