As LSS crawled into bed and slept on my belly last night, I’m reminded how happy we are that she made it safe and sound to Kingston with only a few small hiccups along the way.
So what worked and what didn’t?
First off LSS does not enjoy car rides, period. I have seen cats that love being in the car, but LSS is definitely not one of them. She was so nervous the first time that she hyperventilated all the way, panting like a dog with her tongue out, and looking as if she’s going to pass out any second. Thankfully she didn’t, but it did not help whether she was inside the kennel or out about; she was just freaking out.
So we took her for short drives here and there before our big move, and we found out that she was better when it was cloudy or dark outside. Perhaps the bright light of the day blinded her, so she had no clue where she was or where she was going, which can be nervous for anyone. But after a few rides she was getting better, from complaining and meowing right way to a delay of 10 minutes. We saw any progress as welcoming, and after visiting the vet and researching other people’s experiences online, we bought a bottle of Feliway spray, which says it will calm your kitty during stressful situations by simulating the natural scent cats make when they are happy and rub themselves on objects.
Er, that didn’t work, not even a little bit. The reviews were very mixed, some saw great results and some not so much. After that flunked, we decided against giving her any other pills, fearing she would drool all the way or be even worse. Also the pills are very expensive (a few hundred I think?), so we just crossed our fingers and hoped for the best.
By the way we got a hard case carrier for her on sale from Canadian Tire at 50% off, thinking we would fly her via cargo. Then I got all teary imagining she would be all alone in a loud airplane, freaking out without us, and maybe even clawing the door until she bleeds out her nails… Anyways, we did not fly her in the end, and padded her cage with a foam block and some cushioning sheets, so it’s fluffy and more comfortable. If we had the money we would totally get her a sleepypod! Maybe this Christmas if she’s a good kitty (and I have a job).
On the first day of the big move, she meowed for the first hour and half none stop. We had to be like the horrible parents that we are and let her tire herself out, because there was no way we were going to keep on stopping or let her out of the cage. In the end she got too tired and just gave up, and was nice and quiet for the duration of the day. We were really proud of her, but she was absolutely furious inside her cage, giving us the evil eye look whenever we checked in on her.
So we bribed her each night at the hotel with yummy wet food, but she was shy and hid underneath the bed for most of the time. On the last day of the trip she was getting pretty used to it until we hit some smaller highways that was very bumpy. She clearly voiced her opinion and none of us was feeling that great. We stopped at the next resting area and took her cage out of the car to give her some air. It was interesting because after we got back into the car, she didn’t make a sound at all; it was like bursting her bubble that if we let her out of the car, she would be back home with familiar surroundings. Once she understood that it was actually safer inside the car, she had no problem for the rest of the trip.
All in all, LSS was very cooperative and we are very appreciative of it. But for our next move to Coldlake, we might just have to fly her and see how that goes. Poor LSS, you had no idea what you got yourself into did you?