We took Carmella, the mellowest of the cats with us on Labor Day weekend to the same private lake near Topeka where we spent the magical birthday weekend. It is very quiet there and we figured it would be a good first outing/test of what it would be like to have the cat(s) with us.
Carmella is the most social and curious of the three. The other two we call Spy vs. Spy because one is black and the other is white. When the bus is in the driveway and Jim is working on it, always fixing something, Carmella is the one who busily marches around and squeaks. She likes to hang out on top of the slide, where there is a little cove of space about a foot high, and she sprawls on the breakfast table too.
So we thought, OK. She’s going with us. Eventually, on long trips to Mexico or wherever, they will all three have to go, but right now we don’t have a prescription for (kitty or human) Valium, so we figured we’d take it slow. She had never been in the bus with the engine running, although the AC has been on.
So we got her box and put her in it before we fired it up. She sort of howled and talked but didn’t throw up or poop. We’ve had cats that do that when you just take them to the vet, never mind in a giant bus. Once we got on the highway, we let her out of her box and she parked herself under the driver’s seat and was much quieter. She was good the rest of the way there.
Once we got pulled into our private spot, we probably should have just left her in the bus, but we tied a rope to her harness and took her on a little walkabout. We could tell that when the door of the bus opened, she would expect to be in our driveway, like it always is. It was a whole new world.
It was late afternoon and all seemed to be going well. Then, in an instant, she slipped her harness and disappeared. DAMN! The surrounding scrubby woods are pretty much impenetrable if you’re not a cat, so we knew she would just have to come back. We couldn’t just thrash around and expect to find her. We called and whistled for her.
Thank God she did come back in just a few minutes to the door of the bus, with a small squeak. Whew! Jim tightened up her harness so much that it was practically impossible to get it off of her. The cat being gone would put a big dent in the weekend.
The rest of the weekend was uneventful. She actually preferred to stay inside the bus and it was funny to watch her try to jump up on top of the slide when it wasn’t there anymore since it was deployed. She just couldn’t figure that out. She slept with us just like at home and it was nice to have a kitty.
When we got ready to come home, we put her back in the box and let her out again when we got going. She has a spot right under the driver’s seat where she feels safe and that was where she stayed.
So we determined that it was a very succcessful outing during our now traditional post-trip beer in the bus. Yeah, I know, traditional, after like three months? Why Not?
More photos here.