Perched in a screaming death grip on top of the backseats, between the two head protectors, a luscious, blue-eyed, seal-point Siamese expresses his terror-filled discomfort. “Tuna,” the woman seated in the front passenger seat of the blue Volkswagen Beetle gently coos. “Tuna, come down here. Just come here.” She retrieves a treat from the bag of cat-related paraphernalia. Bribes of food are ignored. She of all people knows that appetites fade when faced with fear. “Try the blanket,” the male driver suggests. From the backseat, she pulls out the cat’s favorite plushy red, fleece blanket. “Hey Littles, look what I found,” she offers while making a show of putting the blanket on her lap. Intrigue settles over the cat as its howling meows of fear are supplanted by trills of dissatisfaction.
The cat hops down from the top of the backseat and makes his way to her. “Good boy. That’s better,” she congratulates. “See, not so scary down here.” Ducked and crawling, the cat slithers through the two front seats, onto her lap. She pets the cat between the ears and gives him a full side-body rubdown. “Oh my god. I think he’s sweating,” she observes. “Well, yea. I’m pretty sure he thought he was going to die,” the driver acknowledges. “There you go. That’s better,” the woman consoles. The cat begins to knead the blanket on her lap. “Good boy, Littles,” the man pets.
Eventually, the cat settles down into a comfortable ball on her lap. On the floor in front of her sits the cat’s favorite hat box. “Set him in there so he’ll feel safe,” the man points. “Yea, alright,” the woman begrudgingly agrees. Wrapping the cat snugly up with the red blanket, she gently moves the cat to the box. “Alright, Littles. Stay calm. We’re just going to visit Pati for a little visit,” she whispers. The cat meows in desperation but remains curled up in the box. The man starts the ignition, “Here we go, Buddy.” Crying now, the woman attempts to push back sobs.