What My Cat Does When I’m on Vacation

During my latest trip she ate like a horse. She partied with the Style section. And MEOW! MEOW! MEOW!

Michael Leaverton  |  Oct 9th 2012

My family and I recently took a seven-day vacation. We didn’t bring the cat. The cat stayed at home. The cat had a “staycation.” Here’s a little of what the cat did during those 170 hours home alone.

1. She prepared to meow us out of our minds upon our return

Most cats meow when their owners return from vacations — that’s just part of being a cat. It’s their way of saying, “What the hell was that about?” Somewhere along the way our cat decided she was going to meow us out of our minds, because she went at it for more than 24 hours. Our explanations were futile — she was having the last meow. Hundreds of them.

2. She got fleas

My cat, who has never had fleas, got fleas. Did the fleas just waltz in through the door? It seems so. Possibly the fleas were casing the joint before we left and figured they’d have a handful of days on a fresh, entirely innocent cat, unschooled in targeted scratching, before we returned and killed them all. Today I killed them all, via Frontline. I hope some fleas survived and staggered off to warn the queen or whoever that we are not to be messed with. May we have seven more years of peace.

3. She found a new place to nap

Despite the carefully arranged towels and owner-scented shirts we laid on all her favorite spots going back maybe six months, she chose a new chair — a chair she has never napped on, a chair we always warned her against napping on (can’t we have nice fabric?) but nevertheless feel helpless to remove her from now, during these prolonged, luxurious, somewhat accusatory post-vacation naps. The luxuriousness of these naps are a bit galling, actually.

4. She par-tayed

Evidently my cat’s idea of a party is to rip the hell out of seven days of newspapers. It looks like she threw a couple of all-nighters in there, too. She got drunk on print, like Ted Koppel.

5. She decided she loved the All-You-Can-Eat Cat-Sitter Special

Our cat sitter, bless her heart, believes what our cat really needs is round-the-clock access to food, like she’s an 18-year-old water polo player instead of a 7-year-old cat readying herself for a nap. GOD FORBID the bowl is empty when the cat is home alone, is what my cat sitter thinks. That stopped when we returned and reinstigated the half-scoop. Now when she wanders up to her food bowl at any old time she is shocked, just dumfounded, that it’s empty. It’s sort of priceless.