The day came in June when my friend Stephanie came over to help me pick up Ziggy. She had a friend who did pet grooming, so, for a birthday present, she arranged to have Ziggy groomed before we took him home. You can imagine: a longhaired cat, out on his own for 16 months. Yes, he was filthy.
It was a hot day for June in the Pacific Northwest. Sweet Stephanie had taken the afternoon off work--and as a Microsoft contractor, she was making a sacrifice because she was paid by the hour. She also brought her pet carrier. We went to E&L's house. L invited us in. Her daughter was home from school, and they made ice cream sodas with club soda--a novel concept to me. I'd always made them with 7 up or coke or rootbeer--and in fact, you really don't need the extra sugar, believe it or not. I know, absolutely revolutionary.
We sat in their backyard and savored the ice cream sodas. (I was getting the feeling that Stephanie was eager to hit the road, but nobody had said anything, so there we were.) Ziggy was a friendly kitty, so he came over and flopped in the shade next to us. His ears perked up when we mentioned his name. L said, "He knows we're talking about him."
So, all stealthy like, we scooped him up and plopped him into the carrier and set it in the backseat of the car. Then Stephanie and I set out for parts unknown. Well, she knew where we were going. Way far away. Long way away. Past Fall City, if you can imagine. In fact, somewhere around Fall City, we both wrinkled our noses and asked, "What's that smell?" Of course you KNOW what it was. Poor Ziggy had pooped in the carrier. Uh oh.
After about an hour, we got to where we were going. Unfortunately, driving up the driveway, we met Stephanie's friend leaving in her pickup truck. Turned out she had a massage appointment.
So we got out. Hosed down the carrier with the garden hose. Tried to clean the poor guy up. He'd peed himself too by that point. We put him in the grooming room and waited. And waited. We waited about three hours, until after dark, as a matter of fact. I had to pee so bad, I'm squirming just thinking about it. The weather had been hot when the sun was out, but it sure turned cold after the sun went down. Finally, she came back. Filled up the sink with warm sudsy water. Put the poor cat in up to his neeck and gave him a bath.
We put him back in the carrier and cranked up the heat because he was soaking wet. Grabbed a burger in Fall City and finally got to pee. "Poor Ziggy," said Stephanie. "This is the worst day of your life, isn't it?" In reply, he peed himself again. So we got him home, Stephanie (God bless her!) took off, and I hauled him upstairs and gave him another bath in the tub. I wrapped him in a towel, showed him the food and the litterbox, and set him on the bed. He shook the towel off, jumped down to the floor, and hid under the bed. He didn't come out for two days. And believe me, I was checking the litterbox to be sure.