Friday, January 2, 2009

So I got my cat a leash...

The Antagonizer has been bolting out the back door every chance she gets lately. With two dogs and Master J perpetually going in or out, she's been getting a lot of chances. Three separate times today I had to shove her back in the house with my foot which, by the way, is no easy feat considering her sizable girth. On another occasion today she actually managed to get past me and dove under the patio furniture. Nice. I had to crawl under the end of it on my dusty patio to drag her fat ass out so I could toss her back in the house. So tonight, when I went out on some errands, I stopped by the nearest Petsmart to check out my options. For just under $20, I found a purple cat harness and matching leash. Awesome! My thought process here is that maybe, just maybe, if I take her outside under controlled conditions, she'll lose the urge to bolt every chance she gets. I brought home my new prize and called the cat. She's like a dog in the respect that she actually comes when she's called. Although, that may now be a thing of the past. The Intellectual was under Mister C's desk taking a snooze and ADHD Girl was sitting next to me watching to see what was going to happen. The Antagonizer shows up and starts chirping at me as I'm dragging this ensemble out of the bag. She's very interested in this new thing. What could it be? New toy? Something to eat? What is it, hmmmm? Well my little obnoxious friend, this is your new ticket to freedom. I tried to adjust the harness to the correct size before trying it on her figuring that I'm probably not going to have a whole bunch of luck adjusting it after it's on. Good call on my part, but more about that in a minute. The harness has two loops, connected by several other strips, ending in a metal circle on the top for the leash to attach to. I slid the neck loop over her head and dragged it down so I could get the other loop around her chest. Now, at this point, The Antagonizer is figuring out that she can neither eat nor play with this and is rapidly losing interest in being cooperative. So she "melts". I'm not sure how else to explain what she did other than to say she melted. Her whole body just turned into a furry pile of jell-o. Suddenly, instead of ten pounds of solid mass to stuff into this harness, I have warm goo and it doesn't really want to go anywhere. Thinking to outsmart her, I grab one front leg and stuff it through the loop. Which is great, but now what? I try to flip her over to her other side to get the other front foot in, but no, suddenly I'm looking at her tail. What the hell? Where are her front feet? I poke around in the fur until I come up with a front foot and stuff it through the loop. Woo-hoo! I got her in. But when I try to buckle the harness, I realize that both front feet are in through the same part of the loop and that just can't be right. She is laying there like a rag doll, refusing to look at me. I take the second loop completely off her feet and start over. After several attempts, I finally get one front foot through each side of the chest loop. Now to buckle. But the buckle is on her side. The side she's laying on, and she's not getting up. I have to roll her over to get to the buckle because once again, she's being goo and refusing to help me. Finally! Got the harness on properly and I think it's adjusted pretty close to the right size. So I snap the leash on to the ring and stand up. Now, right about now I'm sort of hoping that the cat jumps up and realizes what a great thing this is. I've seen cats walking on leashes before and they always look pretty happy. My cat looks disgusted. She has her back to me and is refusing to look directly at me. So I give the leash a little tug. The cat looks over her shoulder at me and I swear to you the look on her face was "you have GOT to be kidding me!" There may have been an eye-roll as well but I'm not certain on that. I gently pull on the leash, just barely picking her chest off the floor. The Antagonizer sighs perceptibly and proceeds to immediately back out of the harness in one fluid motion. Crap. By this time it should be noted that The Intellectual had completely vanished and ADHD Girl was looking pretty panicky. I don't know if they were worried about The Antagonizer so much as they were concerned about what might happen to them next. I took this opportunity to adjust the size of both loops down to what I hoped was the appropriate size. It's really hard to tell how big the cat is because she has such long, messy hair. Side note here, I brush The Antagonizer out every day and she still manages to looks as if she has perpetual bed head. Anyway, I get the harness adjusted and go through the same process of stuff the cat into it. Only this time around, she's decided to not work with me nearly so much. This time, she lodges her back feet under the chest loop and flails her front feet while simultaneously trying to bite the neck loop. But, because I outweigh her and have opposable thumbs, I am able to get her into the harness and get it buckled. Eventually. I stand up again and encourage the cat to follow me. Only she doesn't. She lays down and puts her head down and refuses to budge. You would think that a ten pound cat couldn't offer much resistance. You would be wrong. Apparently cats have an ability to lock on to the gravitational pull of the earth and use it to make themselves immovable. During this whole procedure, Mister C was sitting at his desk shaking his head at me. I don't think he's on board as much as he should be. So, here we are. The harness and leash are on. All of the other animals have bailed out by now and are hiding somewhere else in the house. And The Antagonizer has turned into a 3,000 pound boulder. With a really nice purple harness and matching leash. Sigh.