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"Pet Day" (or more cat humiliation)

May 29, 2013 - Jennifer Brookens
After reviewing some of the more recent cat entries, I'm sure this morning's escapades will add fuel to our own Grumpy Cat's fire...

For Fairmont Area public schools, it's the last week of school, which are chock full of special events and activities. It started with me finding a fishing pole that had eight years worth of dust bunnies built up on it yesterday, to today's "Pet Day."

Yes, you can imagine the hijinx. And I put myself and my beloved fat cat right in the center of it.

Out of all three of my goofy cats, Tacky seemed the best one to handle an audience of adoring children. However, to avoid any runaway instances, I had to get a harness and leash. The leash we had already, but the cat harness we had was too small. We ended up going with a medium-dog sized harness that once on Tacky seemed just a little snug...

"A little?!" my husband exclaimed to my "snug" observation as the poor cat ballooned out below the harness.

The cat hated the harness and was even more resistant with the leash attached. Had to bribe him with a little food and catnip to quit scratching at it. Then this morning, he hissed at me when I put it on. I can't really blame him. Then came the carrier, which took some more bribing and simply squishing him down into the duffel-bag like cat carrier as I zipped him in. Once at school, I had to carry this heavy load over to the playground. Fortunately, my daughter and a few of her friends saw us, and helped take turns carrying him.

Both the boys and girls were so excited to see Tacky. Tacky was just excited at a chance to escape. Sure enough, my daughter had a light hold on his leash and he dragged her halfway across the playground. Her teacher and I gave chase, and the rest of the class roared with laughter. However, Tacky's endurance isn't what it used to be and as soon as he reached the sidewalk, he flopped down into a mud puddle. Attempts to walk him back with the leash were Not happening; we would have had better luck with the leash on a tree! So the teacher picked up his front, I picked up his backside, and we both trotted Tacky back to the children. I held his leash while my daughter told the class about all his antics, such as breaking into the food cabinet, how he got his name, and his two "sibling" cats at home. I know Tacky would've made another break for it, but his leash was just long enough for him to walk in a circle so all the children had a chance to pet him. He allowed it; resigned to his fate. But the dour face he had showed he was less than thrilled. By the time the next animal showed up, he had a coating of white fur flying all over, which I'm sure caught the attention of the dog that came over next. But I was fortunate enough to have wrestled Tacky back into his carrying bag again by that time.

And for those of you who think I have a mean streak for putting my cat through this... well, maybe I do. But I was kind enough to take him right back home afterward, and once home the leash and harness came off right away, and he got a whole can (that's right, a Whole Can!) of cat food. He only ate half. (So maybe the diet is working?) He also got a bonus dash of catnip for being a good kitty. I left him happily rolling around on the kitchen floor, as I went out to invest in several heavy-duty lint rollers.


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Tacky takes center stage during "Pet Day" for my daughter's third grade class.