A pet owner’s greatest fear | For Animal Lovers

I typically don’t post two cat articles consecutively but this event was so traumatic that it needed to be written!

There are a few things pet owners fear. One is having a pet get ill in the middle of the night when nothing is open. Another is an attack by a wild critter. For me the greatest fear has always been that my cat would get out of his carrier to or from the vet.

This happened last week. We have a very large sturdy plastic crate for our large semi-sturdy old cat. We had a successful visit and on the way out, as the beloved husband put him in the back of our minivan, Jake got out of the crate. I turned around to see him standing on the back deck with the gate wide open.

It’s not clear that I was breathing. I yelled to the beloved husband to close the gate. Fortunately, Jake was stunned and did not jump out of the car. He could have easily jumped and disappeared into the back field. Perhaps a younger Jake would have been tempted. There was no way to get him back into the carrier in the car so I ended up holding him for the drive home. What a production.

He wiggled and squirmed and yelled but I knew that if I left him go, he would go under the driver’s feet and possibly cause an accident. It was a wild ride home.

I have heard horror stories of this happening. Somehow the latch must not have caught properly and a cat bump dislodged it. A terrified cat in a strange area is hard to catch. Most house cats do not have the survival skills necessary to provide for themselves after years of being fed and pampered. Add age and diabetes and you have a diagnosis for disaster.

Before anyone else makes the vet trip, I am going to invest in a snug bungee cord to go around the carrier as an added safety feature and also look into a different style that would be safer. To all my animal friends out there, I am all ears if you have suggestions.

This turned out well but my heart got a workout it didn’t need!

18 thoughts on “A pet owner’s greatest fear | For Animal Lovers

  1. SCARY!!! Glad he stayed still. We had a couple of cats that traveled happily under the driver’s seat or on a blanket. But not RC. She’d bolt before you could blink. Crate jail with bungees – and door grate secured with wire ties. Ugly but effective.

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  2. Thank goodness he didn’t jump! Just the thought had me scared.
    I found the world’s best vet a few years ago. He comes to my place because my dog refuses to go to him, crazy pampered little thing.

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  3. Glad Jake is OK.

    Tigger always rides on my lap in the car . . . on a big pillow . . . with his nose pressed up against the side window. He’s traveled that way for thousands of miles ~ from MD to FL, from FL to MD, and from MD to FL. He’s leash trained so he gets out with us at rest stops to wander around and terrorize small dogs. 😉

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  4. Our carriers were sturdy enough to endure two felines being transported from New York to Florida when we moved here in 1999. Our worry was when we released them from the carrier into our hotel room and one crawled up under the bed. Nerve wracking. But we got her out – no harm done.
    So glad Jake didn’t escape and you got him safely home.

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    • Wow! I would be a wreck traveling with them. It’s amazing where they can hide. One time Hazel got under the vet’s radiator. Next time we went there, she had a grate installed so I guess Hazel wasn’t the only one.

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  5. What a terrifying experience! We’ve been making a lot of vet visits lately so we finally got rid of our plastic carrier and got the mesh duffle bag type. It has zippers and velcro over the tops of the zippers. I’m so glad Jake was too stunned to make a break for it.

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  6. How we do suffer for our critters because we love them so. Glad you and Jake survived this ordeal of the half-hearted escape and the return home to comfort and safety. I’ll bet you both collapsed when you got there!

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