Cohabitating with a nocturnal cat in a 24ft Class C RV can be an ideal situation, that is until it is not. But the advantage of having a cat over a dog, for instance, is that you can leave them unattended for most of the day and they don’t bark and bother the neighbors. Cats also do not have to be taken out for potty walks because the litter box can easily fit into a corner of the RV. We keep Callie’s in the shower in the bathroom, and this works out perfectly. I do have to cover up the leather seats with towels and that doesn’t exactly go with my choice of decor, but it is a small price to pay for enjoying her company and not having the seats scratched up. If a cat will take to traveling as Callie has done, they can provide you with lots of fodder for storytelling and they usually aren’t as much work as a dog. Readers may argue the point either way, but because I adopted Callie as a stray after having put my beloved but aging Jack Russel down, it is even more bittersweet to be defending her as a good RV companion.
The disadvantages with cats over dogs are that cats are nocturnal, and every once in a great while if Callie has been left alone for too long, she stays awake all night and tries to come up with things to entertain herself throughout the long and dreary hours. Running up and down the hallway and springboarding up to the loft gives her a great deal of pleasure when she jolts us both wide awake with a heart-stopping thud. This seems to be one of her favorite tricks because of the sheer drama of seeing our reaction. But the game she prefers more than anything else is to beat up the area rugs at pre-dawn with as much noise and drama as is possible.
I have always discouraged her from sharpening her claws on the furniture, so grasping the heavy-duty cotton rugs, with all claws extended, provides her with the sensation of killing a substantially large-sized animal as she pummels it with her back legs and embraces the poor thing tightly in a death grip with her front paws. Callie loves to make a dash for a singled out rug as if it is her chosen prey and doesn’t stop disemboweling it until her teeth have sunk deep into the nape of the fabric and all signs of life have been extinguished. The morning after attacking the rugs, I find them all scattered about and bunched up and tossed to the side of the hallway like an antelope that a lion has killed during the night. The two of us solemnly survey the damage she has done and try not to crack too big of a smile or belt out a laugh. She looks up at us then to see our reaction and seems quite proud of herself as she struts back to bed with her tail raised high in the air.
We would much rather that she take out her aggression and energy on the rugs than jumping up to the loft and on our heads. And because Callie seems so satisfied with herself after a night of battle, we are grateful that she has found an activity that suits her and doesn’t destroy the RV in the meantime. Michael and I really love traveling with her and wouldn’t change a thing except for maybe excessive shedding, vomiting up hairballs and just a few other minor inconveniences….. But like I said, minor issues, and who is counting anyways.
So, after several years of hitting the road and being confined to such a small space together, we three have worked out most of the pros and cons of nomadic life and couldn’t be happier with the arrangement. When she enthusiastically jumps up on the dash just as soon as the motor starts up and takes her rightful place as co-navigator and road warrior, she settles down between the two of us to begin our travels with Callie adventures. My heart just beams with pride then, for having rescued this incredible little creature, and for giving her a life of meaning and purpose and high jinx and adventure. With all of that in mind, just who rescued who would be a fair question to ask yourself!