I knew what was happening. The packing, the loading, the busy energy that are tell-tale signs that my human Deb and that darned dog Lily would be leaving. Once again I'd be home alone. From my spot on the stairs I watched and waited for them to go and leave me behind with no fun to be had except brief visits from my other human friends to break the monotony. How come Lily always gets to go and I don't? Not fair!
Imagine my surprise when Deb leaned down and said "Hugo, it's time for you to come to The Cottage with us. I think you'll like it!" And before I knew what was happening I was stuffed in that awful box called a Cat Carrier and then into the car. I was NOT amused.
It felt like we were in the car for a really long time, and for much of that the entire car was inside a huge metal thing that made horrible noises and smelled even worse. But eventually we arrived. We were at that fabled place that Lily always said was her absolute favourite - with big trees full of twittering birds, and a field of tall grass and wildflowers, and where she gets to play ball all day and go for walks to a wet place called The Beach (that part sounds unpleasant to me). We were at The Cottage.
Deb was right. I DID like it. Some of our stuff was there, like the mat I used to sleep on in front of the fireplace in our old house.
There were great places to sleep: a bed just like at home...
... and a sofa-thing with a really nice picture hanging over it. For some reason Deb laughed when she saw me lying below it.
And she laughed even harder when she took this picture of me lying on the old throw that covers another sofa-thing. Deb said it's an heirloom but I don't know what that means. I simply thought it made a nice soft place for a nap. Don't know what was so funny about that.
Because The Cottage is smaller than our regular house and we were On Holiday, Deb said the rules could be overlooked. I was allowed to climb around and hang out anywhere I liked, even on tables and kitchen counters. I get in trouble for that at home.
There were lots of crawly things to chase - spiders and moths and ants and you name it. I particularly enjoyed energetic games of Chase the Bug around 4 o'clock each morning, just before dawn. For some reason Deb didn't seem happy about that. Silly Lily didn't even wake up. All she cares about is chasing her stupid ball all day and to do that she needs her rest.
But what I really wanted to do was go outside. I watched Deb and Lily out in the yard and wondered why I couldn't be with them. Deb says that 200-million birds are killed by cats every year in Canada, and there's no way I'm going to make that number 200-million-and-one. She also says that I'll live a longer, healthier life if I stay indoors. I can understand these are good reasons and figured I had just better be happy chasing those spiders and moths.
Then a surprising thing happened. Deb brought out a stringy gizmo that she called a harness. When she put it on me if felt kinda weird but wearing it meant I could go outside! I had trouble getting the hang of it and I was pretty nervous, but it was fun in a scary sort of way. Deb said it was impossible to take my picture and hang onto the leash so she didn't get a photograph of me but I know I looked great. The yellow colour of the harness brought out my eyes.
After that we tried something else: Deb put me in Lily's big crate so I could sit in it out on the front porch. Now that was really fun! I could smell the air and hang out with Deb and Lily, and I felt safe. I could see lots of birds all around in the trees. After that, every day around 5 o'clock I'd climb in the crate and wait for Deb to take me outside. It became our routine.
I like home but I can't wait for our next trip to The Cottage. Lily feels just the same.