Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Husbandrinka-Nicki Relationship

It's hard to sum up Husbandrinka's feelings towards our cat Nicki. If this were Facebook, I'd put "It's complicated" under their relationship status. On Twitter, I'd have to say, "Deep regret that she was born". But this is a blog post, so you expect more. Unless you've read this blog before, in which case, hooray that your expectations have been adjusted.

Husbandrinka did not want to get a cat. But we finally prevailed and on most days, he agrees that Nicki is a good fit with us. There are times when he goes positively animal activist on me, like when we are in the car:

One of the joys of travelling in the car with Nicki is not only listening to her scream bloody fucking murder from her mortgage payment carrier, but also having Husbandrinka ask "so, why, exactly, can't we let her out so that she can run around in the car?" I was so taken aback when he asked me this question, that the only thing that I could think to answer is that it violates a social contact between you and me, with the rest of the universe as third party beneficiaries with enforceable rights. Because if you let the cat loose in the car, you are insane and are a menace to society. First step, letting cat out in the car. Second step, cannibalism.

But Husbandrinka isn't persuaded by things like social norms, so I had to come up with some alternatives.

"She'll be able to escape!" I pointed to the opened-a-crack window by Young Ladrinka.
"We can close the windows," Husbandrinka the Sudden Animal Rights Activist suggested.
"Well, but it's also that she may jump on the driver unexpectadly and we'd have an accident."
"What, she's going to jump on the steering wheel?"
"Or on your head. She could startle you."
"You startle me all the time with your bullshit and I'm driving ok."
"She could pee in the car and we'd never get the smell out."

Now I'm worried that he will find some cat urine smell removal system and I'll need other reasons why we should keep the cat safely confined in the carrier. Any ideas?

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Blogger Kimberly said...

It depends on the cat (which isn't much help, I know). I can tell you that I know someone and have heard of mire than a few instances where a cat was let loose in the car and the got under the brake pedal and on the gas pedal and caused an accident.

However, I am tuned in to the fact that my cat is freaked out by his carrier. He is fine in my lap as a passenger and looks out the window. I would never recommend this because I know how some can freak out.

August 18, 2009 at 10:55 AM  
Blogger Sally said...

I used to have a cat and my vet lectured me on how injured she could get if we got in an accident and she wasn't in her carrier. Tell him it's for her safety.

August 18, 2009 at 12:24 PM  
Blogger C (Kid Things) said...

There is no cat urine odor removal system. The smell stays around FOREVER, and only gets worse actually. You'd be better off just getting rid of your car.

August 18, 2009 at 12:36 PM  
Blogger Vicki said...

"You startle me all the time with your bullshit and I'm driving ok." Favorite quote for the week. Or at least until something happens with The Bloggess and William Shatner again.

August 18, 2009 at 12:36 PM  
Blogger Your escalator operator said...

Obviously, she will cough up a hairball that will get lodged in the gear shift, which will cause it (the gear shift, not the hairball) to malfunction and you'll suddenly be going in reverse on the BQE or FDR Drive. Or some other acronym.

August 18, 2009 at 12:38 PM  
Blogger RenĂ©e aka Mekhismom said...

All I can say is I am glad I don't have any animals. I don't have to deal with this type of thing. I know that I am not much help here. How about adding a dog to the mix? Then you could say the dog would chase the cat around the car and that would be problematic.

August 18, 2009 at 12:49 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

I don't have any animals right now (well, not counting my husband and kids of course :) but I have to tell you that I just about spit all my lunch all over my desk laughing at this one "You startle me all the time with your bullshit and I'm driving ok." That would SO be something my husband would say!!! I say we put them in the carriers and we go drinking/shopping :)

August 18, 2009 at 12:55 PM  
Blogger Christy said...

She could get stuck under the gas or brake pedal -- then you'd all be in a load of trouble.

August 18, 2009 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger Lilacspecs said...

Would he want a cat hiding under the seat trying to catch his foot while he hit the gas and the brake?

August 18, 2009 at 1:04 PM  
Blogger *Akilah Sakai* said...

"You startle me all the time with your bullshit and I'm driving ok."

I hear that line all the time, except you'd have to take out the "driving ok" and replace it with "still around."
Just tell him the carrier is essentially Nicki's seatbelt and that the whole 9 lives schtick is a load of b.s.

August 18, 2009 at 1:20 PM  
Blogger MommyTime said...

I read a news item once about a man who had "found" a cute bear cub at a national park, and put it into the car with his wife to take them both home, apparently. The cub mauled his wife pretty darn well before he could manage to get the cub out. I don't recall whether she lived or not, but she certainly was seriously injured. Now, obviously, Nicki is more like a tame circus bear than like a wild animal, but, really, why would Husbandrinka want to take the chance that vestiges of her wild, feral ancestors might crop up in the confines of the car?

August 18, 2009 at 2:07 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

I heard the reasons that cats meow like that when they are in a car is because they feel like they are falling sideways. Maybe you could cover her carrier with a blanket?

August 18, 2009 at 2:08 PM  
Blogger Magpie said...

She'd be a projectile weapon if you had to stop short...

August 18, 2009 at 2:20 PM  
Blogger kingabiga said...

If a bird gets in Nikki might try to chase it.

August 18, 2009 at 2:34 PM  
Blogger Comedy Goddess said...

Fed Ex one of them on ahead.

August 18, 2009 at 4:01 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Oh shit. I swear, I already typed this and all and if it shows up twice, then you can come by and pee on my lap. (Oops! Spoiler alert!)

