My name is Smoke. I live with the Kramers. We have moved into a small house on wheels. There are lots of windows, with a really big one in the front. Every time they park our house, I jump onto the dash and sit on the special rug which is kept there for me. I can see birds and squirrels, watch people do stupid things, and enjoy nature. About the time I start getting used to living in one spot, my parents start to put stuff away, and the walls start coming in. Yikes! And then it gets worse. Our house starts roaring, and it begins to move. I pace back and forth, looking for a way out. I meow pitifully, but they don’t listen to me. I wear myself out, and sleep fitfully, until the roaring stops and my house quits moving. I have managed to escape a time or two when one of my parents opened the door, but am inevitably captured and returned to the moving home.
My parents take me outside often, and sometimes we go for walks, but they insist on restraining my freedom by using a harness and leash. I tangle the line around chairs and trees and any other objects I can find in an attempt to trick them into unhooking the leash but my efforts are futile.
Sometimes, I am put into a mesh tent. Even though I object loudly, my pleas are not answered. I will admit that it can be rather pleasant in the tent, and it keeps me safe from stray dogs and inquisitive children. I can look out upon my kingdom and bask in the sun and cool breezes. My owners supply me with toys, a litter box, and food which meets my basic needs. But alas, I am not truly free in my tent; so I cannot be completely happy in it.
We have taken several journeys in our new home. I am not as fearful as I was at first, but I still don’t like it when my house moves. They let me out often, take me for a walk, and give me water and treats. Eventually, I feel safe and quiet down; sometimes, I am able to sleep for a while. When we get to our destination, I jump onto the back of the sofa until the parts of the house slide out. Then I feel better, especially when my toys and scratching post, litter pan and food bowl are in their rightful places.
My parents tell me that I will get used to living like gypsies, but I’m not so sure. When they play with me, and we go for walks at night, and they let me sleep on their bed-I start to feel more secure. They have brought many things with them that smell like the home we used to live in, and that has helped. I have my special cat tree with scratching post, lots of toys, and my favorite mouse and ball are here, too. Maybe this new home will be even better than my old home. There are many more things to see, and do.