Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Feline Mystery: Can you Help Solve it?


Cats indeed are mysterious beings. But the one thing I know about for sure about them is the moment we think  that their purrsonalities are open books or they are predictable creatures, they will do something to communicate that we are being arrogant and really don't have a clue. In the 40 plus years I have been owned by felines the one thing that I have learned about them for sure, is that they really are quite unpredictable at times.

Take my cat, Hush Puppy! (It's just an expression, folks... you can't have him). Puppy absolutely despises riding in our car. The instant he spies me retrieving his carrier, he gives me THAT look, and we all know what that look is saying. He quickly finds  his favorite hiding place in the closet in order to evade any possibility of coming in contact with  the automobile monster.

This being said, I recently discovered that it is not traveling that bothers him.

Walking can be difficult and painful for me, due to Lyme Disease which resulted in Arthritis. Strolling around outdoors and in our house can become almost impossible at times.Thankfully, I was blessed to be able to finally obtain a power wheelchair to assist me in getting around more efficiently. I love my power chair. it faithfully takes me wherever I need to go.


It seems that Hush Puppy, our lilac point Oriental Shorthair neuter, has developed a fondness for taking rides with me when I am in my chair. He frequently jumps on my shoulder as I am riding around the house to join in what he considers to be the greatest fun. He purrs up a storm whenever I take the opportunity to pick him up and take him for a ride. I have no idea why he has a rooted antipathy to our car, but will  beg me to take him for a ride when I am in my chair. He often sits on the head rest looking longingly at me. I find it hard to resist his invitation most of the time.

But the strangest thing of all, is that we have a hybrid car which is almost as quiet as my powerchair. So I don't think it is the noise factor, and we don't always take him to the vet when we may travel elsewhere with him in our car.

So I am wondering what it is that is so upsetting to him about the automobile. He will begin "singing" from the moment we leave the garage, only stopping his raucous serenade when we stop for a traffic light or reach our destination. 

Either he is being empathetic toward me when I am in my wheelchair, letting me know he is thrilled that I can get around, or it is more complicated.

It is indeed a mystery to us.I need some help here. so If anyone has suggestions about what his problem is, I would be delighted to receive some input.


Vicki said...

My cat rarely rides in the car, but when he does, he doesn't like it. I think the confinement of the pet carrier and not being able to have full view of his surroundings upsets him, plus the movement of the car itself. He knows he is moving, but he can't see where he is going. Since he is used to being able to see without constriction of his vision, I think this is what upsets him.

Anonymous said...

The only time we take our kitty's for a ride is to the vets. Either they are sick or going to get shots. Either way they seem to know. I bet Vicki has it right about the carriers. If our cats could help me drive and watch I know they would feel alot better.
Hoppy our bunny loves his Hoppy mobile. It is a carrier that goes in the old V.W. bus. It is cute to watch a bunny flirt to get out of his cage and into a carrier. He knows though that where he is going is alot more positive then being a bunny stuck in a cage! Are our kitties not liking where they are going? Are they nervous because of the automobile? Very interesting question....hmmm.....~rc~

Anonymous said...

Your in the house. The wheelchair is in the house and that is his territory. He feels that it is part of his kingdom. The carrier means leaving his territory. The car takes him even further away. His thought is, " Bad bad evil car! Scream, rant rave. They will take me back to my home and beloved territory or go deaf." Yup, that about explains that. Our cats are the same way except for one. He LOVES to ride in the cars and take trips. He even LOVES the vet office. Go Figure!!

Luvbarbaro said...

I think it may be the carrier too, I'm only saying this from my own personal experience. I have 2 cats who traveled a whole lot at a very young age, so they both learned to like it, thankfully they still do at the ripe age of 14.

My youngest cat will stay in his carrier and fall asleep, even if we are just going to the vet. My older cat scratches to get out of his carrier and I always give in. He then plants himself nicely in the back-seat all snuggled up. I shouldn't probably use the terms "youngest" & "oldest" since they are only 8 months apart and had the same Mommy, but a different Daddy. Their personalities couldn't be more different though.

Good Luck! That is so adorable about your power chair rides -- my cats would love that too!! How Cute!! :>)

kneadstoknow said...

To the poster that reminded me of territorial issues.. RIGHT on! DUH.. where was my brain?

I envy anyone who's kitty loves to ride in cars. Maybe I should try a Hoppy mobile type thing, although Both Trouble and Hush Puppy serenaded my husband all the way from NY to Florida when they were safely ensconsed in a huge cage.. not a carrier.

Go figure... but the territorial issue is a great insight.


Rani said...

Both our kitties have carriers... going to the vet last month was bizare because:

1. Rao (DSH we rescued as a kitten about 7 years ago) didn't used to complain at all. We didn't always have a carrier for him and when he was younger, our son Drew would carry him and hold him in the car. He was fine with that.

2. We got Rao and carrier and though he didn't like it, he didn't give us a hard time getting into it or being in the car to go to the vet.

3. Rao likes our vet and vice versa. Dr Joe's own cat, Ric (short for Ricochet) looks exactly like Rao. Rao has never complained about vet visits.

4. My Baby (a Ragamuffin) came to us from the other side of the state a year and a half ago. On the ride home, he sat huddled in his carrier, a bit scared, but let me pet him and shushy him. A few days later, back into the carrier and car, trip to the vet. He was fine in the car and fine with the vet. He became a happy addition to our household.

4. A year later, we take them both to the vet in their carriers, and you'd've thought we were dunking them in the bathtub, they never SHUT UP howling in the car. The vet is less than a mile away, so it was a quick ride. Did they calm down once we were there? NO!

Now I could understand if Baby was phobic about cars because he associated them with being given away, but he wasn't!

I figure that they just don't like not being able to see where they are going and what's going on. I suspect that Puppy loves riding on his perch (your w/c) because he thinks he's the pasha or King of the World or something, LOL! But lock him away in a carrier? Then he is a prisoner. Big difference, emotionally!


Anonymous said...

The only time my cats leave the house is in the carrier and to the vet. They KNOW that. They hear the rattle of the carrier coming down from the closet shelf in here, and off they all shoot under the bed. It's quite a chore to get them confined (since I have to take them alone.) I finally figured to get the cat carrier out a day or so ahead of time, set it on it's BACK (so the cage door is on top) and I can scruff and get them into the carrier relatively easily after I've captured them and secured all 4 of their feet. THE MYSTERY REMAINS THOUGH...wow, when they are AT the vet they sure want BACK IN THAT CARRIER asap! LOL Carrier = car ride = vet = unhappy kit at my house.

I've sometimes wondered if they're elephants in disguise because even though I've decreased their innoculations to every two years, they still NEVER FORGET!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and another thing, they YOWL ALL THE WAY TO THE VET, but are totally quiet on the way home. hehehe...they have our number...TOTALLY.

Janet Roper said...

Hi Kneadstoknow,
What does your gut tell you? ;-) I think there's a lot of power for you in your 'kneadstoknow' moniker. ;-)

annie! said...

my cats are like donna's -- they scream and yowl from the moment i get them into the car until i take them out at the vets. yet, on the return ride, they are as good as gold -- very quiet and very loving.

i think it's a cat 'thang!'