I left the Granite Dells early Saturday morning. My travels have taken on a sort of ridiculous nature, especially when they involve feline companions. When I moved out of my home in the upper Skagit, it took two people and a rather large blanket to wrangle the skittish Puck and get him into a cat carrier. As recommended by a friend, I have begun to leave feline travel to fate. Loosely translated, this means whichever cat is closest to the door is the one who travels with me.
This time around, I loaded the car (after multiple climbs onto the roof and expletives directed at the car top carrier, which refused to close…you mean I can’t pack it to the brim and expect it to close without hesitation? How very un-American!). One of these journeys, I will begin to take seriously the practice of non-attachment. Perhaps, the next one.
Anyway, car loading complete, I returned to the house for feline wrangling. Fin the zen cat was no trouble. I had one moment of opportunity to Puck, grabbed his middle without conviction (I think I knew it just would destroy his already tortured soul to drag him across the country with me), and let go when he struggled.
From there, the remaining three cats disappeared in the loft that acts as a pseudo-second level/cat palace/storage facility. I climbed up the ladder, crawled over to Arwen, lifted her up, and promptly set her back down. There was no way she and I would make it down the ladder in one piece. My agility and grace is nowhere near that of a cat, and climbing down a ladder one-handed with spooked cat in hand seemed like a recipe for disaster. For once, my common sense kicked in.
I climbed back down and looked up. Puck scowled from the far corner. Smokey, the resident cat, was nowhere to be seen. Arwen came over and peered down at me.
“Ok, little girl,” I said. “If you want to come with me, you have to down right now.”
And she did! So, I scooped her up, held her close to my chest, closed the door behind me, and that was that.
Three days later, I think she is seriously questioning her choice. Such is life, perhaps even for those of the feline persuasion.
The journey has been long and relatively uninspiring, filled with sitting and thinking about my tummy fat and trying not to think about the future.
Day I: Prescott, Arizona to Amarillo, Texas
732 miles. 5 dead coyote. 1 half skeleton, half flesh carcass of an unknown ungulate. And 6 kestrel, one of which spiraled from the sky down to perch on a fence post and fanned its tail in an incredible display of beauty and agility which no human could possibly rival.
Day II: Amarillo, Texas to somewhere outside of St. Louis, Missouri
Roadkill. Rolling hills. Farmland. Tractor trailers and tolls.
Day III: St. Louis, Missouri to Somerset, Pennsylvania
Numb butt. Sore wrists. Wind and rain. Kitty musical chairs.
This country is too big.