I have lived with several zen masters, all of them cats.
Well, hello friends this is Joe…
Today I’m sharing Marcia’s & Anastasia’s first road trip.
Anastasia came to us from a shelter In Roseburg, Oregon. Her only trip before that was coming home from the shelter when Marcia brought her back home, and she was just a frightened kitten in a very, very cute carrying case. In fact our vet told us that it was the cutest carrying case he’d ever seen!
As she has grown…matured & become less frightened we decided it was time for Anastasia’s first road trip. We were planning a trip to Eugene…a regular place for us to go and so in anticipation of that we decided we would try various ways to accommodate Anastasia on her road trip. We knew that we could put her in the carrying case but we had suspicions that probably wouldn’t work entirely… so I went to the car and pretty much cleared out everything. I pulled down the seats and created a little play area for her. Between Anastasia‘s litter box, play toys, and very, very cute carrying case she basically took over the car.
We started off for our trip and she immediately began scratching on the carrying case. We tried to reinforce her with positive reinforcement prompting, but it didn’t really work…in fact getting a little ahead of the story…we tried several times and every time she was able to escape, even though we thought it was pretty tightly connected. Anyway, she got out…we would hold her for a while, she would start roaming around and then crawl around in back.
She got on Marcia while she was driving while Marcia was driving not Anastasia…although she probably could drive too. Again we would try several times to get her back in her case, but she always managed to get out. We had to keep reminding ourselves that this was her first trip & she was still very young. With a lot of cooing and petting her Anastasia finally settled down on Marcia’s lap by the time we got into Eugene. The next situation was…what were we going to do once we got her into the room? (Little did we know that we had a huge challenge ahead of us) We had booked a pet friendly room at the Holiday Express in Springfield, where we had stayed before & have a VIP account. We didn’t give it a second thought because we had always brought our pets to this room. With my mask on I checked us in and got the keys to the room, went back to the car and gave a set to Marcia. With Anastasia in her arms Marcia took off to go into the hotel.
Shortly afterwards as I was getting the luggage, who comes out of the door with little Anastasia but Marcia and said “I’m sorry but cats are not allowed” with shock on my face and with dismay, I’m thinking Oh my gosh I had already paid for the room with my credit card. We were very disappointed and fortunately the hotel allowed us to cancel without charge. However, we had a huge problem because at that time that’s when all the evacuees from the fires were looking for rooms in Eugene. Sure enough we realized shortly afterwards there was not going to be any rooms available AND any cat friendly rooms. I had gone to the Best Western where we had stayed many times before and cats were not allowed there. We were told this by everyone in no uncertain terms. I called several others and got pretty much the same answer, except one lady said to me that perhaps the Quality Inn might allow cats. Immediately I got on the phone and called the Quality Inn and a very nice attendant Carlos said to me “you are in luck sir, we have absolutely one room left, it is cat friendly and I will book you in” With a huge sigh of relief we got in our car and we drove over to the Quality Inn, which was not that far from the Holiday Inn Express where we were in Springfield.
And, so we felt like we were refugees, looking for a place, wandering around with no place to stay…and we finally landed in the Quality Inn…grateful & happy. So, then we courted in all of our things and Marcia wanted to head out to do her shopping because Eugene is a shopping mecca for Marcia. They have all her favorite shops Target, Hobby Lobby, Nordstrom Rack, Trader Joe’s etc…that other side of her…that shopping side of her gets unleashed so she’s happy. In the meantime there I am with little Anastasia, and as her want she was looking for a safe place in the room & I couldn’t find her. I was beginning to get afraid that she escaped out of the door…but no she had found a teeny tiny spot behind the bed that was not apparent…and she needed to decompress. Anastasia stayed there until Marcia came home. It went well after that…
now for me to decompress