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If you shamefully misuse a cat once she will always maintain a dignified reserve toward you afterward. You will never get her full confidence again.

— Mark Twain

Stanley’s Ads

The Scottish Fold and the Camaro

Before I tell you about my Scottish Fold kitten and the Camaro, I’m take the liberty here to set the stage and talk about what led up to the decision to purchase the car the kitten to be named Stanley became so familiar with. 

I’d replaced the money pit (also known as my 1984 Maserati Biturbo) which was being used as my main source of transportation.  I quickly chose a relatively recent modeled Saturn SC2 sport coupe as the replacement when it was clear the Maserati was going to remain in the shop more than it was on out on the road.  Expense was adding up with all the repairs and rentals, too.  (Come to find out the mechanic I had working on my Maserati didn’t know much about them.  I’d found a knowledgeable mechanic much too late in the game, so parked the Maserati with engine parts in its trunk, buying the Saturn because I needed something cheap while I paid off the bills from the attempts to keep the Maserati running.  If you ever need a great, honest mechanic who works on foreign and domestic vehicles, go to Andy at ATS – Automotive Technical Service – at 3118 Union Avenue in Bakersfield.)

Anyway, a year or so later, I was planning to take the four and a half hour trip to a Nevada destination, but needed to rent a vehicle since the Saturn was in the shop.  (The Saturn in the shop was a less costly venture than the Maserati in the shop – and it was out much more quickly, too, which was a relief.  But I digress.)  All the rental car agency had was a new Jeep Liberty or huge gas guzzling “boats”.  I chose the sporty little Liberty.  They were relatively new on the market and very cute, so off I drove.  I was impressed and caught the new car bug.

Finally, with all my bills paid and no debt, that new car bug was still in my system.  I was tempted to dive into something totally different from every single vehicle I’d owned:  sporty cars.  That Liberty was great fun, handled well, had great acceleration, but was too new on the market to know if it would be dependable.  Still considering which new car to purchase, I was driving to a favorite hamburger joint one Sunday to pick up lunch when I drove by the Chevrolet dealership.  A Camaro caught my eye.  Way back when, around 1979, I had wanted to buy the then new Camaro Berlinetta, but didn’t think I could afford it.  I later ended up with a 1976 440 Pontiac Trans Am – one of my favorite cars, so I had no regrets.  But, driving by the dealership brought back memories.

I turned in and test drove the smallest engine – a V6.  It was okay, but not quite reminiscent of my Trans Am.  So, I test drove the Z28.  Ah, with its engine being a reproduction of an old Corvette engine, the sound was much closer to my Trans Am.  There was an SS on the lot, but I refused to test drive it (I knew I would take advantage of the power, so didn’t even want to be tempted).  This was the 25th year anniversary model and the last year of production.  (So much for THAT announcement.)  It was the vehicle I planned to keep until it was a classic, but I didn’t like any of the colors or options on the lot.  So, my search began.

I finally found THE Camaro in Costa Mesa California and arranged to purchase it May 19, 2002.  It was a Sunday.  The kitten to be named Stanley was just four weeks old and still needed to have help being fed and going to the bathroom, so in his basket with all the “baby” equipment he went.  Stanley and I traveled the 135 miles to Costa Mesa in the little Saturn SC2 sport coupe, me taking care of him one-handed while driving along I-5 up and over the grapevine and down through LA. 

When we arrived at the dealership, my kitten was fussy again.  He was hungry and I was busy talking to the salesman.  Hearing Stanley, the manager stopped by the cubicle and asked if he could feed him.  A quick lesson and off they went to his office.  When I checked in on them, the manager was grinning from ear to ear.  He said he’d never bottle fed a kitten before, let alone one that had little folded ears.  The manager’s eyes beamed, obviously thrilled with the experience.

Several of the back office staff were in and out of the manager’s office and talking to me.  One woman had a little girl who wanted a kitten for her birthday.  Because I’d made that deal with Don to find a good home for the kitten as soon as he was weaned, I took her telephone number.  The timing would be about right; the kitten would be weaned about the time of the little girl’s birthday.

So, with the purchase made, the kitten and I said good bye to all our new friends.  The trip home was much like the trip down:  me caring for the kitten one-handed as we traveled up I-5 and over the famous grapevine.  It seemed that the kitten who was to be known as Stanley quickly got used to the deep rumble of that engine.  Me, too.

Turns out, when Stanley would get fussy and start acting up, he would calm down if I drove him around the block in the Camaro.  It might have been the rumble or just the familiarity of traveling on the road or being close to me with less distraction or the “time out” that turned him from a stinker to a calm cat.  I’m not sure. 

When my Camaro was totaled in 2006, after much deliberation, I chose to replace it with a 2006 Infiniti G35.  The rumble wasn’t as impressive, but my Scottish Fold still calmed down by traveling in the new car.

So, when Stanley has turned into that stinker and I remember “the trick”, I say – as always – “go for a ride?”, he pays attention, we load up, him on my lap, usually with his front legs around my neck as he purrs, taking turns looking out the window and rubbing his face against my chin.  Once around the block and he has forgotten he was picking on Iris.

My Scottish Fold is older now and travels less, but every once in a while I remember he settles down with a trip around the block.  It’s not the Camaro, but it’ll do. 

From about 1999 to date.

The Scottish Fold didn't know my 1984 Maserati Biturbo The 1995 Saturn SC2 sport coupe - was my Scottish Fold too young to remember it? The first trip in my 2002 Camaro Z28 - my Scottish Fold stayed home My Scottish Fold is still riding in the 2006 Infiniti G35

 

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