Party animals | Living with Gleigh

I’m planning a party and there are a lot of things to get done before the big day next week. But this isn’t about how I have to spruce up the yard, clean the house, plan a menu or bake throughout the week, this is about what to do with our pets during the party.

We learned from my older daughter’s birthday party last month that our newest cat does not like crowds. He is a newer cat than the last one I wrote about. We had to re-home the other one because she was terrorizing our current, older cat. But in my youngest daughter’s desire to have a cuddle buddy, we went to the shelter and found an affectionate male cat.

So far, I think it will turn out okay, even if our older cat isn’t quite sure, at least she’s not being terrorized. They don’t have to love each other, they just have to tolerate each other.

Anyway, when my oldest daughter had several friends over for her birthday party, the new cat started dashing around the house frantically looking for a place to hide. He bolted from the family room, which concerned me because the sliding glass door in the kitchen was wide open. But he wasn’t interested in going outside; in fact, he seems quite adverse to the idea. I suspect he was someone’s indoor cat, somehow got caught outside, had a run-in with another animal (he had an abscess on his head when he was brought into the shelter), and determined that the great outdoors is not his friend. Once he came into my bedroom and ran in terror because I had my window wide open.

I went after him as he tore down the hall. He is able to open drawers and cupboards to find the perfect hiding place so finding him can be tricky. I found him in my bathroom windowsill cowering over the trauma of encountering seven laughing, screaming, teens (I sometimes feel the same way).

I picked him up and put him in the computer room, shut the door and gave instructions not to open the door or approach him in packs. He was perfectly fine the rest of the night.

Since I’ve invited a crowd of people to my party, I have to consider the animals. My sister will be here and she’s allergic to cats, but I’ll still have to put the cat in the computer room, which is also a guest room. I can put a sheet over her bed in case he curls up on it.

Then there is our little dog; she hates the laughter and joy of teens, but she loves the attention a crowd affords her. The problem is her breath stunk from ten feet away. I took her to the vet and had her teeth cleaned so people won’t lose their appetite when she’s near. She’ll also get a summer trim so she’s tidy in case she jumps into people’s laps.

Then there is the bird. The bird gets territorial around crowds and may bite, so I’ll put her in my older daughter’s room and close the door.

Last, but certainly not least is our older cat. She loves parties because all the doors are usually open and she can run in and out as she pleases. She thinks we do that just for her and she’s highly disappointed when the company leaves and we close the doors.

So you see, parties at my house are not about how nice the garden looks, how clean the house is, or what we eat, it’s really about whether my animals are happy or not.

Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Covington. She is currently making a plan for her party animals; furry, feathered and human. You can also read more of her writing and her daily blog on her website or on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh.” Her column is available every week at under the Lifestyles section.

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