Camping with Sophie the Adventure Cat
As I mentioned in Monday’s post about Sophie’s new pet sling, we took her on a camping trip this past weekend! My husband and I, along with his parents, went to Little Ocmulgee State Park in Georgia for the weekend for their family reunion. We decided to bring Sophie along with us because she loves adventures (past adventures: boat ride, outdoor concert), and she loves people. Also, I thought it would be good for her to be around a bunch of new people in preparation for her upcoming therapy cat visits.
Friday afternoon we packed the car, left the other kitties at home with a sitter (none of them would have enjoyed the camping trip), and hit the road. Though the car ride wasn’t very long, only an hour and a half, Sophie sure was ready to get out of her carrier and start exploring as soon as we arrived! My husband’s parents brought their dog Ellie as well, so Sophie had a friend to explore with. Luckily we had two lead lines, which we attached to a metal pole at the camp site, and then hooked Sophie and Ellie up so they couldn’t stray too far.
*In these photos, the leads are hard to see, but they are both attached so they can’t wander off.
The first night in the camper was rough – Sophie was not a fan of the strange environment. She spent most of the night wandering around and crying, looking for her brothers and sisters. Needless to say, neither of us slept much. (The second night she did much better!)
Saturday morning was when the real fun began! Sophie got to put her new “pocket” to the test. We went on a morning walk around the camp to see the sights before going to the family reunion.
Naturally, we got lots of weird looks from other people, but we also had several people come up and ask to pet Sophie. She enjoyed every minute. She loves attention, so she never minded the strangers petting her, and she enjoyed the outdoors. She was so relaxed and comfortable, she even fell asleep a couple of times.
Then it was time for the family reunion. It got off to a little bit of a rough start – not because Sophie wasn’t enjoying it, but because of how a few people reacted to her. I let her out of her sling and hooked her up to her lead so she could explore, and of course, the first thing people noticed was her funny walk. I explained that she has cerebellar hypoplasia and what that means – that it doesn’t bother her, that she doesn’t know any different, that she loves life and is one of the happiest cats I’ve ever known. That didn’t stop a few from making comments like, “She’s pitiful” or “Poor cat.” However, after about half an hour, all of their opinions took a 180 degree turn. They saw how much fun Sophie was having, and they were all taking pictures of her and wanting to hold and love on her. At the end of the reunion, they all thanked me for bringing her and for letting them play with her.
Seeing how much joy Sophie brought to a crowd of strangers made me even more excited to start her therapy cat visits. I just know that she will bring lots of love and happiness to the residents of the local nursing home and children’s hospital.
All in all, the camping trip was a huge success! Sophie missed her fursibs though – she was so excited to see them when we got home. At dinner after we got home on Sunday, Bobby and I put the other cats up in the office (they can’t be out at our meal times or else they steal our food right off our plates – Sophie gets to stay out because she can’t jump up on the table). Sophie immediately began crying and running back and forth between the office door and the kitchen. As soon as we let them back out, she calmed down. They missed her too – brothers Sampy and Caster gave her the bath of a lifetime when we got back! MOL! Fursib love – so sweet 🙂