A&A Discuss Living In An RV With 2 Bengal Cats
End of Week #62
Gualala River Redwood Park, Gualala CA
Miles traveled since last week's post = 0
Total miles traveled to date = 7,955 with trailer
Welcome to August! We have reached the halfway point with our summer work here in Gualala, as we have completed about 7 weeks of the season (after being postponed a few times), and now have about 7 weeks left until closing day. The weeks are flying by just as fast as the weekends (Mondays & Tuesdays for us), and before we know it we will be back on the open road again - destination unknown.
This week we tried to enjoy some more time at the beach, as the sun has been shining and the water is the most beautiful colors of blue and turquoise, but unfortunately the wind has been so strong it hasn't made for the most enjoyable time. Today we tried to do a coastal hike and the wind was so intense we lasted about 5 minutes before returning back to the van and retreating back to the park. The best thing was that yesterday we were finally able to walk the Bengal babes after a record breaking 6+ weeks couped up in the RV (since before we opened) - and took them to a vacant group spot in the park where they were able to run around and munch on green shrubbery in the Jurassic jungle.
I feel like it's been awhile since we have shed some light on how the fur babies are doing and what it's like sharing a small mobile space with them, so I wanted to take some time to talk about them this week!
A&A Living In An RV With 2 Bengal Cats
I've said it before, and I'll say it again - living with a Bengal cat in general is already a totally different experience than a 'regular' cat. Bengal cats are a hybrid breed, a mix between a domesticated tabby and a wild asian leopard. Our two wild babes are 3rd generation removed and I believe about 20% asian leopard. Their breed is known for being affectionate, fun loving, athletic, and overly active cats - which has made me feel a bit worried the past year living in such a small space with them. I worry they don't have enough space to run and chase each other, and get their energy out - or space to burn off those extra chicken and turkey calories from all the food they eat. (In our old life Rahja had a humongous cat running wheel and every day I am sad that we weren't able to keep that for the RV for her to run off all her pent up energy.)
Roscoe and Rahja are very smart, talkative, always on high alert as to what is going on, and every now and then they will give us a little growl to let us know something weird is going on outside the RV. Both of them are obsessed with going outside on their leashes for walks around town, they are such divas they won't drink water unless it comes from a fountain, and they find new ways to get into mischief each and every day. But they are our loves, and life these days could never be the same without them!
Stationary vs. on-the-go
Life in one place all summer with R & R sure has a lot of differences to when we are on the road every couple of days with them. While stationary, they get really used to their routines of sleeping all day, fighting over the best sleeping spots, meowing at us when we are home, and doing some more snoozing on the bed with us at night. When we are constantly moving, they instead experience a lot of anxiety around us packing things away, around trying to put them in the van, and throughout the whole entire experience in the van. Needless to say, they definitely prefer stationary life - the only real downside is they haven't been able to get outside for walks as often lately, since we are in a pretty occupied RV park, and have limited spaces to take them that aren't around loads of other people or dog friends. The plus side of being on the go on the road is that they get to go outside more often as we would typically walk them before/after travels in the van.
This is now the longest time we have spent in one spot, even longer than we did earlier this year in Arizona, and I already worry a bit as to how they will adjust when we take off again this fall. Roscoe deals with extreme travel anxiety and has gabapentin pills prescribed to him by a vet for travel, and Rahja has basically started to outsmart us so well she hides before we even are able to get her into the van. It is never a dull moment with either one of them and when the time comes to pack up and go again I know it will be an adjustment for us all!
If you missed my previous post last year about what it's like to travel full-time with the Bengals, you can find that here. Clink the link!
They are messy
Sometimes I feel like we are living with two little toddlers who just like to go around messing everything up in the RV, as it seems even if I clean every single day there is still more cat hair and more litter to pick up. In fact sometimes, they take it to a whole other 'wannabe-human' kind of level and have poop accidents, vomit accidents, food and water spills, they break things off the counter, and they knock things into cubby holes we can't reach. Rahja has even explored what it means to dig through (& rip up) the toilet paper in the bathroom cupboard to try to see what's hidden behind it.
Basically, no matter what we do, we are covered in hair on the regular. Hair on our clothes, in our bed, and we even unfortunately find it on the stove and in our foods. Even with rugs outside of the litter box (and inside the box too), there is still litter flung everywhere in the house - especially after I just get done vacuuming. The worst is when Roscoe decides that he has an itchy butt and he needs to drag his butt across the carpet in the cat tower - that one always leaves me a bit on the frustrated side of things. Rahja also has a trademark way of eating her cat kibble which involves taking a humongous mouthful and then spitting it all out on the floor to eat just a select few pieces and leave the rest for me to pick up and put back in the dish. They definitely own us... not the other way around.
