It has been cold and windy in the desert and when the weather is not conducive to playing outdoors, Callie is forced to stay inside and she becomes restless. When this happens, I have to get creative and come up with activities that will engage her so she doesn’t keep me up all night. Going on a car ride around De Anza Desert Golf Course is just what the doctor ordered, so we loaded her up and off we went at a blazing speed of 10 miles per hour. She was able to hang out the window the entire ride and loved every minute of it. There was no one around and no cars behind us so we never sped up and she got the ride of a lifetime. Callie loves to sit in my lap and stand up on occasion and drop both front paws over the window. I hold onto the leash and harness and she puts her weight on one leg and then the other in a cute little happy dance of joy. I love driving in the car with her because she is so enthralled with the sights and sounds that pass her by and it makes you feel happy for her. Michael is kind enough to be our chauffeur and indulges both Callie and me so that I can take photographs of her. It took us 40 minutes to drive around the entire course and she was very tired when we got home. She has been sleeping ever since…
Most people that have a dog know that dogs love to go on car rides and hang their heads out the window and take in the sights, sounds and intoxicating smells that wiz past them effortlessly. The wind blowing through their fur and the smells rushing by are heaven to a dog. Well Callie loves it too, and if you don’t go too fast, she hangs out the window as far as I will allow her. I have her harness and leash attached and hold on to one back leg for good measure because she would love to hang out of the window even farther. She closes her eyes and inhales the lovely scents of the desert and relishes the sunshine and breeze blowing past her. There are few cars on the road and we can go slowly and let her enjoy herself without feeling rushed. It is a treat for all three of us and if I ask her if she wants to go for a car ride, she jumps up on the table to be snapped into her harness and off we go. People get a kick out of seeing a cat hanging out the window and Callie gets a kick out of them too. It is a lovely way to spend an afternoon.
I mentioned in my introduction, that Callie was a runaway and adopted me when she was about 3 years old. Her estimated age is about 9 now as I have had the pleasure of getting to know her for the past 6 years. She spotted my husband Michael, and daughter, Lara and myself, standing by the front door one morning and she decided right then and there, that we were going to take excellent care of her and she was going to stay no matter what. I have to let you know that I had put my Jack Russel Terrier down several months earlier and I was still grieving and in no mood to attend to a cat. If you survive raising a Jack Russel from puppyhood and into adulthood, and you somehow maintain an alpha status, you are smitten for life with these incredibly bright and obnoxious dogs. They take over your life and you will never be the same for having experienced it. Miss Adelaide was about the most incredible dog I have ever had the honor of raising and there wasn’t anything she was afraid of except thunder and lightening. I had always imagined that if I were to get another animal, it would be another terrier and probably another Jack Russel. So, along comes this cat and I did everything to locate her owners short of making one up. We posted notices everywhere and I sincerely hoped someone would answer my call for help in finding her, her home. She was too darn cute to be a stray but I did not want a cat. No one answered my ad and after several weeks, I decided to go ahead and recluctanly keep her. A year later, the previous owners actually stopped by one day to tell me her story. Her name was Dora, and she was incredibly difficult to raise and they were tired of her running out the door whenever a door was opened. When they noticed that she seemed happy and content with me, they decided to say something but they made it clear that they didn’t want her back. Well, Callie has proven me wrong about wanting another dog and I sometimes feel like she is trying to act like a Jack Russel Terrier. One time, two local brazen tom cats made the mistake of walking through our front door, and when I ran out to chase them away, here comes Callie in all her fury, and she doesn’t just chase them out the door, she goes after them, screaming her head off and doesn’t stop until they are a block away. The front yard boundary wasn’t nearly far enough for her. The look on her face when she charged the tom cats was priceless and when she returned to the yard, she had this little swagger and her tail was held high and she practically pranced back into the house. Needless to say, those two cats never bothered her again. Tom cats have frequently developed a crush on her and she will have nothing to do with them. You can see the look in their eyes when she saunteres by with that cute little rear -end of hers and her darling brown and black spot on her back legs leave them weak in the kness. It doesn’t matter, she can’t stand even the sight of a cat from a safe distance and finds their presence deplorable. She loves dogs though and when she is walking on her leash, dogs will come up to her and she grandly sits down and waits for them to approach with caution. Dogs seem a little stunned at seeing a cat on a leash and I always make sure to watch their body language before letting them come too close. Then they touch noses and the dogs inevitably start to do the wiggle and waggle and she silences their over enthusiastic tail wagging with one raise of a paw. They must have good manners and move with grave solemnity to stay in her presence. When the greeting is over the dogs look like they are trying to figure out what the hell just happened and Callie looks like she is holding royal court. Callie has proven me wrong about being a dog person, and now I can’t imagine life without her. She is game for any adventure as long as I appear confident and curious. She is almost a therapy cat for me when it comes to social situations. She has brought a lot of joy to my life and I will be forever grateful that I have a cat that thinks she is a dog!
Due to the fact that I can’t let Callie run loose in the back yard unattended because of coyotes, I have found it necessary to come up with adventures in the afternoon to entertain her. She loves riding with me in a backpack while I bike, hikes with me in a front loading pack when we go on walks, and her favorite adventure of all, are car rides in the afternoon, exploring Anza Borrego State Park and Borrego Springs. She loves riding in the car and looking out the window! If you don’t drive too fast, she can keep her eyes open and take in the sites, smell the creosote and sage and bliss out with the wind gently blowing through her fur. If you drive too fast, it makes her ears tickle and her eyes water, and she will sit back down in my lap. I make sure to hold on to her back leg or the strap when she has her harness on because there are times when she really wants to hang all the way out! It took several attempts to get her use to the car but once she relaxed, there was no going back.