Myrtle the Hellbeast has gone back to the pet store, hopefully to be adopted very quickly by someone who falls in love with her and doesn’t mind that she screams for no apparent reason and scares the bejeebers out of you several times a day.

I put on her cage card that she might be better “in a household with younger cats”, but judiciously left off the “so she can bully them and they’ll do whatever she tells them to instead of standing up to her”.

It took me forever to get her into the cat carrier. Unlike Spanky, who can sense from the other side of the house that you’re thinking about looking at the cat carrier sometime in the next week and who can find the most impossible hiding spaces so that you never never find him until you’re standing at the doorway to the room where you last saw him, saying “Where could he have gone? He’s not in here, I tore the room apart and he’s nowhere to be found!” and then he appears in the middle of the room somehow, Myrtle has a healthy respect for the cat carrier, but as long as she’s not too close to it, she doesn’t fear it.

Or I guess I should say that unless you’re actively trying to cram her into the carrier, she’s fine with the existence of the carrier.

So I picked her up and headed for the carrier. I’d opened the top of the carrier so I could just drop her in it, lock the top, and be on our way.

Except that when I leaned over to drop her into the carrier, she went all starfish on me, and no matter how much I struggled, I couldn’t get her into it, and then she flailed around and being that she’s not a small cat (I think her insides are made of lead) I couldn’t keep my grip on her and she went flying across the kitchen, down the hallway, and upstairs.

I swore loudly. Here I was, not particularly wanting to take the cat to the pet store (though she really had worn out her welcome with the screaming) and especially not wanting to have to chase her around to force her into the carrier.

I went upstairs and started searching for her, starting with under the spud’s bed, which is where she first hid all the time when we initially let her and Joe Bob out of the room we were keeping them in. She wasn’t in there, wasn’t in the guest bedroom, wasn’t in the cat room.

“Where’d she go?” I asked Sugarbutt, who seemed to be under the impression that it was Snackin’! Time! and if he followed me around long enough I’d stop this foolishness and give him a Snackin’! Time! snack. Sugarbutt seemed to neither know nor care where Myrtle was, just looked up at me with big hopeful eyes. We walked into my bedroom, and saw that she was hanging out in the middle of the floor batting a toy mouse around. Apparently in the 90 seconds between the time she ran off and the time I found her, she’d completely forgotten what was going on.

She meowed up at me, then rolled over onto her back.

I went into the guest bedroom, where we had one of the carriers, carried it into the bedroom where Myrtle was, and put it in the middle of the floor, expecting her to run, maybe hide under the bed or in the bathroom behind the toilet.

She looked at me, looked at the carrier, and kept batting at the toy mouse.

I picked her up, carried her over to the carrier, and tried to shove her in the front. She became entirely liquid somehow, and flowed through my fingers and across the room, ending up under the bed.

I said sternly yet kindly, “Sweet baby, I know you don’t want to get in the carrier, but you’re GONNA!”

From her spot under the bed, she appeared to disagree.

I stood and thought about it for a moment, headed for the bedside table to grab a can of compressed air, then came up with a brilliant idea. Myrtle, you see, is a sucker for the laser. She loves to chase the little red dot around, even if you (FRED) make her run around in circle after circle until she’s dizzy. So I got the laser pointer out and Myrtle came running out when she saw the little red dot and I had her do a few laps around the room, then pointed the light into the carrier, and like a big sucker she went halfway in the carrier and stared at the little red dot.

I ran over and pushed on her butt, knowing that she’d go the rest of the way into the carrier and I could shut the door and this story would be over.

Except that she liquified once again and reappeared on the other side of the room, giving me hurt looks of “I said I didn’t want to go IN the carrier, why are you being mean to me?”

A total of three more times I ran her halfway into the carrier and tried to push her in, and every time, no matter how suddenly I pushed her or how hard, she liquified and appeared elsewhere.

Finally, SICK AND TIRED OF THIS, I ran the laser light up the side of the bed, and she jumped up onto the bed, and I grabbed her firmly by the scruff of the neck. She went limp and motionless, and I carried her over to the carrier, shut the front door of the carrier, opened the top door, and dropped her in (though she did kick out one of her hind legs in a starfish attempt) and then shut the top of the carrier.

And then I felt like a jerk because she meowed very, very sadly as I carried the carrier downstairs, out to the car, drove to the pet store, set up her cage, gave her some love, and put her in the cage. She immediately went into the litter box to hide.

I wonder if I’ll ever get to the point where I don’t feel like a complete jerk for taking cats to the pet store and putting them in cages.

(The only reason, by the way, that Joe Bob didn’t go to the pet store is because there weren’t enough cages.)

Y’all send happy adoption thoughts to Myrtle, would you? I think she’d make someone a great pet. Maybe someone who’s a little hard of hearing.

* * *

But of course. Why NOT hang out in the trash can and sniff the wall? What do you do with YOUR days?

Harbl: Aired.
Mission: Accomplished.


2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.

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