The Cat. Was. Not. Happy.
10,000 miles in a huge, noisy truck and you wouldn’t be happy either.
Okay, fine. It wasn’t 10,000 miles. But it was really far.
I pulled away from my crying sister at about 8:00 on Sunday morning. For the next 75 minutes or so I was treated to the vocal stylings of Bob Dylan, accompanied by the loud yet rhythmic meows of Ms. Maceo Parker Jr. Jr. Surprisingly (or not), the two of them actually harmonized pretty well. Now couple that with the constant roar of the truck’s engine, blind spots like you read about (oh wait you are reading about them) and a very non-ergonomic bucket seat, and you have a pretty good picture of the ensuing 13 hours.
I’m not sure if it was the crate itself or the vibration of the road, but the cat cried for 8 hours straight. About an hour into the ride, I pulled into a rest area and let her out of the crate, thinking that maybe she’d settle down once she was free to roam. WRONG. Now she was meowing and running all over the cab, AND she took a huge dump in my little makeshift litter box, right before I pulled up to the toll booth. Thanks, kitty. Back in the crate.
All summer people told me this would happen, and I ignored them. But the only alternative was to cut a Benadryl tablet into four tiny pieces (pain in the ass), then get her to actually swallow one (not likely), and THEN hope against hope that the Benadryl would not have an “adverse” affect on her and agitate her even more (that can happen, you know). Anyway, it wasn’t really an option. She cried and cried. I cried. Bob Dylan cried.
My mom always says, “if we’re going to laugh about this later, we might as well start now.” Very helpful advice in exactly this type of situation.
Oh it gets worse. I was also making pitiful time.
I am not proud of this, but I am a competitive person. I don’t like being beaten at things, which is why I quickly ‘lose interest’ in games and sports at which I do not excel. This competitive streak is not limited to games and sports, however. It also applies to other activities, such as……..driving long distances. When I’m behind the wheel, making good time equals success. Making bad time then? Utter failure and loss of dignity. Ridiculous, I know. But that’s me. There may be a day when I beat everyone on the road from Boston to Asheville (well, Cleveland actually–that was my destination on Day One) and get there in mind bogglingly good time. But it was not this day.
On this day we puttered (the cat and me) at about 60 miles per hour all the way to Ohio. Sometimes we’d gun it up to 70, but that was about it. Plus, all the stops took forever. Negotiating the truck into a gas station was not easy. Filling up the truck took 20 minutes (and 75 bucks….ouch). Letting the cat stretch (or cower behind the driver’s seat in terror, whatever), and everything else involving her needs took another 10 minutes. By the time I finally pulled into my dad’s driveway it was after 9 pm. I had to sit still in the driver’s seat for several minutes, for fear I would collapse as soon as my feet hit solid ground.
Day Two was considerably easier, for several reasons. 1) Good night’s sleep and quality time at Mom’s house. 2) Shorter distance. 3) I had my dad to accompany me and split the driving. 4) Kitty was more resigned to her fate and only cried for the first hour. (The rest of the time, she hunched up in a depressed silence, which actually made me feel worse than all the meowing). 5) When we finished driving for the day, Matthew would be there waiting for me at our new home.
So here I am, in the land of 1,000 mosquito bites. The next two weeks were a whirlwind of boxes, home depot, yard sales, painting and……painting. More on that to come. But as far as the cat is concerned, we’re pretty sure she thinks she died and went to kitty heaven.