Travelogue Part 7, the final leg (Or, “That Damned Cat”)

Upon arriving back at Mom’s house in Indianapolis, I received a very warm welcome from my mother and her two kittens. My cat had elected to be sequestered in a room by herself, having decided she wanted no part of anything involving kittens or any people who weren’t me. Cali (Caldonia if she’s misbehaving) had a lot to tell me. Either she was extremely happy to see me, or she thought she’d been abducted by aliens, it all sounds the same to me.

Anyway, after much kitty-petting, socializing with Mom, tamale eating, and a good night’s sleep it was again time to hit the road. The cat seemed happy when she saw that I was gathering not only my things, but hers as well. I took this as a sign that she would behave herself for the drive home, as she had done for the drive to Mom’s. After loading my bikes, clothes, cd’s, assorted accoutrements, the cat’s food and toys, and 10 dozen tamales (sharing ain’t all it’s cracked up to be) I came for the cat. She was quite docile about going into the carrier, which I took as another good sign. She started to meow, (or more accurately to howl) as I carried her to the car, but this wasn’t a point of too much concern, she had done this before but had quieted down fairly quickly once we got in the car.

I don’t know if it was because it was dark (unlike the trip coming) or if it was because she was still freaked out about being left for 2 weeks+ with two somewhat obnoxious (but thoroughly adorable) kittens, but whatever the case, she was inconsolable – howling, panting, and just generally caterwauling non-stop. I thought that if I opened the carrier (aka cage) and petted her, she would calm down (as she had done previously). This was not to be, however. Instead she immediately made a bee-line under my seat, where she continued to serenade/berate me as loudly as possible. You would think I was torturing the poor thing, from the sound of it. Upon realizing that I couldn’t simultaneously reach under the seat to pet and comfort the cat and see the road, I opted to put on a CD, turn the volume up loud enough to drown out her impassioned howling, and make haste getting home. During the brief pauses between songs, I tried to calmly reassure her (through gritted teeth) that we would be home soon.

Indeed we were home soon but she had apparently decided that she was going to take up permanent residence under the seat. “Fine”, I thought. “I’ll carry in a load of stuff; a few minutes alone in a cold car should change her mind”. Upon my return, she was still hiding under the seat. I attempted to extract her from the front of the seat, which proved quite impossible. I’m not sure how she managed to squeeze under in the first place. Thankfully the space under the rear of the seat is larger and I was able to drag her out. She didn’t put up a struggle as I re-inserted her into her carrier, though she did resume howling as I carried her inside.

As soon as we got inside and I let her out, she was transformed. It was as though nothing had happened at all; business as usual in kitty-land.

If only I, too, could go from total screaming freak-out to docile tranquility so readily, life would be so much easier.