My cat and I are extremely attached to each other, and my love of traveling is only marred by my sadness at leaving Rory behind. The solution? Bring him with me as often as possible!
Traveling with a cat is easier than traveling with a dog. I’m kind of making that up, because my childhood dog didn’t like anyone but our family, so we never took her anywhere. Rory, on the other hand, is extremely friendly (to humans, not so much to other animals). He adjusts to new homes after a couple hours of stealthy sneaking around, so I’ve never had a problem taking him to a friend’s house. I like to make weekend road trips to visit friends, and maybe half of the time I bring Rory along, whether it’s a three hour trip to Austin or a thirteen hour drive home.
The advantage of traveling with a cat is their general low maintenance. You don’t have to worry about letting them out to go to the bathroom. You don’t even have to feed them. Which is, well, kind of sad. Rory gets so stressed about traveling that he neither eats nor goes to the bathroom, even during our thirteen hour trips. But he always bounces back when we arrive at our destination, so I don’t think it is permanently damaging. Essentially, you can keep your cat in its carrier for the duration of the trip, and voila, you have a feline companion during vacation!
Not that traveling with a cat is without its difficulties. I didn’t zip up his carrier properly one time, and in the early morning darkness, I suddenly felt him crawl into my lap. He had pawed his way out, and spent the next several hours curled up by my feet. Honestly, it was pretty adorable, but I wound up putting him back in his carrier when we stopped, visions of him crawling underneath the brake pedal clouding my mind.
Generally, he complains and meows for at least half an hour at the beginning of the trip. Admittedly, this is annoying, but it can become fun if you start a conversation.
“I know, this is a great song.”
“No, I don’t think Taylor Swift is over-rated.”
“Okay, okay, I’ll keep talking.”
As I mentioned earlier, we are pretty attached to each other. Rory is infinitely better behaved when I either talk to him or stick my hand into his carrier so he can curl up against me. Co-dependent? Maybe. But also adorable.
The last time I drove from Illinois to Texas, I was recovering from the flu, so I took the trip in two stages. I was worried that having a cat would make motel accommodations difficult, but it couldn’t have been easier. I just googled “pet friendly motels in x,” and several options immediately popped up. When I called in my reservation, I mentioned that I had a cat approximately fifteen times, and the receptionist calmly and repeatedly assured me that this was okay.
And get this. It only cost an extra $10! That’s crazy! Such a cheap service that is incredibly useful. When I arrived at the motel, I brought in his litter box, food, and carrier, and he was set for the evening. After another six-hour drive the next day, we were finally home. Taking Rory with me on road trips isn’t without its stressors, but so far they have all been worth having my cat by my side.
Have you ever traveled with a cat? A different animal? What was your experience like, and do you have any tips you’d like to share? Comment and let me know!