Chapter 27 - We
Move to Colorado
We have done it. We've brought all 5 cats and the dog across
country from West Virginia to Colorado. We had a scare with Ripley,
but all worked out well.
We left in the middle of the horrible midwest/northeast heat
wave. We started with Paul in one car with Buck, Beck, and Ripley
in the carriers and Willow in the dog crate. I took Homer and
Riley Dawg in the Beetle. We made FREQUENT stops to clean carriers
as Buck and Ripley let their nerves express themselves through
What we didn't count on was how relentless the heat was and how
little air conditioning reaches the back of a hatchback car and
how much heat builds up under the glass even when the glass is
darkened. We stopped to clean the carriers again and Ripley was
soaked (urine and sweat?) and panting heavily. We quickly moved
Willow over to the Beetle and left that AC on high while we tended
to Ripley. We got her cleaned up, put Beck, Buck, and Ripley in
the wire dog crate, opened the car doors for a breeze, and left
the AC on high. I was really frightened that Ripley was going
to die and we weren't near a city to rush her to a vet. We finally
got her cooled and some water in her and I calmed down.
The dog crate worked out very well and there were no more near
disasters although I felt guilty for not realizing what a dangerous
situation we put the cats in. Please, don't any of you underestimate
the dangers of heat and cars. We got them to the motel room fairly
early, fed and watered them all, and kept them cool. There were
no problems with Homer and Willow interacting with the Morgantown
cats. They all kept their distance.
Homer, Willow, Riley, and I traveled the last 1200 miles in the
New Beetle, with all of them getting along great, competing to
see who could take up the most room on my lap. Poor Riley usually
ended up on the bottom, having his 7 1/2 pounds being squashed
by 18 pounds total of cats! Willow developed a fondness for riding
on the dashboard, on the far right, staring at anyone we passed.
Homer liked to get on the dash right in front of me anytime we
stopped. Very helpful.
We're letting the cats have the run of the house and they can
go out on the upper deck with supervision. We took Buck and Beck
out to the deck leashed first but they quickly progressed to no
leashes. No more outdoor roaming. Too many predators here on Genesee
Mountain. There have been a few hisses and avoidance but all the
cats are getting along fine, much to my relief. Having 5 cats
and a dog in one house is certainly a chore, especially with different
diets, etc. Too many, truthfully, but everyone is staying!
Dad Cat the first day
Ripley and Buck (leashed)
sunning on the upper deck.
Homer helps air out the
August 27, 2001
Homer has gotten very aggressive the last several days. He has
been attacking Beck, Buck and Ripley to the point I have had to
break it up. Poor Buck has been hiding in the back room under
the bed for 2 days. Beck is very nervous and got in bed with me
this morning, clawing, crying, and clinging for about an hour.
Homer trapped Buck and Ripley in our bathroom this morning, attacking
them. Buck got in the tub but Ripley tried to stand her ground.
I had to chase Homer off. Ripley has a big bleeding spot on her
shoulder that I am afraid is a bite from Homer. I cleaned it with
peroxide but was so upset I put Homer outside, in front, feeling
that I didn't care if a coyote or mountain lion ate him or if
he just ran off. I felt that if Ripley gets AIDS from this bite,
I would kill Homer. After about 15 minutes, I got Homer, just
as he was racing to the front door with a dog barking at him.
I can't really blame Homer as it is most likely that the AIDS
has affected his brain so badly. But if he is going to start attacking
all the animals, I don't know what to do. Homer looks so scary
with that bright red eye and although he has gained weight, he
still looks weird although I can't say exactly why. He is sick
and I feel awful when I yell at him but he is endangering the
lives of the other four cats. I think I will close him in a separate
Poor, poor Ripley.