Funny you should ask that question. If you’ve read my blog before I hope you read “What crazy, unbelievable thing have you done for love”? (9/15/2020) In it I introduced our daughter’s cat named Meatball. An American Short-Haired cat. A black cat. Like the black cat people used to cross the road to get away from or refer to as a Halloween cat.
In many ways Meatball is a therapy animal for our daughter. She calms her anxiety and has certainly made her happier. When we went to a youth football game that our great-nephew was playing in and his sister was cheering for his team at. Meatball went with us.
Have you ever seen a cat at a football game? No? No one here ever had either!
From the reactions we got I can safely say a cat in the stadium gets a lot of attention. Kids wanted to pet her (and I must also say they all asked before they petted Meatball). Adults did double takes. Adults also made those just out of ear shot comments. “A cat? Who brings a cat to a football game?” (Do people really believe you can’t hear those snide remarks?)
Us, that’s who. We’re the people who bring a cat to a football game.
Meatball, is a very sensitive cat and didn’t find the game amusing at all. Our daughter is training her cat to be comfortable with being on a leash. If you picture a black cat walking regally out front of us, think again.
Meatball doesn’t yet grasp the idea that she can walk ahead or beside of one of us. Instead she rises up on the very tips of her claws and if they were metal, you’d see sparks coming off the asphalt. Carrying Meatball is still a better option if you don’t want people to think you’re abusing a cat.
The leash does keep her from disappearing when she decides to attempt to skirt away. Many of Meatball’s skirting away moments occurred each time a referee blew their whistles, or the crowd cheered and shouted. A leash only let her get so far.
Her anxiety level combined with the chill in the air caused her to tremble. Cat Mommy went to get a blanket from the car. I held her while trying to avoid her instinctive action to dig her claws into me preparing to climb around my head and launch off my back.
This one football game experience seemed to disturb her appetite too. She had no interest in anything that anyone had in their hands to eat. At home she will sit and stare at you, begging for a bite. Not at a football game no matter how cute our very youngest great-niece looked offering her a nibble.
The longest period of time Meatball was absolutely calm and still was when Cat Mommy had our youngest niece and the cat in her lap sitting on the asphalt. Meatball and Maddie were nearly lulled into a nap but then the whistle was blown and the crowd was noisy. Maddie went toddling off to Mommy and Meatball tried to escape under the bleachers.
The rain started to dribble and drip and we decided to leave since loading and unloading my manual wheelchair takes extra time. (The game was called while we were getting in the car.) Meatball, it appeared, was much happier back in her carrier in the car.
Will we take Meatball back to a football game? Absolutely. If she’s going to be a therapy cat she has to be able to be calmer around crowds and even whistles. Besides, it gave people something to talk about!
P.S. No animals were hurt in the event described. 🙂
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