When Cupcake goes out, I always have a bag with me with things for her. I recently picked up a pink backpack from a local outlet store to hold her stuff when we go out.
I added many of the items to the bag’s inventory after experiences that made me wish I had the things on hand, so I thought you might be interested in what’s inside Cupcake’s bag.
First Aid Kit
You can buy first aid kits for cats, but since Cupcake’s adventures are in the city and not in urban areas where there aren’t vets nearby, I bought an empty first aid kit bag and put some simple first aid items in it that would help with immediate first aid before I could get her to a vet:
- Vet wrap (bandaging tape that adheres to itself but not to fur)
- Pressure bandage
- Tube of clotting gel
- Key for removing ticks
- Bandage shears
The first aid kit also includes a photocopy of Cupcake’s rabies vaccination certificate and a list of contact phone numbers, including her vet, the local emergency vet, and the microchip company her chip is registered with.
Cupcake isn’t afraid to get a little wet.
She likes to play in shallow water, and she has even stepped down into a mostly-drained fountain. So I keep a small towel in the bag to dry her paws or whatever other part of her gets wet.
We use a small, fleece blanket to put down on surfaces for Cupcake to sit on. Not only does it help her feel comfortable about sitting in strange places because the blanket smells familiar, it protects her from the underlying surface.
I always check before letting Cupcake sit on a table whether the surface is hot, but the black-painted metal tables outside the coffee shop heat up quickly in the Florida sun. Cupcake’s small, thick blanket ensures her delicate paw pads are protected.
On one of Cupcake’s early outings, she stepped into the edge of some ground cover and stepped right into some dog waste. I didn’t have anything with me to get the foul-smelling stuff off of her paws, and I learned a lesson: You never know when you might need cat-safe wipes.
More recently, the cat-safe wipes are most often used when Cupcake puts her face all the way in the bottom of a cup and ends up with whipped cream in the fur above her eyes. And in her whiskers. And on her cheeks. And… well, you get the idea.
One of the regulars at the coffee shop doesn’t like it that Cupcake gets up on the table, even though she sits on her blanket. I assured him I would clean the table before we left, and I clean it every time.
I could use cat-safe wipes for this task. In fact, I started out cleaning the table with cat-safe wipes, since that was in my bag at the time. But general-purpose cleaning wipes are a lot less expensive than cat-safe wipes. Now I carry both in Cupcake’s bag.
Cupcake is a pretty brave cat, but certain things frighten her. One of the worst frights she has had was from a trash bag.
For hurricane Irma, the plaza where our regular coffee shop is located removed the lids from their big trash cans. During our first visit to the coffee shop after the hurricane, it was still breezy, and the empty plastic trash bag closest to where we sat suddenly blew inside out. From Cupcake’s point of view, this must have looked like a huge, rustling ghost arising five feet away. She was terrified.
Now, when the end of the trash bag is not secured and it flaps in the wind, Cupcake stops enjoying her visit to the coffee shop and starts showing signs of stress.
To keep Cupcake’s stress level down, I twist the end of the bag into a tail and then wrap cellophane tape around it to keep it secure. No flapping bag end means a happier Cupcake during visits to the coffee shop on breezy days.
Pencil Case and Notebook
Humans need stuff, too. Since I don’t carry a purse, I use the pencil case for things I would otherwise keep in one, like:
- Lip balm
- Antibacterial gel
- Business cards
You never know when you’ll need to jot down a note, so I keep a notebook in Cupcake’s bag, too.
Here in Florida, it rains nearly every afternoon on warm days. I always make sure there’s an umbrella in her bag in case Cupcake and I are caught out of the house when the rain starts. I prefer the umbrellas that not only open with the touch of a button but close with one, too. This may seem like an extravagance, but when you’re trying to take care of a cat in a carrier, you don’t have a hand to spare for playing with an umbrella. Single-handed operation is a huge help.
Dog poop bags are good for more than poop! You never know when you might need a plastic bag, and dog poop bags on their little rolls an easy way to make sure I have some handy. Besides, the day may come when Cupcake figures out she doesn’t have to hold it until she gets home to the litter box. If that happens, I’ll be very glad to have a bag handy. Until then, I can use them when I have other kinds of litter I need to collect.
For a while, I kept little poop bag dispenser attached to her carrier, since I don’t always carry the bag with me when I go inside a store. I finally tore off a couple bags and put them in the outside pocket of her carrier, and the rest are in the little dispenser attached to her bag.
I also use one of the pockets on the outside of Cupcake’s carrier to carry a collapsible bowl. This makes it easy to ensure she has access to fresh water when we are out on an adventure.
With her bag packed, Cupcake is ready for anything when she goes out adventuring.