Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Stick on a Float

Our cat Stick Tail has become quite the international traveler. After having lived the majority of his life (12 years) with us in our home in Pomona, California, he moved north in February to stay with Mom in Bellingham. To get there, he flew with us in the cabin on Alaska Airlines. This month, he took the international leg of his travels. He continued north, this time by car and ferry with mom to Powell River for a two week visit. Traveling in his case isn't popular (you can hear his protests from quite a distance), but he relaxes on the back seat of the car, sleeping most of the way.

The highlight of his trip north was visiting the float cabin. He also got his first boat ride. He had to stay in his carrier all of the way, but got lots of comfort on Mom's lap. Once at the cabin, he settled right in. The beauty of the float cabin is that it is surrounded by water. Back in Pomona, Stick had to stay indoors all of the time because of coyotes. In Bellingham, he lives in an apartment style condo, so staying indoors is also the norm. But at the float cabin, he was able to have the run of the place.

For Stick, the cabin was like a giant cat climbing apparatus. He discovered the stairs (the first he has known) and got a kick out of running up and getting a "birds-eye" view from the loft. At first, he was very cautious outdoors, as can be expected. He finally explored underneath (that's where the mousies live) on the last day. I peaked underneath and could see him gingerly walking one of the float logs, careful not to get his paws wet. I'm sure he would love to go back, if only we had a Star Trek transporter beam.

I've been amazed at how quick Stick Tail adjusts to new environments. Upon arrival at a new location, we confine him to the main living area. We hold him for a few minutes and then allow undisturbed exploration. After several hours, we give him access to bedrooms. This way he doesn't hide under the beds right away. Usually after one day he has a favorite sleeping place. And the litter box has always been found without any "accidents." A friend warned me that cats don't adjust to new places, but Stick has done exceptionally well. Do you have any cat travel experiences you would like to share? Let us hear from you. -- Margy

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