I drove down to Texas to pick up a cat and a couple of other things a friend of mine down there was giving me. I got a nice BIG TV set. (Its still in the back of the Blazer. I think I will wait a couple of days to clear a spot out for it). Some DVD Gifts and one cat plus his items.
Flash is a 3 year old male cat. he's 17 pounds and HUGE! Flash is named as such because if he trusts you really nice he will lay on his back and let you rub his belly. He's a sweet little guy. I had to let him out of the carrier in Muskogee because I just didn't feel right with him confined and he was getting hot. I cranked the air up to Full and he got cooled off and I was freezing. He has the benefit of a fur coat and I don't.
Flash was a freeloader at my friend Stephanie's house. He used to belong to her neighbor who when he got divorced, kicked his wife's cats out. The wife never bothered to pick the animals up and they have been out for over a year an a half. Flash is declawed, which means he couldn't defend himself. He suffered through the winter in which the DFW Metro had more snow than St. Louis. He suffered through DFW's oppressive heat. This summer was particularly awful. So, Steph talked me into having a cat. I was a little trepadatious because its a long trip after all. I didn't want to fly him because I didn't want to trust him to a plane. Its a long drive, about 12 hours. Still, I figured I could make it.
So I wend down and spent a night asleep and then got all the stuff loaded and helped Steph prepare for a garage sale so she could get rid of some stuff as well. We took some furniture to Goodwill and then I slept again for the trip back.
I left about 9:30, a little later than I wanted to, but I needed the sleep. Flash was pretty comfortable in his carrier and he spend the first third of the trip in the front seat inside the carrier. I got misdirected when I got off at the wrong exit. I turned and some of the stuff in the back tumbled over so I had to pull over and rearrange it. Flash was a little worried because he started talking. I kept telling him I wasn't gonna leave him and after rearranging and calling for directions I got myself set up on the right highway to eventually get out of town. Flash was pretty calm thanks to some tranquilizers Steph got from her vet. Steph was also kind enough to get Flash all his shots and get him chipped so if he gets lost at least someone will know where he came from.
So I start to head north on US 75 toward Muskogee, OK and eventually north on US 69 to Interstate 44 at Big Cabin, OK. From there its a straight NE shot to St. Louis. I promised Steph I would stop every 4 hours to see if he wanted to potty. About 4 and a half hours later I am in Muskogee, OK and sitting in a Walmart parking lot (yeah I know, I am so ashamed). Anyway, I went in to get me a leash to see if I could get him out of the kitty carrier and let him move about the cabin as it were. After getting back to the car I noticed he was pretty overheated in spite of being in the car for only a few minutes. I definitely will not make that same mistake again! It was pretty comfortable in the car, with the thermometer reading only 86 degrees on my weather radio I keep in the truck. However, the anxiety of the trip combined with all the new activity and no place to hide must have got him overworked in spite of the tranquilizers. I had to wonder what he would have been like without them. But I have found Flash to be a pretty laid back cat so this was him at his most anxiety prone.
I cranked up the air and tried to get him to drink some water out of a self waterer I had just bought. He didn't drink so I thought it best to get back on the road ASAP to get the journey over with so he would get less anxious. So, no potty and no water and he is wandering all over the truck. Eventually he settled down and laid down behind me on top of my took box I keep in the truck. Its a footlocker sized thing I keep safety equipment in and he was looking pretty comfortable.
I passed through Checotah, OK as many of you will remember from when I drove the Victor/Victoria down there was the place where my humble car blew a head gasket on my last trip. The Blazer was running a little warmer than I'd like, but she was holding together pretty well considering.
Next stop was Mc Alister, OK with $2.59 cent gas. I wasn't going to pass up that price as it was 10 cents a gallon cheaper than every other station I was passing by on the way. So I stopped and Flash started talking and looking around. He was a little anxious but stayed put while I got out to pay for the gas. He laid back down and went back to sleep. I have to wonder if it was the medicine or if he had traveled before.
Tank topped off and I continued down. Since Flash didn't eat, I resolved not to either since we were sharing the hardships of the trip. I had to drink though or else I would get sleepy from dehydration. So I drank some water and some green tea I had from my little porta fridge. I kept forgetting to turn the thing on after I started up after Mc Alister so my drinks became tepid. (I had to shut it down to keep the power surges from ruining it).
I stopped at Big Cabin to get the toll booth receipt and then stopped at the toll booth on 44 to pay the Oklahoma Turnpike authority their $2.00 to maintain the highway, which they do a good job at doing. After that, I enjoyed a relatively quick trip to Joplin since I can go 75 on that stretch. I had kept my rear view turned down so I could keep an eye on Flash when I turned it up I noticed a cop following me. The truck next to us was preventing him from being able to pass as I had started to pass a big rig, so I increased my speed slightly and let him pass with a wave.
The Flying J in Joplin was my next stop to top off on Gas. Flash was a little woke up and looking around, but very well behaved. I topped off and noticed a map sale. I got me a bunch of maps for 4 bucks. Never know when those things might be handy.
I resolved to press on since Flash wasn't using the facilities at all. I figured I better get going since I had to get to work that night and I wanted to be on time. I stopped in Rolla, MO to give Flash one last chance to use the box. He tried to get out and was really talkative. I know he wanted to go, but probably had an anxiety about people seeing him using the facilities. So after a few minutes of him wandering around the truck, we finally settled on him getting back to where he was and us getting back on the road.
We got to St. Louis and I got him a litter box set up and he used it first thing after I left to get him some baby proofing stuff to keep him from getting into the cabinets.
I got to work on time and all worked out. Well I got to get. More later on Flash and his acclimation to my life.