False Start

 Okay folks, I mean I just love to entertain you on this blog with stories of our mild and wild escapades during our romps around North America in our home on tires accompanied by our now three four-legged humans with fur.

 AND in order to entertain you it is necessary to have those little unexpected events occur, BUT now it’s gone too far!  Have you ever tried to diaper a cat?  And have it stay on?? Hell with claws. 

 

I’ll back up a bit. The week prior to our departure south for the winter, Sid (cat) is observed by us trying valiantly to produce something solid in the litter box.  Not happening. Off to the Vet where he is fed stool softeners, enema-ed, anesthetized, ‘emptied’ and cleaned up. The ‘matter’  had been accumulating for some time, apparently.  I used to think I wanted to work in a Vet Clinic……NOT!

 

So he’s back home the next day and we watch him carefully  making sure this problem doesn’t recur.  Everything’s normal so we head out on the way to Yuma and make our first overnight stop prior to crossing the border. Next morn, what is Sid doing?  He’s in and out of the potty box making a Herculean effort and producing nothing, we call our Vet on the cell phone for a discussion. 

 

Result?  We retrace our steps back to Vernon and the Vet Clinic where we are again told Sid must have an enema.  Within two hours he has produced.  The Vet now shares the news that Sid, in all likelihood has suffered some anal nerve damage and is unable to control the process of producing on his own either expelling or retaining.  It may right itself or it may be permanent.

 

How many scenarios within a split second fought for a place in my brain, I wouldn’t be able to count, but none of them were pretty, so I chose denial as we once again set out on our journey. Denial is such a nice, cozy place to be, I thought, until, while standing in a state of confusion in front of a huge array of baby diapers, I made the decision to flip a coin as to a choice of size that might fit a cat!

 

So it’s definitely the coin’s fault that it took until the third purchase before getting a fit anywhere close. After cutting a hole in the guesstimated area for his tail DB and I struggle with a 13 pound Olympic Champion Slinky with the ability to slither through four human hands and arms in the speed of a blink. Amid cat howls, human grunting and cursing, claw punctures, twisted arms and cat eyes filled with revenge, DB and I look at each other panting and sweating and smile like conquerors.  We did it! The diaper is on. We set him down on the floor to see how he will navigate and he promptly walks out of it.I leave to your fertile imagination the particular shade of blue the air became. 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don't you dare take my picture!

Don't you dare take my picture!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We do the “put diaper on and repeat” and after a modicum of success  DB and I are disheveled, scratched and and panting for breath. Sid was faced with the final indignity of a neck cone to prevent him from tearing at the diaper with his teeth. Then a third chunk of insurance is put into use by placing Sid into his cage for the night. 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You took my picture!

You took my picture!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morning comes, a cautious peek at Sid reveals …..no diaper.  He got it off.  What happens when you remove a soiled diaper?   Why, clean up of course!  The difference between a human baby and a cat is FUR.  Have you ever bathed a cat?  Now we have a wet Olympic Champion Slinky.

 

 Another diaper thrash-about followed by a wrestle with a dose of medicine, a change of clothes for me, Sid back in his cage and I have a couple of hours before the next go-round as bathing is required between each diaper change.  Hints of many, many years ago when I was a young mother with the only difference being I could not put my children in a cage or I would have been put in jail. Dang!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cat bathing

Cat bathing

Carefully sitting him facing the bathroom sink, his hind end, legs

and tail over the edge, I hold him under his front legs with my left arm while with my right hand I scoop cups of warm, soapy water over the ‘area’.   I feel like a surgeon in an OR with nurse DB assisting by handing me baby wipes, paper towels and powder. The vocals would be hard to describe in any language, but Sid got his profound displeasure across  by making certain my entire front was dripping wet by bath’s end.

 

 

 

By the end of the second day we have finally mastered the trick of the diaper according to the strange anatomy of my cat.  It will always be a two-person exercise.  But now he can be free to roam the house crashing into furniture and walls with his head cone.  Into the cage he goes for the night. 

 

I hear meowing about 2:30 a.m. and although my body says go back to sleep, my heart says get up and check on Sid. The heart won and up I get.  I look at the cage….no cat!  There he is, pleased as punch sitting on the couch with the diaper still on. YES!! I must have left the door slightly unlatched so I give him a drink and back into the cage he goes.

 

6:30 a.m. Up for the day and I go to see Sid.  The cage is empty and he sits blinking at me from the passenger seat. The cone makes him look like a flashlight and I swear I detect a smug smile in his beam.  Obviously he has mastered the latch. But the diaper is still on!

