Trip to Dazzle Dog is not such a bad day’s work

By Mary K. Hamner
Journal Correspondent

(The following trnslated from a private conversation with RK, the rat killing cat.)

I shoulda knowed somethin was up when the old woman dragged a zebra striped thing out of the trunk of her car. I snuck in to the house when she wasn't looking and watched as she put that thing down, unzipped one side of it, and then sprinkled a handful of Temptation catnip cat treats inside. Admittedly I was somewhat curious and smelled around the outside a bit but I never got inside the thing. I was suspicious and I wondered what was up.

I knew it wasn't time to go back over to see Dr. Bethea. I have that date marked on my calendar and plan on being away, outside in the woods, when that time comes around. Lisa is nice and all but that vet always pokes me with something sharp that's supposed to keep me from going rabid. I don't know what that is. Maybe its like the old woman gets when I sharpen my claws on her furniture or when I catch a bird.

Inside that zebra box is where I went one fateful day. The old woman just grabbed me up, stuffed me inside and then zipped up the hatch. She was mouthing all this gibberish as she put the cage and me onto the back seat of her car. "It's OK", she said. "I've arranged a nice vacation for you at a spa. It's just for a week and it will do you good." Off we went with me exercising my lungs all the way. Meow, meow, meow, I protested, across those endless miles.

The car motor shut down and so did my meowing. I looked out through the zebra stripes and wondered if truly this was what a cat spa looked liked. It was encouraging on the outside with pots of flowers all across the front. It's similar to my yard at home with the flowers and all, but it can't be, I mused. Then I saw the sign out front, Dazzle Dog Boarders, it said. What on earth am I doing here?! "A nice vacation," I mouthed to myself as I heard dogs barking.

In retrospect, that week I spent there changed me, at least for a while. The scene change was good. I experienced different personality types and learned that all dogs aren't necessarily annoyances. They bark a lot but it was fun taunting them when they were caged up and couldn't chase me up a tree. When I was allowed my time to roam around among the other boarders, I got in some much needed socialization with other cats, a few birds, rabbits, just something different from what I am used to at home.

In fact, I came away a changed Manx with a whole new scent. Hairballs, I really didn't know I had so many. Kind hands clipped them all away and I feel lighter when I walk around outside. I liked the two gals in the neighboring condo; in fact I miss them. On my way back home, I only meowed a couple of times, just to be sure that I still had my voice.

When I got the old woman alone at home, I followed her around for a while, meowing along about what a great time I had at Dazzle Dog Boarders.

Change is hard but I think I have begun to appreciate that time at that spa. So, what if its taken a while to sharpen my claws after they were clipped. A few rolls in the sand have helped to form some more hairballs, but I am still having trouble with one thing. After the baths at the spa, I lost my hunting scent. Rats can smell me coming from a mile away.