Oye. I’m hoping I’m not the most pathetic traveler in the world and that others who have the wanderlust gene experience the same gut-wrenching feeling when you leave your pet(s) at home. The hardest part of travel for me is leaving Ms. Phoebe, my little princess I’ve had for seven years. Seriously. She’s in great hands but every time I start to pack a bag, even if it’s for just an overnight trip, I get that look. You know, that look. The look of, You irresponsible woman. How could you leave me here without any regard for the fact that I have a need to wake you at 5:00a.m. for my breakfast? It also interrupts her need to walk on my computer keyboard while I’m in the middle of using it. She is fortunate enough to have playmates and the most fantastic caregivers one could ever ask for but has developed a routine of hiding under my bed until I return and set the bag down on the floor. I guess you could say that she is a co-dependent kitty, making her unique in the world stereotypical, aloof cats. I always assumed that cats don’t really care about who is coming or going as long as somebody is providing dinner. But this cat? This cat can apply Catholic guilt more effectively than my old priests in catechism. It’s official, I have become one of those women with their cat. It’s an illness, and one that does not fare well with someone who has a need to get the hell out of Dodge once in a while.
So what’s the alternative? For God sakes, I’m not missing out on being a participant in the world for my precious feline. I have considered bringing her along on my little escapades in her tres chic travel bag but considering that she turns into one of the vampires from True Blood just going to the vet every few months, I don’t think it’s such a hot idea. So, I leave her highness at home concluding that it’s better for her to have access to her various sleeping spots, her little friends who hiss at her and let her hiss back without bloodshed, and her endless supply of toys that most children should be so lucky to own. But it’s always my one thing that makes me so hesitant to travel too extensively. When I was gone for two weeks last year, I was told that she had a cough which resulted in me not sleeping for the last two nights of my trip. Being a bit of a fatalist, I assumed the worst and tortured myself all the way back to California from Europe, hoping that it was nothing. Of course, it turned out to be a serious case of hairball-itus and she was as fit as a 12 year old cat can be. (She was five when I adopted her.) However, she spent almost the entire two weeks under my bed and wouldn’t come out until I got home. That’s loyalty.
Why God? Why couldn’t I have one of those aloof cats that doesn’t give a rat’s ass if I’m coming or going? Why must I endure that look every time I want go to the store much less on a flight?! I have plans,cat. One of these years I’m off to Paris for however long they will keep me. How am I going to escape to Paris with this animal and her co-dependency and list of demands?
Oh hell. I guess I’ll have to give her an herbal sedative and pack her up for the long trip. Maybe make multiple stops on the way to give her a break. Whatever she wants. What do you think? Mon chat Phoebe in Paris? Oui?