But then the more I thought about it, I decided I didn't want to miss this. I don't watch the show, so seeing the production in person wasn't a lure. I've been to TV tapings before, so the nuts-and-bolts of it wasn't a mystery to me. I don't follow Martha much, either (Casey does), but I think it'd be neat to bump into her during a vacation in Bar Harbor and discuss our shared New Jersey roots.
As I thought about it, though, it dawned on me that seeing an audience increased about 50 percent by cats (each person was allowed to bring one cat, but most of the attendees were couples with one feline, plus several without their furry friends) would be as entertaining as the show itself. Plus, as I thought more about it and Casey and I traded comments, I realized that this experience would be similar to a father witnessing a milestone in his child's development, only mine was on a smaller, four-legged scale.
To make it even more fun, interesting and memorable, I chronicled the day in real time in the way we do these days: on Twitter. Yep, Harry -- and his brother, Lenny -- have their own Twitter pages. I set them up before giving myself one, because I'm still not buckled into the Twitter bandwagon and I saw it as some sort of statement that I found it more useful for a cat to have a feed than it was for me.
Harry travels well. We had one false start in getting him into the new soft carrier we bought this week (Lenny's about outgrown the smaller of the two hard carriers we have anyway), but other than that, he just went along with it all with nary a peep -- other than the growling and a couple of hisses when he first came out in the studio.
As best I could tell, all the cats were well-behaved -- except for one who was a guest with Martha and the vet -- with most of them sitting in their companions' laps throughout the show. There was some hissing and growling as they discovered their neighbors, but none lurched or swatted at those around them, that I saw. Harry checked things out from our laps, then stepped off mine to the step on my right, since I was seated on the aisle. He ventured out toward the women across from me and then went up the step and settled at the feet of the woman behind me. (I'm certain there were more male cats in the audience than male humans.)
I think because we had deprived him of several important hours of sleeping time, Harry tried to catch up during taping. He sprawled out on the step beside me, drawing the attention of the audience members around us and some of the production assistants who walked by. Harry tends to make a favorable first impression on those who meet him.
Toward the end of taping, Harry got more restless. All he really wanted to was to sleep, but if we tried to nudge him closer or coax him one way or another, he swatted our hands and attempted to chomp down on us, once or twice with a growl. He'll often clamp his snakejaw on our hands (or feet) when we pet or play or adjust ourselves in bed. When the show ended, we quickly forced him into his carrier and zipped him up for the trip home, which Casey endured on her own. I stayed in the city to go to work, but I'm sure he enjoyed the chicken treat she gave him and caught up on his sleep.
The show airs Monday, Jan. 11, and will be available after that on the website.