They are needy
You might not associate cats to being needy, as they are known for their independence and 'I don't need a human' attitude, but you would be surprised how needy these Bengal babes really are. They have both turned into obsessive lap cats, so much so that at night when I am trying to sleep they have to literally lay on top of my legs in order to be happy and comfortable. Bengal cats are also known for being very vocal and not a day goes by when they don't decide to tell you exactly how they feel about a situation - especially if you are eating something without inviting them to join in, or if you are going outside without taking them with you. Both of them will hold a full conversation with you for as long as you'd like to take it - while neither party has any idea what the other one is saying.
Our crazy Bengals definitely love to be pet, Rahja loves to be brushed, Roscoe loves to be held tight, and they both require ample amounts of attention every day to satisfy them. The thing is though - they only like to have the attention from Adam and I and if anyone else were to try to interact with them they immediately try to hide. This happens both when we take them outside on walks and if anyone were to come into the trailer. They have mostly always been this way - even in our old life, but it is something we always wondered if they would ever grow out of... and they still haven't!
The best part is when I get home from a day of #workamping out here in the Redwoods, I open the front door, and am immediately greeted by Rahja's feisty screams for dinner before I can even take my shoes off. She is well conditioned on what time our alarms go off and what time we get home from work these days, that's for sure.
They take up space
Live in a 32 foot trailer with two cats they said, it will be plenty of space they said... and sometimes they sure are wrong! First off, Roscoe isn't the smallest guy out there - he is quite long and a bit chunky for a cat, and he really enjoys to stretch and sprawl completely out wherever he lays. I swear his total wingspan is like almost 2 feet long when he stretches. Not to mention him and Rahja both like to be wherever we are - whether that means at the kitchen table or on the bed, they are right there with you, helping you take up as much space as possible. We have their cat tower where one of the kitchen chairs would go, as it was absolutely necessary to bring with us to allow them more spaces to sleep, stare out the window, and a designated place to scratch their nails. But Roscoe will absolutely also take over the kitchen table with his other bed, or even one of the two recliners in the 'living room' for his afternoon naps. Rahja's newest thing is she loves to sleep on the actual kitchen table chairs and doesn't want to move at all if you need a spot to sit down and eat yourself.
The best way to describe how much space they take up, as I mentioned above, is to picture all 4 of us trying to share the same queen size bed at night. Adam is already known for sleeping like starfish, Rahja always wants to sleep directly on my legs, and Roscoe likes to sprawl completely out to the side of either one of us - leaving really no space left at all. Oftentimes Adam and I will become stuck in one uncomfortable position all night because we can't move due to the positioning of the cats - and let me tell you it's no fun to try to disturb any pet in the middle of the night when your bladder calls you.
But we couldn't imagine RV life without them
I mean this from the bottom of my heart - nothing about this journey would be complete without R & R here by our sides. There are a plenty of days we are lonely and talk to the cats all day (don't judge us), or we just curl up and snuggle with them after a long or stressful day. Their extremely unique personalities warm our souls and make it feel like we really are a family of 4 out here in the wilderness doing life together. Our Bengal babes keep us cozy, they love us unconditionally (well, some would argue they only love us for food), they are our travel companions and adventure buddies, and they have been crucial parts of our lives for going on 8 years already!
Of course the thought has crossed my mind about x,y, and z that might be easier to deal with on this journey if we didn't have any pets with us - especially on those more than rough travel days going 400 miles over the course of 10 hours. But not having to buy cat food, or not having to buy litter, or not having to clean up after either of them would never make up for all the joy and happiness they do bring us as our little partners in crime and cuddle buddies. R & R are our fur children, they are our best little friends, and they have been there for us through all the ups and downs of RV life and most of our entire relationship together. We always do absolutely everything in our power to make them happy, comfortable and taken care of and I can promise you we would never let anything bad happen to either one of them - no matter how we joke about what it's like to live with them.
Roscoe and Rahja are probably going to be epic adventure Bengal cats for the rest of their cat days and I couldn't imagine any other little fur friends to travel the USA with!
You guys would be so proud of me, I've been working on a blog plan for the months of August and September and I've got it just about completely worked out! Stay tuned for next week's' post to find out what is in store for you. :)
*Currently under construction and paused at this time.*
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