On a less personal, gloomy note: Jack Dempsey is starting to walk on a leash outside! This is fantastic news indeed, you see, as he was terrified of even a collar.
He is a rescue--literally. I saw him on the side of the road, a short way from our house. He had an ear flipped back, which looked wounded, and he looked so sad and tired as he started to dive into the tangled undergrowth at the side of the road. I stopped the car and spoke to him, then got out and walked to him. I knew, in that moment, that he was mine, though I pushed that thought back and put him in the car and drove around to the few houses nearby to see if he belonged to anyone. I put up notices, but happily, no one responded and he became ours. I thought he had just come home to die; it was hard for him to go up and down stairs and he just slept--so deep, that most times I would assume he was dead when I would go downstairs to check on him.
Fancy my shock when, at the first vet visit, Dr. Penny told me he was over one year but less than two. Imagine the lifetimes he must have lived during that one year, to look as he did. He even has a palpable pellet embedded deep inside, under his left front leg, the souvenir of someone's air gun or pellet gun.
(Happily, the folded back ear which caught my attention at first, and had me so concerned, wasn't serious. It's the permanent result of an untreated ear infection--you don't want the details--and will always be folded back. After a few months of comfortable indoor life, it lost the painful, sun-burnt and leathery look and he'll even let my husband pet it.)
Given that history, it's no wonder Jack Jack was afraid of a collar, and terrified of a cat harness. He would watch out the window with such longing, though, when we would take St. John outside. His frustration with St. John became much greater, I think as a direct result of the jealousy, and I really was worried.
Then St. John started accidentally slipping out of his harness when he would jump to catch bugs (this baby has never known anything but walking on a harness, and runs, jumps, chases bugs and climbs trees with me hanging on for dear life) and I found the Kitty Holster online. It works even better than a harness, and is much more secure. They state in their advertisement "cats who hate to wear harnesses LOVE the Kitty Holster!"
I didn't believe that for a minute, but my husband decided to give it a try with Jackeroo. We squeezed him into St. John's harness (I was reminded of the Prince Regent in his stays) and took him outside. He did fine. He did more than fine, in fact, especially considering he was entirely too big for the holster. After another successful try, I ordered him one in his size (figuring that even if he didn't use, St. John will grow into it).
I can't say that Jack "loves" it, by any means. He is still a bit grumpy putting it on, and sometimes slips his leg through the neckhole (I can NOT figure out how he does that), but on the whole, he enjoys his walk and is visibly more relaxed than he was just last week. I plan to write raving reviews for Kitty Holster everywhere I can.
Here they are yesterday, having a lovely sniff. Notice St. John's happy "up" tail! He just loves going out. Jack is enjoying the feel of the air and all the smells, while St. John has a roll in (what's left of) our gravel drive.
Amazing how much better I feel now, half an hour or so after I began this post, just from all my happy chatter about two of my kitties. :)
Oh, and I got more Washi tape today! I had forgotten all about it; ordered it from the Plaid Barn, or maybe from Pick Your Plum. (I threw the packaging away without looking.) How can one feel melancholy with new Washi patterns in the house!?
|I'm especially excited by the one with keys!|