I've mentioned before that Pepper is a perpetually happy cat, especially when you're talking to him, or talking about him, or blogging about him... you get the idea. Being the Alpha Male, he's always been very fastidious about grooming himself, as well as nudging the rest of the family to groom him. Still, in the last few weeks, things had gotten out of hand for this very large, very long-haired cat, and none of us had been able to keep up with the matting that started to form, so we set him up for an appointment with the local groomers a week ago Friday to shave him way down to a "lion's cut".
I had set out in advance the largest cat carrier that we have, and left the door wide open. (Hey, one can always hope, right?) Very surprisingly, at the appointed hour, Pepper had parked himself inside the carrier, facing out, and purring away at the top of his lungs. Presumably, he was also wagging his tail, as he typically does; I didn't actually check. I'm looking at this, and thinking that this is the Easiest Transition Ever. (Usually this process involves two people and much use of claws and jaws.) I simply close and latch the door; Pepper doesn't even blink. Huge carrier, enormous cat, so I don't think twice at the total weight as I quickly lug him out of the house into the car. He continues to purr away as he sticks his little nose out the carrier door into the sunshine and fresh outside air.
I put the carrier into the car. This is still too easy.
Once the car starts rolling, the purrs give way to cries. Understandable. Reasonable. I encourage him with soothing words. The trip's only going to be ten minutes or so. Quick. Easy.
Until I realize that I'm actually hearing two different cries.
Yeah. I had a stowaway. Molly had been in the carrier with Pepper the entire time. He's so large that I never saw her earlier.
I thought about turning around, but realized that, either way, I'd have to move Pepper in order to extract Molly, and if I did this at home, reinserting Pepper was certainly guaranteed to be far less trivial then it had been the first time. So I opted to simply take the both of them all the way to the groomer, where there were then more (human) hands available to help. I also knew that I could get away without a carrier to take Molly back home. (I really don't need one for Pepper, either, except it's for the groomer's benefit, not the cat's, once they get there.)
I should try to get some sleep soon. We're driving in the morning to Brigantine, NJ for the week.