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Traveling Tips

Anyone who saw us before we left San Francisco for the East Coast knows that one of the things that was stressing me out the most was the fact that our two always-inside-never-have-gone-outside cats were going to have to fly with us. Here's how it all turned out:

It took us going through and discarding 4 pills before Odie (the skittish cat who wouldn't go anywhere near the brand-new, sheepskin-lined $50 cat carrier we bought for her, even when it was simply sitting on the kichen floor&#41 finally swallowed one ("You have to just throw it down her throat" I said to Avery.&#41 Cried because it felt like I was torturing her. Got a big cat scratch. Mu (the mellower of the two&#41 calmly swallowed her pill.

Got to airport. Had to hand the cats over to the United people right away, and they were just like, yeah, whatever, sign here please, no, we've never heard a complaint. I start to cry again. Odie starts to yowl in a funny, drunken-sounding way.

Some maintenance-looking guy puts the cat carriers on a dolly to bring them to the "Holding Area" whatever the hell that is. He lets us go with him, up until the point that he has to go through some restricted door. I am hysterical at this point, what with my drugged cat meowing this fucked-up, scared meow which I have never heard before and hope never to hear again. Not to mention all the people in the terminal yelling "OH! A KITTY! KITTY! MEOW! MEOW! Look it's a KITTY!" making the cat even more agitated. Fuckers.

The guy comes back from the holding area with an empty dolly. We're still there because I can't move because I'm still crying and gulping for air. Avery keeps trying to get me to stop. I stand with my back to the crowds at the baggage carousels because I don't want anyone to stare at me being hysterical. I buy a Pizza Hut Personal Pizza, which doesn't make me feel any better.

On the plane, tears come to my eyes when we take off (because the cats are scared&#41, every time there is turbulance (again, cats, scared&#41, etc. I have a big fat stress headache by the time we land. The pilot tells bad jokes for what seems like ever ("Why does a chicken coop have 2 doors? Because if it had 4 doors it would be a chicken SEDAN."&#41 Oh, and before I forget: a big, giant Thank You to everyone that felt compelled to tell me their fucking airline terror stories about their friend's aunt's ex-husband's housekeeper's dogs freezing to death, or about the airline people abusing the animals for fun, or how the airline personnel just throw the pets down into some dark baggage compartment of the plane…that's all I could think about the whole way there. Once again, thanks!

Aside from Odie having to sleep off the drugs for the next two days and Mu weaving around the apartment as if she had just consumed six-and-a-half beers, the cats were — and are — fine. But I'll never travel with pets on an airplane again!

Posted in Observations.

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