Published in the Rains County Leader on August 27, 2019:
David and I made a quick trip to Louisiana for some family business last week. We left Thursday morning and returned Saturday afternoon. If we’re going to be gone for a week or so, we line up someone to come in and check on Kitty, but for a couple of days, Kitty does fine on her own. All she needs is a liter-and-a-half of water in her gravity waterier, half a dozen scoops of food in her large food bowl, and a clean litter box, and she’s good to go.
I think she probably slept most of the time we were gone because I didn’t see anything broken or even out of place, but she was glad to see us. She ran back and forth between us for petting until David went across the street for coffee with Charles. After that, she settled down in her condo for a nap. She did visit me long enough to rub her chin on the edge of my computer table and let me scratch between her eyes for a couple of seconds. But when she tried to bite me, I withdrew my hand, and she went back to her nap.
When David got back, we had a snack supper, both because I didn’t have anything thawed and because we wanted to watch the Cowboys/Texans game while we ate. We borrowed the two TV tables that have become one of Kitty’s favorite perches. I don’t know if it was because we took her tables or because the excitement of having us home had worn off and she remembered that she was mad at us for leaving her. Either way, she copped an attitude and began to harass David.
During dinner she flipped his letter opener off the coffee table, and then, she went after his glasses. She stood on her hind legs and tried to pull the bowl of grapes off his TV table. When dinner was over and her TV tables were returned to their proper place, she lay down by David and immediately began to scratch the sofa cushions.
All these actions earned her a squirt from the water bottle, but I’m not sure how effective that is as a deterrent these days. When Kitty does something wrong and David reaches for the bottle, she turns her head toward him and squeezes her eyes shut as if daring him to squirt her. I think it’s become a game with her.
She finally tired of the game and settled down on the carpet at David’s feet for another nap. At one point, I asked where she was and David pointed her out. She must have heard her name, because she woke up long enough to earn another squirt of water for scratching the side of the couch.
We didn’t hear much more from her until bedtime. I stayed in the living room for a little while after David went into the bathroom to wash his face and brush his teeth. She frantically ran back and forth between us, trying to make sure one or the other of us didn’t sneak out without her knowing it. When I finally went into the bedroom, she continued to run laps from the bedroom to the kitchen, probably to make sure I didn’t forget her bedtime snacks.
By Sunday morning, she had pretty much settled back into her normal routine. She occasionally ran over to one of us to stand possessively on a foot and allow us to pet her for a moment before returning to more urgent Kitty business. She seems to miss us more when we’re gone than she did when she was younger. We may have to arrange for her to have visitors when we travel in the future. We could, of course, take her with us. That should provide lots of writing material.