Sunday, December 9, 2012

traveling with cats

There are a lot of ways to get to our Tucson home from Oregon. Flying is fastest (easiest on our old bodies); but it means we don't have the truck, tools like paint sprayers, and cannot take the cats. We've taken the cats several times, left them a few with someone to look in after them. This time, having one geriatric cat of about 17 (he came as a stray so unsure of age but we've had him since 2001 when the veterinarian guessed his age as being 5 or 6) and a middle aged cat (7 or 8 but also came as a stray) with immune disorders, leaving the three of them was out of the question. It'd be $75 a day to kennel them and then we'd have to trust the veterinarian to make wise choices if something went wrong. We took them all.

Traveling with cats is not the fun of taking a dog. Cats hate travel. Motels apparently hate cats. It seemed harder driving down through Nevada than it had been through California. A fair number of motels say they are pet friendly and have some rooms set aside-- that often means one small dog and zero cats.

I'm fairly familiar with calling ahead for reservations and asking if pet friendly means cats only to have the motel say sorry but no. I am not sure of the why of this as everything a cat could do to damage a room, a dog could also do; but we are always honest about having them as some people are very very allergic to cats.

What I had not expected was calling motels in Alturas, CA, and finding none allowed cats(necessarily revising our travel route). And one was downright rude about it with two intense words-- NO CATS! It seemed a trifle foolish of the person as isn't a motel a business that depends on customers? Why not be polite about the rejection? Politeness cost so little.

Call it paranoia but considering where it happened, I began to wonder if the motels rejecting cats thought everybody who traveled with one was a liberal and only dog people are good Americans! Anyway that kind of thing dictated when we would have to stop for the night and led to one much longer day's drive than anticipated.

 One motel that did take them charged us an extra $10 per cat, and also short sheeted the beds. I didn't mind the extra charge per cat as much as I minded sheets that did not stay in. We always go out of our way to leave a motel clean, even using a Shark (small vacuum cleaner) to tidy up before we leave. I am not sure if the resistance of motels is due to others not being so careful, but I am thinking of writing the chains to ask what it's about.


As we drove south on the Vulture Mine Road, I got some photos of the old mine. There are tours but when we pass there, we're always anxious to get to Tucson. All the photos are from that site. Arizona has a history as interesting regarding mining as it does Native American wars, cowboys and outlaws.


When we finally got to Tucson, our oldest cat, BB, who had come from here, was thrilled to roll in Arizona dirt-- right before he got diarrhea. Don't bother saying that's why some motels accept dogs and not cats as we've had dogs get it also. I am concerned though about him as he's now deaf, eating fine but growing weaker. When he jumped from one motel bed to the other, I nearly applauded as anything he does that appears strong makes me happy. He's my hunk.

The thing with BB, who now travels pretty placidly having done it a lot in his life, is the diarrhea could have happened at home without us there to deal with it. Now if it's not better by Monday, we'll be visiting the veterinarian we use down here. He seems bright-eyed and interested in what's going on around him-- more so than the other two who hated the whole thing from truck to motels to getting here. We have one that hides under beds or behind cabinets in motels trying to avoid our taking him. Cats don't use much logic as far as I can see.

I did learn that when Motel 6 says they accept pets, they mean pets-- not declaring cats beneath them. I also was surprised at how clean, economical, and nicely set up they were. It'd been a lot of years since I'd stayed in a Motel 6, but I have a feeling there will be more in my future as they make planning travel routes a lot easier than having to call each motel in a chain to see what their policy might be.

So for now I am relieved to be back in Tucson, will much enjoy my time here although we have a lot of work to do. It's just good to be off the highways as some areas were very heavy traffic, lots of trucks. My blood pressure was some higher when I got here but nothing to what it'd have been if I wasn't taking meds for it. I simply cannot find myself relaxing on such a long trip. I will be relaxing, lots of writing time but with some for hiking, museum visiting, relaxing in the sunshine, and getting this house ready for its winter visitors with the first coming in January right after we leave.

Sunset from our Tucson house-- December 8





1 comment:

Diane Widler Wenzel said...

I am so pleased you will now have time to relax in the warmer sunshine, write, and prepare your house. Couldn't have picked a more interesting place to work!