My cat is a dog

Posted: March 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

by Rachel Forde

I had a scare a couple of weeks ago.  One of my two cats, Isabella (“Izzy”) got very ill, and had to go to the vet.  Two hectic bus rides, six hours, and $600 later, Izzy was back home and recovering, aided by the skilled vets who treated her, but also by the 15mgs of Buprenex they sent her home with.

Those of you who came over from Kindle boards might recognize Izzy.

“I don't care that you rescued me from freezing to death. I own this chair.”

Of the many cat avatars, she is the one trying to steal a pinecone from my Christmas tree.  She originally belonged to my sister, who was given a sickly, ginger-colored barn kitten by her delightfully rural in-laws, with assurances of “hell yeah, she’s six weeks old.”  After about five minutes of observation, we thought it best to get a second opinion, and the vet informed us that she was half that age.  My sister attempted to bring Izzy back to the mother, only to learn that the litter had been rejected and all of Izzy’s brothers and sisters had frozen to death in the cold, November night.  Thus, we stocked up on canned kitten milk and eyedroppers, and Izzy became a part of our family.

Regarding her sickness, as it turns out, she had something called cystitis, which is something cats get when they’re anxious or depressed.  I had no idea she was depressed—it’s not like she was spending her days sitting around in skinny jeans and black eyeliner and listening to the Cure, after all.

One of the ways to reduce stress in cats is regular play and stimulation, but toys cost money, and I’ve never been able to keep Izzy’s interest in any toy, paper bag or cardboard box beyond three days.  So what do I do?  I’m both a starving artist and a poor college student—that’s, like, double poverty points.  And let’s not forget I just threw down $600 on a cat who couldn’t pee.  Izzy was a fat little thing and needed exercise beyond chasing a feather on a stick.

After some scrounging, I came up with a novel solution:

“I am a cat, and you just put a walking harness on me. Just how do you expect to be taken seriously?”

She took to it rather well, actually.  Clearly she enjoys the exercise, and since I’m there to keep her away from cars, and fight off any dogs, dive-bombing blue jays, or sociopathic children, she can get all the benefits of being an outside cat without the risks.  Of course, Izzy is a weird cat who does dog-like things.  She’s the eighth cat I’ve owned, and the only one who ever seemed to grasped the concept of “walkies.”

“Yeah, I probably shouldn't have sniffed that. Uffda!”


There are many resources online for learning how to leash-train your cat.  I can’t help you myself; Izzy never needed leash-trained, because she’s awesome.  In summary of this very long blog post, here are pictures of my cat on a leash, because we all know that the internet needs more pictures of cats.

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