As we continue to grow closer to our departure date we have been worried about how our cat is going to adapt to being on the road full time. Before we moved into the 5th wheel we lived in a large house. She had lots of room to roam but most of the time she sun bathed in the back yard and stayed in the attic of the garage. So not only will the space be an issue, but her protected back yard and garage are now gone as well.
To prepare her for this adventure I bought her a harness and a leash so that she can still go outside and play while on the road safely. We spent everyday for two weeks putting her into it for an hour or so a day. She did not understand that she could walk with it on for some reason though. She would crawl around in the grass, walk backwards, or just not move at all and try and take it off. In a sense the harness will work because the idea is just to keep her close while we are outside boondocking, so at least she will just hang out near us not moving much. Though we hope she is able to get comfortable and get used to it.
Now that we have been in our 5th wheel a few weeks, we have observed some reassuring behaviors from our beloved creature. On moving day she was the very last thing to be moved into our home on wheels. She did not enjoy the short trip and came in quite scared, but we had many familiar things to show her it was our new home. As she checked out the space, seeing her litter box and food and water and toys, we finished putting up a few things and when our attention was brought back to her she had become a magician and vanished. Since our space is so small there was really only one place she could have been and that was she somehow found a way under the bed. Sure enough that’s where we found her. We realize she needed a safe spot and a little time so we knew let her be, but before we went to bed I was worried she might somehow become trapped underneath while we slept so I decided to take her out. When we set her up on the bed she jumped down and sniffed around until she was comfortable and she ended up sleeping on the bed at my feet.
Since then she has been so curious watching out the windows and going outside for short periods of time, even though the street we are staying on is very busy and there are lots of loud scary noises for a cat, she still braves it out and about. I think she is going to feel really comfortable while we boondock in the quiet forests with little to no neighbors. Of course there are still things to worry about out immersed in nature such as other predator animals coyotes and large birds but we intend to keep a close eye on her. Along the way we are going to find small things we can do to make the traveling portion more comfortable for her. And the best thing is though we will be moving a lot, we have a home she knows and is happy in, to always come back to.