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Canyon the cat can travel

By Marge Jacques

We have a part Siamese male cat who is about 4 years old. His name is Canyon — after Canyon the Cougar Beanie Baby — and the fact that my husband rebuilds classic Mercury Cougars.

We started taking Canyon on trips in our type C motorhome in 2002. On the first couple of trips, he was nervous and spent much of his time in the middle of the bed under all the covers. Now he rides on the dining table and looks out the window, or is sound asleep on one of the benches.

When we're traveling, his litter box sits in the shower. At night while parked, we place it between the front seats. His scratching box and dishes are on the floor, near the main entry door. He has become comfortable traveling in the motorhome, but sometimes he does try to escape.

We have trained him to use a leash and harness, and we usually can get him to go where we want with a little coaxing.

We also enjoy taking Canyon with us on bike rides. I put him on a pillow and attach him to the sides of the basket in the front. He usually does pretty well, as long as there are no loud sounds or distractions.

We went on a five-week tour out West this summer and only used up a couple of Canyon's nine lives. One was when we decided to take a "family" portrait at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. I guess the unfamiliar surroundings and the crunch of the gravel scared him, for he leaped off a cliff, leaving harness and leash — and two tears — in my husband's shirt.

Thankfully, the drop was only about 20 to 30 feet, so Canyon was only bruised and scared. But he cowered the rest of the day.

After that successful trip, we planned to take Canyon with us all the time. He is a great companion and we get lots of attention because of him.


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