I have always dreamed of harness training a cat. I love the idea of a dog and being able to take him on walks, hikes, day trips, just being able to bond and take him ultimately anywhere. When I found Malloy he seemed like the most easy-going cat and upon bringing him home, he seemed to adjust to new situations seamlessly. Within the first week of Malloy being home I had him in the harness and he was galloping and playing all around the house in it. It seemed like a dream.
He was adjusting much quicker than I had expected. Going back to something his foster mom said the day we got him was that he had escaped from her house a couple times and seemed very curious about going outside. She seemed to think he was an outdoor cat at his previous residence before being abandoned due to his behavior and curiosity about going outside. This was another indication to me that maybe he would be a dream harness kitty.
He got comfortable wearing the harness and leash inside the house which indicated to us that he might be ready to go outside. I think I was caught up in a dream of having this amazing boy home because I clearly didn’t think this next move through. We put the harness and leash on my newly-home three-year old kitty and carried him outside. He was very calm in my arms (as usual) and did amazing until I put him on the ground. He immediately started bucking like a bronco, I could feel things getting out hand quickly and pleaded for Dan or my friend who was visiting from NH, Brooke, to help but it was too late. Malloy had managed to slip out of the harness and was tearing around the apartment complex. He leaded towards the left side of the building where Dan and Brooke chased him. I ran inside for treats and tried to trap him at he came screaming around the side of the building and towards the parking lot. The chase went on for what felt like hours when all of a sudden I see Malloy take off over the fence separating the apartment complex from Quail Ridge Townhomes next door. Dan takes off over the fence after him and Brooke runs down the fence then proceeds to jump over. I ran inside for keys, a phone and real shoes. What felt like a half hour passed by when I called Dan and he informed me that Malloy was trapped under a bench in the complex next door. I grabbed a crate and jumped in the car.
After getting Malloy home he marched out of his crate and strolled into the bedroom as if nothing had happened. He slept for a while then came out for snuggles, food and play time. He has shown interest in the door since the incident and I panic every time I think about the front door opening, but I’m trying to come to peace with the situation and make changes for the future. It is hard to believe that he has only been home for THREE weeks, it feels like he’s been here for a lifetime. Sometimes I have to keep reminding myself that he’s still new here and that there’s a lot of trust that needs to be gained between the two of us.
My next plan may very well be my craziest yet and will require a lot of courage and dedication, but I am excited and ready. Details coming soon.