Monday, June 29, 2015

Traveling With Felines Is Not the Cat’s Meow.


Day one of On the Road (with cats.) I had hoped to be on the road at nine, but of course I didn't set out until nearly noon. I overestimated how much I could pack in a in a Honda Civic, especially with two cats. Their crates take up more than half the back seat, and everything I packed would not fit, so I had to make last minute decisions on what to leave a lot of cap behind. I wanted to be able to see out of the back. The cats were the last things I packed in the car. Neither was happy. My car looked like an episode of hoarders.

As soon as I backed out of the driveway, I noticed my phone needed to be charged, but my car charger was stuck under about 600 pounds of luggage. At least the weather cooperated. In Ohio, anyway. More on that later.

The boys were both chatty as we headed out of town. Just west of Gratiot, I noticed Pablo had wangled himself out of his carrier. He stopped meowing, but he kept moving, and just outside of Dayton he started crawling around near the steering wheel, so I pulled off and stopped at a Wendy's. I reinserted poor Pablo back in his crate and turned it so its front window faced the door. There are two side flaps without zippers so he had plenty of air and he could still glare at me.

It had been years since I'd eaten a fast food burger. The bun tasted yeasty like beer. I wished I’d had a beer right them. But I ordered Diet Coke (Cindy S will understand why I submitted to the chemicals. It was a Diet Coke moment.

Pablo stayed put, but he and Henry cried all the way to the Indiana border. As I passed under the Thanks for Visiting Ohio sign near Richmond, Indiana I got a little weepy myself. Even though I grew up moving across states and countries, I have spent most of my life in Ohio.

Even though my car was loaded to the gills, I didn't need to stop for gas until I reached Danville, Illinois. The cats had quieted down, but they both gave me looks of derision.

State by state the weather varied. Ohio was sunny and cool, Indiana cloudy, and Illinois varied from windy, light rain, occasional clearing, drenching rain, and just as I pulled up to my hotel in Peoria, there was a giant bolt of lightning and the sky opened up. If I had gone to the right hotel in the first place and not wasted twenty minutes I could have avoided the rain.

I also wasted about a half hour going the wrong way on 465 outside Indianapolis. Also, construction slowed me down, so the six and a half hour plan turned into more than eight hours of travel.

There were some high notes. For dinner, I ate a Mediterranean omelet at Perkins restaurant.I'm listening to a good book on CD: The Thirteenth Tale. The first book I tried listening to, a Michael Connelly, was boring, so I gave the CDs to the nice desk clerk and asked her to pass it on.

My car is way too loaded down, and I think of the scene in Wild where Cheryl Stayed loaded so much in her backpack she fell backward. If it stops raining, I might repack my car so the boys and I aren't suffocating. Tonight I threw way the socks, blouse and underwear I was wearing.

I have four more days like this ahead of me. I'm so glad I brought wine, and at least it's not snowing.

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