Saturday, July 9, 2011

Have I Told This One?

Do you know what I think my biggest flaw is? I repeat myself constantly. If you are my friend, you've heard my standup routine items way more than once, and you're not a different audience every night. You're the same friend who's sat through the story of the FedEx Man and Me and the Time I Vacuumed Up Dog Poop last time we were at Margarita's. And the time before that. And possibly before that, too. So, let me say again, since it is my terrible destiny: I repeat myse (I also interrupt, but that's another story for another day. And then another day after that.)

SO anyway. I can't remember if I told this one yet (Also! Hi! Long absence! I have no excuse, other than brain atrophy and laziness and doing my best to keep my kids out of the ER because they apparently love to run into chair corners and park benches and each other and only my Matrix-style skills can prevent it.) but honestly, I owe you all SOMETHING, if you're even still out there, and I remembered this lovely story today whilst pushing a heavy stroller home from the farmer's market, full of children and produce and vast quantities of bread.

So! Here goes.

Once upon a time, we had four cats. I do not recommend having four cats, especially if two of those cats are vastly stupid and come from someone so desperate to get rid of them that they really oversell their lovingness and undersell/ completely neglect to mention their less awesome qualities, like peeing everywhere but the box and crippling, running into the walls (which are always in the same spot! We didn't live in the M.C. Escher house) stupidity. During the time that we had four cats, we decided to move from Massachusetts to Arizona, and in plotting the move we discovered that moving pets is expensive and complicated, especially when moving to a place as hot as Arizona. Pets can't ride as cargo on planes where the ground temperature may exceed some random amount of degrees I now can't remember (80?) exactly, which is pretty much always in Tucson, and one can only take one pet as a carry-on per flight, so we'd have to make multiple trips. With cats under our seats. Driving that many miles with ride-hating cats in the car seemed cruel, better to take the shorter total time option of multiple flights.

So! We did. We brought two out first, and then went back for the remaining two, who have already been introduced to you as the problem cats with small brains. (They were very sweet, though.) As soon we were waving goodbye to our moving van back in Boston, it started to snow. And snow. And snow. We spent three days in our entirely empty house, with only cats and an air mattress, eating snow mooching off our supremely nice soon to be former neighbors (so why did they even have to be nice to us?) and checking frantically to see if there were any flights the next day. There never were.

FINALLY the blizzard passed and roads reopened and life resumed. We, along with everyone else in the greater Boston area who'd been planning a flight in the past few days, descended upon Logan Airport. We brought something they didn't: Two highly incompetent in the best of times cats, crammed into carriers. We cheerfully made our way to the first class check-in line (Note: First class we are not, but billions of frequent flier miles, we have. Also, employer moving us was footing the bill and had sprung for first class when available. I'd never flown it before. Shame to waste it on this trip, as I assume normally there's no constant yowling noise coming from under your seat.) trying to pretend that the tortured howling was not, in fact, coming from our carry-ons. (SPOILER ALERT: It was.)

The line went on forever. Forever and ever and ever. Many people in the line weren't used to this kind of wait in their first class lives, but bore it bravely, in what I picture as an almost British WWII sort of way. We, however, were used to this. In fact, we were thrilled. Three days in an empty house with nothing but an air mattress and two cats will do that to you. We were finally going somewhere! But... what's that smell?

Oh dear.

I am sure I've already mentioned that our cats were not big fans of travel. And that they were expressing their displeasure? Well. One of them, Maverick, the 19 pound orange one with an absolutely puny head, had expressed his displeasure in a new way, and one that we had to clean up. In the first class line. Behind a guy wearing a gorgeous, most likely cashmere, coat.

Because my husband is an Eagle Scout, though, (and because this had happened once before on a car move) we were prepared. Baby wipes, one person holding the cat while the other mopped (and everyone else around us tried not to breathe -- sorry, but no WAY were we giving up our place in line and missing our flight) and, well, mostly I've blocked the whole event. I did indeed indulge in a glass of complimentary first class wine following take off, though, which dulled the sounds of the yowling under my seat nicely.

Ah, memories. We eventually moved back and did the whole massive cat move in reverse, too. So, to recap: I repeat myself, interrupt, and never learn.

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