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Friday, April 19, 2013

Driving with Cats



Most people do not take their cats on vacation. There is a reason for this.

A few weeks ago we decided to take our newest kitten on a drive up the mountain to our cabin. This seemed like a sane decision at the time. We have two cats, Aria and Gigi who are good travelers. One will even wear a seatbelt, so why not train Frodo (yes his name is Frodo Baggins) to go to the cabin as well.

So, with great confidence we put Frodo in the car and began driving towards the white mountains in Arizona. Less than ten miles from the house, Frodo decided that the carrying case was not an acceptable place to sit so he pushed his little furry head through the zipper and promptly climbed out.  After climbing all over the car to investigate, he finally settled on the second row seat next to my son.  Ahhh, I thought, this going pretty well.  That’s when the smell hit me.

“Eww,” my daughter complained who was sitting near Frodo, “Frodo let an FDS.” 

At the risk of sounding twelve-year-old-boy in a locker room, I should probably explain that at our house FDS stands for Feline Defense System. Okay if I have to spell it out, she said the cat farted.  See now I’m blushing.

Meanwhile, I’m driving along perilously curvy roads so I can’t look back at Frodo. After a few minutes, I realize the smell had gotten worse. About the same time, my son, who is sitting right next to the cats says, “I don’t think that was an FDS,” and it hits me, Frodo Baggins just used my car as litter box.

I pulled over the first chance I got. We were right in the middle of the  desert with nothing but hundreds of saguaros around us….and I swear they were laughing at me. By now, my kids were completely grossed out. I heard things like “Ewww, let me out the car” and “Frodo’s gross.” Suddenly their beloved cat had become a total pariah.

It was all up to me now.

I got out of the car and pulled out Frodo’s travel carrier. At this point no one was willing to touch him so I had to pull him out of the car, try not to touch his nasty poopy covered tail and secure him in his carrier. This time the zipper, the velcro and the clip were locked down. Then as my kids all wandered out into the desert, I searched the car for cleanup materials.  After about twenty wet wipes that somehow dried in their sealed case and several towels over the seat where my poor son had to sit, we were back on our way.  Ten minutes later I heard a new announcement from the back seat. Frodo Baggins had thrown up in his carrying case.  It was at that moment…that I realized with painful clarity why most people do not travel with their cats.

Frodo Baggins is now home, back on solid ground and possibly never getting in the car again. I hope you enjoyed my cat story and that your kitty is a better traveler than mineJ.