Back when Sally and Mary Jo were kittens and not old dead cats like they are now, I was driving them home from the vet (without a carrier).

First they found my ankles, then the clutch, then the brake pedal.

I didn't want to smoosh the little dears so I pulled over the car, very carefully.

(I didn't teach them a valuable lesson and throw them out of the car. I'd NEVER DO THAT.)

I started back home and soon the little buggers were crawling around again, with teensy Mary Jo curling up in my lap. Awwwww, I said.

Until I felt the liquid warmth gathering on the lap of my new skirt. MY LAP.

ALWAYS use a carrier!

August 18, 2009 at 5:45 PM  
Blogger jon said...

also if you open the door unexpectedly, she might run out.
But we used to drive around with dogs, cats and birds roaming free in the car. Not all at once usually.
But it is safer for everyone to keep her in the box.

I was also going to suggest the blanket over the carrier idea.
Or Kitty Xanax.

August 18, 2009 at 5:46 PM  
Blogger bethsix said...

Okay. True story. And one you can totally use. I had this (whore of a) boyfriend in college who decided to adopt a cat from the animal shelter. I went with him. He didn't think we needed a cat carrier because, I mean, come on, why would we?

Well, the cat was so freaked out that he walked around the floor of the car looking for somewhere to hide. It was disconcerting enough when the boyfriend yelled that he couldn't hit the brakes without stomping on the cat, but then, even worse, the cat got STUCK under his seat. He was so freaked out that he crawled under the driver's seat into a space (a) that was much too small for him and (b) that he refused to come out of. Then, his throat got sort of constricted by some mechanism under the seat, and he started hyperventilating. We freaked right the fuck out and pulled over in the Grand Union parking lot, where we proceded to try to FORCE him out from under the seat. Except whenever we'd try to force him, he (and his throat) would get more stuck. We couldn't move the seat for fear of constricting his throat further, breaking his neck, etc. I literally thought the cat was going to die under the driver's seat. Meanwhile, I was also panicked by the thought that, by having us on our hands and knees huddled near the floorboard of the car, with the doors open, the cat was just going to fly out from under the seat at some point and run into the parking lot to be hit by a car. I don't remember how we finally got him to come out, but I think we were in the parking lot a good 45 minutes.

August 18, 2009 at 6:28 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Before I bought a carrier, I had a cat wedge himself behind the brake pedal. I couldn't brake the entire ride home! So I bought him a pink carrier as revenge for almost killing us all.

August 18, 2009 at 8:08 PM  
Blogger Maureen@IslandRoar said...

Clearly you have 2 choices: drug the cat OR your husband. Or maybe both. I've drugged the cat(s) for longer car rides. They meowed in a drug-induced sort of way for a little while and then slept. I never drugged the ex, but I really should have.
Better luck to you.

August 18, 2009 at 8:56 PM  
Blogger Amber, The Unlikely Mama said...

I let mine out once, and he shit on the floor. Thankfully it was on one of the removable mats, but I had to drive an hour before we could get out and clean it up! ACK!!

Cat pee is cleaned rather well (from carpet) with a dousing of vinegar (after you sop it up), and then a mixture of peroxide and baking soda ground in and vacuumed when dry :-)

August 18, 2009 at 10:30 PM  
Blogger OHmommy said...

Completely unrelated to your post.

Im at my parents house for the week. My father's computer has MOTHERHOOD IN NYC as a "favorite" in his tabs. I teased him about it and he told me that he isn't the only one. My aunt has you set as her favorite too.

August 18, 2009 at 10:35 PM  
Blogger the mama bird diaries said...

i know nothing about cats except that they pee. So keep that cat in the carrier.

August 18, 2009 at 11:07 PM  
Blogger Sophie, Inzaburbs said...

We had a cat lodged herself under the brake pedal also. Scariest day of my life and not at all because I was the person who felt sorry for her and let her out of the carrier, of course not, I was nowhere near that carrier. The lock must have been faulty.
Anyhow, that terrifying experience hasn't stopped my parents from letting their cat ride sidecar. (Snookums gets so terrified by his carrier and yowls and yowls!) Although they do make him wear one of those dog seatbelts. And knowing my mother, probably spread newspapers all over the seat.

August 18, 2009 at 11:25 PM  
Blogger Kabbalah Rookie said...

Just because Nicki is unhappy in the pet carrier, doesn't mean she will be happy out of it.
My friend had a mad ginger tom called Sage who was similarly upset with his pet carrier. He escaped from the carrier on the way to the vets, and went berserk, running around the inside of the windows wall-of-death style, spraying crap like a crop sprayer all around the car...
Now try getting THAT out of your soft furnishings.

August 19, 2009 at 6:35 AM  
Blogger CSY said...

If we put cats in a carrier, can we also put our husbands and children in them too?

August 19, 2009 at 9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ummmmmmmmm, because it could go ape shit and start scratching you while driving causing an accident....

August 19, 2009 at 7:27 PM  
Blogger SweetPeaSurry said...

NOTHING and I repeat NOTHING gets out the smell of cat pee, especially in a car. So you're social norm/canibalism theory is secure!!!


August 19, 2009 at 10:25 PM  
Blogger Stimey said...

I've got nothing for you. Mainly because I used to let my cats out of their carriers on long trips. Sorry.

What did you have for dinner? I had roasted hobo.

August 21, 2009 at 7:23 PM  
Blogger Mama Coyote said...

Spending four hours in a car with an unconfined cat made my mom glad she wasn't driving a stick shift - Moses spent the entire trip with his head on her foot. While she drove.

When he wasn't howling, that is.

August 22, 2009 at 6:51 PM  

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