Don’t take car trips with cats if you don’t like cats.
After eight hours on the road, it was time to switch again. I would take over driving; my spouse would rest. I needed a cup of coffee as we started traveling at the butt crack of dawn that morning.
Our two cats had been relatively quiet and since we were at a drive through, I opened their carrier so the cats could have a stretch. I planned to buy the coffee, sit and drink it then take up my driving duties.
We ordered our coffees and pulled forward. I rolled down the window and reached for my wallet. Suddenly I had an arm full of a mad cat. Dark, our sweet boy, was attempting to jump out of the window to “get” the person who handed us our drinks.
How had he gotten from the back seat into the front seat so quickly? What the hell?
My husband said later that the cat saw the person in the drive-through window and leaped over the seat, high over my head to land in my lap. I caught and held him as he was trying to jump out the window.
Perhaps he heard me order soy milk for my skinny vanilla latte with a double shot, light sugar, skaken not stirred. As I held him back, he made those loud growling, hissing sounds. The ones cats normally make to scare you awake at night.
We have two cats. Dark is a three-year-old neutered male Sepia Ragdoll. We got him because he did not look the way Sepia Ragdoll kittens look when born. He was dark, almost black instead of bright white.
As soon as we brought him at twelve weeks old, he started to lighten. Now he looks and feels like an expensive mink coat with dark Siamese points. My spouse says he would make a great hat. Dark is a sweet gentle boy.
Tall came to the family as a companion for Dark. He is a two-and-a-half-year-old neutered black male Munchkin with normal legs. Tall has the Munchkin curiosity, energy and mischievous attitude.
The most fun, however, was the cats’ behavior in the car while riding along.
Cats in Cars
Tall cries for the first two hours of every trip. It didn’t matter if Tall was in the cat carrier or out of the carrier. He cried while sitting in my lap, on the floor, in the back window.
If the day’s trip were long, over six hours, we would stop, set up the litter box, feed the cats and let them do their business. Water was always available during the trip in a bowl in their carrier.
Cats in Hotels
The cats preferred hotel rooms to friend’s and family’s homes. They quickly learned to look out the large hotel windows. Dark and Tall would lounge in the sun.
Both cats were comfortable with their food and litter box being in the hotel bathrooms. In hotel rooms, they could freely walk around and explore, not so much in people’s homes.
We learned to book hotel rooms set in the orientation as our bedroom. The pets would prowl around the hotel room for then settle in their usual spots on the bed.
Most of the time, even during multiple-day stays, we requested clean towels and sheets and performed our maid service.
Our pack and unpack process were direct opposites. Checking into the hotel, we:
· brought the cats in first
· unpacked their litter box, litter, food, toys, treats, and medicine.
· arranged their food and water bowls.
· let them out of the carrier as soon as we organized their items.
Checking out of the hotel, we:
· packed their items
· brought the cats out last.
We put the cats in the carrier after everything else was loaded and in the car. This sometimes resulted in a round of our favorite travel game, “Where the Hell are the Cats?” as they would hide in the hotel room while we were loading the car.
Back to Getting Coffee
I had to close the window while holding onto the snarling cat. The person in the drive-up window had moved back at the first loud growl. We pulled over. I sent my spouse in to retrieve the coffee.
Tall, in the meantime, was still sitting in the carrier calmly licking his paws laughing his ass off at my predicament. I’m sure of it.
As soon as I pulled away from the drive-up window, Dark stopped acting crazy. He walked across the center console and climbed back in his carrier. The drive through man must have killed his mother in another life.
At a minimum, traveling with our two “boys” made us plan the trips which was good for everyone.
Don’t take car trips with cats if you don’t like cats. Their behavior is unpredictable. Cats always look like they are “up to something” because they are.
Most important of all, don’t get coffee with the cats in the car.
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