by J. F. Kelly, Jr. | Coronado

I recently wrote of the problems presented by our two pet pussycats, Mimi and Mewsetta, who flunked out of boarding school. Well to be precise, they were told that they were no longer welcome at the facility where we’ve been boarding them while away on travel since we adopted them there early last year. It’s also the place where they have received all their medical care up to now so they also need a new primary care doctor. This has upset them badly since they liked their doctor and they’re convinced now that this is the first stage of rationed care under national health care reform. They were also under the impression that they could keep their existing medical plan if they were satisfied with it.

The column was entitled, “Cats Behaving Badly“. I thought it was a cute title, but it didn’t go over at all well with Mimi or Mewsetta who didn’t appreciate the levity. “This is nothing to joke about,” meowed Mimi looking up at me from my lap. “Who will take care of us during your stupid vacation trips?” she asked, extending her claws into my forearm for emphasis. “We’re working on that,” I said, reaching for my handkerchief to keep from bleeding on my shirt.

Both cats CATegorically denied behaving badly while being boarded. “We’re not bad cats,” purred Mewsetta, knocking over a lamp.” We just get bored being locked up in a cage for days. Wouldn’t you?” I reminded her that I was not the cause of this problem, but agreed that there might a better arrangement.

Since the column was published, my wife and I have received a multitude of suggestions from friends and faithful readers so we thought we should provide an update. Some suggestions were very helpful; others less so. De-clawing, for example, is off the table. Americans don’t condone torture or degrading or humiliating treatment. “How would you like to have your fingernails removed?” hissed Mimi.

We received many well-intended responses recommending various other pet boarding facilities around San Diego County. Some offered private suites with real furniture they could destroy. Some facilities were sufficiently spacious and secure to accommodate cats large and ferocious enough to be in zoos. My wife and I discussed these options with Mimi and Mewsetta. They were not enthused. “We are Coronado cats,” Mimi meowed. “We don’t want to leave the island.” “And we get carsick,” Mewsetta added, coughing up a fur ball. “We prefer to patronize local businesses.”

Another reader suggested that we just take them with us when we travel. We thought about this but not for long. Getting them through airport security and on the airplane surely would pose a challenge. I have enough trouble getting through security myself with two metal hip replacements. And the mere thought of Mimi and Mewsetta getting loose onboard an airplane suggests a future column entitled “Terror in the Skies.”

We could, as one friend suggested, just accept our fate and give up thoughts of future travel. This option was very popular with Mimi and Mewsetta but my wife promptly vetoed the idea. “I am not going to be a slave to our animals,” she said. “Why does it always have to be about you?” hissed Mewsetta.

Some friends even kindly offered to care for our pets while we’re away. We thought about this but quickly concluded that we valued our friends too much to risk a possible CATastrophe should they misbehave, a not unlikely outcome.

The leading suggestion was that we give in-home care a try. We initially were cool to the idea of leaving them at home and having someone drop in on them daily because our cats grow bored easily and then search for adventures to engage in. These invariably end badly like the time they tried to make popcorn. Mimi and Mewsetta, however, are very receptive to this option so we decided to give it a try.

We scheduled an in-home consultation so that all parties can get acquainted, the rules of engagement discussed and agreed upon and the logistics like feeding and litter box maintenance worked out. These are complex considerations. Mimi and Mewsetta are really excited. They are so looking forward to meeting their new sitter and are even planning a little surprise reception for her.

My wife and I are hoping for the best. CRO

copyright 2009 J.F. Kelly, Jr

J.F. Kelly, Jr. is a retired Navy Captain and bank executive who writes on current events and military subjects. He is a resident of Coronado, California.

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