Last Monday, my husband and I loaded up the car in the morning and took the nine-hour drive to Nashville, Tennessee for the week. Because the rancorous interactions between Xena and Trillian were more than we wanted our cat-sitter to have to deal with, we decided to take Trillian with us.
I booked us a room at the pet-friendly Studio Plus near the Nashville airport, bought Trillian a harness and leash, and we arranged her food, water and a cat box in the back of the Honda Element as we packed the car.
My husband used to have "road cats" who traveled with his various bands when they were on tour. From Trillian's personality, he judged that she would have the temperament to be a good road cat. Some of our friends thought we were crazy, but we put her in her new harness, gave her a nice, comfy blanket on the back seat and took off.
At first she was a little stressed out. She did NOT like riding in the front with us because of all of the scary movement out the windows. It didn't help that it rained almost the entire way there, which made the ride noisy. However, she settled down and chilled out on her seat most of the way, even though I'm sure she was bored and a little freaked out.
Once we got to the hotel, Trillian started to realize she had us all to herself and she had a blast. Here she is suggesting that we read the Nashville Scene to decide what to do that day.
She behaved just as perfectly as we could have hoped...except for Tuesday morning. After she'd slept off the stress of the trip, she woke up at around 5 a.m., realized she wasn't at home, and decided that we all needed to wake up right away to address the situation. She was so insistent that we almost started wondering if it was a, "Lassie, is the hotel on fire?" type of situation. It was not.
Before we went to bed that night, I explained to her that I needed to sleep until at least 7:30 the next morning. On Wednesday morning, she popped up onto the bed right around 7:30 a.m. I got up, played with her a while and got online to read my e-mail and do some work. She went back to bed.
Trillian was much more relaxed on the way home. She even slept for several hours at a time. We made it home by 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and installed her in the studio rather than throwing her back into the mix with her cat buddies (not Xena, of course).
She was just as good a road cat as my husband had predicted. I can definitely envision us taking her on future road trips.
We did a lot more than just hang out in the room and play with the cat. More Nashville posts to follow all week.