It’s a long drive on I-40 from Los Angeles to Franklin, Tennessee and we decided to NOT kill ourselves during the process. We drove approximately 500 miles a day give or take a few miles.
My husband, Dominic (Guido) drove his car with our dog, Sassy sitting atop pillows and blankets and feeling quite cozy. Dogs are amazing. They don’t really care where you’re taking them as long as they are with you. Sassy is great car companion.
I drove with my Mom (who is 84 years old and a great travel companion) and our two cats, Baxter and Emmie.
Baxter is our 10 year old boy and he has some issues. You could say he has a bit of OCD because he licks his fur off his behind when he’s upset or nervous. (I was very worried that he would arrive in Franklin without any fur!)
Baxter…our 11 year old boy.
Emmie is a year old and still a kitten, but she BITES when she doesn’t like something. You get a warning…but nonetheless, she still bites.
Emmie looks very sweet, but you have to watch out.
I set up a space for them under the hatchback of my car complete with fuzzy blankets, food, water and even the litter box! What was I thinking? A litter box? (They never used it.) I didn’t want them to have to be cooped up in their cages for 7 hours a day, thus, the cat hotel in the back of my car! Do you think they used it? If you answered NO, you’re right! Long story, short…they sat on our laps the entire time they were in the car! A couple of days Baxter buried himself under all the pillows and blankets and was completely hidden. Emmie…not so much. I know…it’s hazardous to have cats sitting in your lap when you’re driving, but except for a few biting incidents from Emmie…I managed just fine.
The problems arose when we reached our destination and checked into our lodging for the night. I’m not sure why we thought Baxter would be okay, but he wasn’t! We stayed in Flagstaff, Az, Tucumcari, NM, Van Buren, Ark and finally Franklin, TN. With each new stop, Baxter made a bee line underneath the bed, and in each new place he managed to find the one gap that would lead him safely to a spot not only underneath, but in the very middle of the bed. UGH!
I don’t know why we were so worried about him staying there. He was happy – we weren’t. Emmie and Sassy would bounce around the room and Baxter was in his hideout. I don’t remember how many times we took the bed apart, climbed underneath to rescue him, only to have him go right back where he started from.
Finally on Day 3, he emerged on his own and pretty much avoided hiding under the bed. Hallelujah!
The other thing about traveling with cats is that you can’t just put them in their crates and bring them inside a restaurant, and you certainly can’t leave them in the hot car. So what do you do? You eat junk food and eat it in the car with the air conditioning running! So much for healthy food choices.
Here’s what I learned from traveling with two cats. I had to let go of control and worry and just trust that we were all going to survive. I handled this part of the journey better than Dominic. He was NOT a happy camper as evidenced by this photo taken in Tucumcari, New Mexico.
Dominic had completely lost his patience with Mr. Baxter!
I’m pleased to say that it only took our pets a day to settle in and make themselves at home. Their adjustment has been easy and they are all happy to just be where we are. What a blessing. (Baxter even has some F-U-R on his B-U-T-T!) Maybe he was always meant for Southern living.
I realize it’s blurry, but it was too sweet not to post it. Our living room on Day 2.
I’d love to hear from you. Let me know who you are and where you’re from. Can you relate to any of this?