   

Watchin' over my ailing bjuddy

Watchin' over my ailing bjuddy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Couple of Days Later

 We have met up with our friends Sue and Dean at their home in Yakima, Washington to travel in tandem to Yuma.  What a pleasure this is.  We look forward to setting up our après long-day-many-miles-of-motoring snack table between the two motor coaches, adding four folding chairs, relaxing and enjoying the concrete view in the Wal-Mart parking lot. The one in Bakersfield, CA had rows of Oleander trees in bloom. Bonus!

 

Back to Yakima for a sec, I must tell you about Sue and Dean’s home which is the most eclectically decorated house I have ever seen.  In the beginning, many years ago, it began as a tiny, elderly farmhouse to which they added rooms as needed in a haphazard yet very functional manner.  Their view is amazing as one looks out over the river valley dotted with the sunrise yellows and fireside reds of trees in fall foliage.

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sue & Dean's home 1

Sue & Dean's home 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Sue is an artiste par excellence (French pronunciation s’il vous plait) and former high school art teacher while Dean owns an antique business dealing mostly in oak pieces over 100 years in age and of very high quality and condition. I wore a bib the whole time I was there to catch the drool

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sue & Dean's home 2

Sue & Dean's home 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sue & Dean's home 3

Sue & Dean's home 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dean & Sue at home

Dean & Sue at home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dean's Antique business

Dean's Antique business

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Another fab antique @ Dean's

 

 

Sophie (a “Basherd”, Basset/Shepherd mix) and Atma became instant friends.  Within a few hours we found Sophie calmly and quietly sitting in front of our RV door simply waiting for Atma to appear

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

Sophie the 'Basherd"

Sophie the 'Basherd"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Atma was also introduced to Jack and Jill, two Springer Spaniels next door, and with acres of grass available the three of them ripped at mach speed in the damp grass, around and around the trees with Atma in the lead and uncatchable as usual.  She can reverse direction faster than I can type one key. What fun and hilarious to watch! I would take a video but she is too fast to follow with the camera.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atma leads by a football field!

Atma leads by a football field!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have over-nighted in Eugene OR, Corning CA and Bakersfield CA.  Now, many diapers, yowling protests, wrestling matches, clean ups and scratches later, we are on our way into Arizona. Solomon continually meows in several octave varieties attempting to regain the attention he is missing while we concentrate on Sid’s needs.  Atma snuggles beside Sid in an attempt at comforting him I’m sure, but she has also decided she does not like her food.  When served this high priced, highly nutritious delicacy, she looks at me with accusatory eyes sending a message akin to “Why are you trying to poison me?”

 

 

 

 

You can't catch meeee!

You can't catch meeee!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

My response? “Take it or leave it”.  She leaves it until a few hours later when hunger overcomes the accusation and I hear surreptitious munching going on in the corner.

 

Caring for Sid has been an exercise in great tolerance and patience and supreme love. Every diaper change requires a ‘wash’ in the sink.  He is very irritated and sore and he tells us so.  I seem to be able to calm him so DB still acts as scrub nurse and hands me the various tools I need.  After a bit of a sitz bath, powder application and diaper attached, he purrs in forgiveness and understanding and we know that he knows we are doing this to help him. 

 

I’m talking non-stop to the kitty Angel to come on board and help return his bowel function to normal.  If the nerve damage is permanent and he continues to be incontinent the alternative is unthinkable.  He is so healthy otherwise and has always been the most loving, blasé and cuddly puss.  He and I have had such a close bond over the past eleven years and the thought of having to put him to sleep when he isn’t really sick is something I can’t even tolerate the thought of without having to fight back copious tears.  And yet, having to wear diapers, endure many cleanups per day and a cone on his head to keep him from tearing at the diaper is no life for him.

 

Thus this trip is overlaid with a sense of sadness and impending tragic consequences.  Keeping my feelings stuffed down whenever they threaten to erupt caused me to awaken in the night with a headache so horrid I was wishing someone would ‘put me to sleep!”  Triple migraine meds did nothing.  Finally a couple of Anacin did it.  DB pointed out the next morning that we were camped in the midst of at least 30 electricity towers with a power plant two blocks away.  This could very well have had a bearing on the headache.

 

Hey!  We just passed ‘Twenty Mule Team Road’ and wouldn’t you know, there’s a boron (Borax) mine within a mile. We are in the Mojave desert at the moment.

