Travel's With Cats
Travels with Cats is a humorous tale of friendship and family, love and loss, and feline-initiated misadventure set against the magnificent backdrop of the American West.
"Cats are easier than dogs." Or so a good friend and passionate dog lover keeps telling me.
That is true if you leave them at home. People who lived near the World Trade Center returned to their apartments some weeks after 9-11 to find their cats had survived handily, having successfully scrounged for food (presumably rodents as we are talking NYC) and drinking toilet water. But try taking a cat on the road and all bets are off.
I speak from experience as I spent the summer of 2016 circling the center of the U.S. with two cats, making way from Houston to Albuquerque and then on a five-week jaunt from Colorado to Wyoming to South Dakota to Nebraska to Minnesota. My final stop was in Arkansas on Labor Day weekend, by which time I was sick of living out of a suitcase and the cats had perfected the art of hiding upon the slightest hint they were about to be thrown back in the car.
Sauks and Andy are exceptional travelers, at least by cat standards, but this journey included more than a few adventures that were feline initiated. “Travels with Cats” is our story, part “meowmoir” and part travelogue. It will be available in a Kindle version on amazon.com soon.
“You are discriminating against a perfectly nice cat.”
This proclamation was the low point of my summer on the road with cats. At the time I knew I was making an ass of myself, and it is still cringe worthy upon reflection. But it was 6:30 in the evening and I had two weary cats baking in a car on the main street of Northfield, Minnesota. I’d spent a good twenty minutes pleading my case with a sullen desk clerk who’d made it clear even before the cat matter came up that she had better things to do than deal with the likes of me. We had reached an impasse and I had to concede that the Archer House was not going to make an exception to their rule that their pet rooms are reserved for dogs not cats.
What made it even worse was I had only myself to blame for blurting out I had a cat (never mind it was actually two). The desk clerk, every bit as unfriendly as the one who’d taken my reservation on the phone the previous evening, would have no doubt quickly retreated to her computer some distance behind the front desk. That’s where she was parked when I’d arrived, reluctantly rising with a heavy sigh and a frown. Once back at her station – no doubt perusing Facebook -- she probably wouldn’t have noticed if I’d traipsed through the lobby with an elephant.