 

Well on a lighter note, DB just proved he can get lost even when following someone else! We were climbing in the Sierra Madre mountains following Dean.  Dean pulled over on an exit road and stopped on the roadside.  We pull in behind and wait.  Several minutes later Dean pulls out again and off we go.  In my head pops up, ‘something is off’. On closer inspection, that’s not Dean up ahead!  Same colour coach, towing a vehicle, except the vehicle is not a Jeep and the coach is not a Monaco!! 

 

Turned around and on the right highway once more we race to catch up.  CB antenna only has a range of about a mile and we are ALONE!   Eventually we spot Dean and Sue’s rig patiently waiting on the roadside for us wanderers to finally turn up.  Peals of laughter later we head toward the desert with Dean chattering on the CB that it takes a good man to admit when he screws up. 

 

The best laughter is had when one can laugh at oneself!

 

 Be-yoo-tee-ful Site

 Our final night on the road is spent at La Paz County Park www.co.la-paz.az.us just 8 miles north of Parker, AZ.  Smack on the sandy beaches of the Colorado River the four of us eat dinner at a floating dock restaurant while we gaze at the stars, quarter moon, California on the other side of the river, and enjoy the light touch of a warm evening breeze. 

 After sauntering back to the RV’s Sue and I leash up the doggies and walk them along the water’s edge where Sophie chooses to go for a swim just to get soaking wet before lights out and Atma refuses to go near the large body of water having never experienced one larger than a Nepali puddle during monsoon.

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left AZ, Right Calif.

Left AZ, Right Calif.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After more Sid bathing and diapering, we settle for the night.  Morning brings another day of clear skies and sunshine and we just can’t leave before another doggie walk, this time dodging about a hundred sprinkler heads popping up and spewing two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen without warning.

 

 

 

 

Sunset on the Colorado

Sunset on the Colorado

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just before noon we roll into Yuma and Sun Vista RV Resort. There is great cheering, hollering and leaping up and down from our neighbours, Barb & Tim, on our north side. Wow, what a reception!  Turns out, their excitement stems from the fact that our huge rig is going to supply their patio with shade from the hot southern exposure!  “Here comes our shade! Oh, with Greg & Lynn and the cats too.”  I tease.  It was a great reunion but sad to learn that little ‘Stevie’ dog passed away during the summer.  Now they have ‘Dani Sue’, all of a pound and a half of Chihuahua/Pomeranian.  Barb could tuck her in her bra!

 

Five Days Later

I love having two home bases!  Twice a year we get to travel ‘home’, settle in and have a ball renewing friendships and acquaintances.  Each time we arrive in Vernon or in Yuma it feels like “we just came home”. 

 

The weather has be warm and sunny, pets are happy, especially Atma whose whole world has telescoped down to one focus…bunnies!  There are many, many bunnies in this park and they are mostly seen around dusk or after dark.  She spotted one under our citrus tree and every nerve in her body twanged! Now she asks to go outside to pee but it is just a ruse.  She wants to go bunny hunting.  She tore out the door, right angled left to the citrus tree, ran to the end of her leash and did a back flip when it ran out.  Good thing DB had a death grip on it.

 

We have been to the vet with Sid.  Vet is optimistic, from the details we have given him, Sid will gradually improve.  He said, “You are here for the winter now, we will monitor him closely and I’m sure we will get him well.”  I looooove this man!  We made a couple of adjustments in his laxative dosage and are able to leave him without a diaper at times.  Gotta keep that cone on his neck though, cats are very clean animals and he overdoes the cleaning causing more problems.

 

Next week we are on the road again. Yup we pull up stakes and file the ‘flight plan’ for Vegas.  I have a 3 Day business event at the Venetian hotel.  Don’t get too envious, I’m not staying in the hotel. Circus Circus has a KOA RV park and that is where we are booked.  The first day of the event, Nov 5th, is my birthday (did I tell you that I am now going backwards in the number of years? Yes, I will be another year younger, not older, and that thought keeps me out the psych ward) and my gift to myself is to go into Circus Circus and pray the Krispy Kreme donut store is still there!  I’m getting six glazed heart attacks and going to eat them ALL! The sugar high and a cup of coffee, which I rarely have, should keep me vibrating from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. which are the seminar hours.  Hey, a girl has to celebrate!

 

We travel back to Yuma on the 8th and stay put for the rest of the winter (I hope!)

 

Stay tuned, and I’ll entertain you with Vegas stories soon.

Enter comment below, would love to hear from you! 

Cheers!

Atma, Sophie & Me

Atma, Sophie & Me

No, Sophie is not an addition to our family, I just borrowed her because her Mum was busy with the camera.