The Big Meow

Okay, so we were living quite happily in California; family in both Sacramento and Modesto, the Boy had a good job and was going to school and doing well; I was busy doing different things, like taking a couple of classes and writing a couple of books. We had a nice house on the Air Force base and had lots of Things To Do in the area. Theaters we liked. A terrific place to poorly play pool. Fun stuff.

So the Air Force decided we were much too content, and sent us on our merry way – sans the Boy – to Ohio.

We didn’t mind too much; Wright-Patterson AFB near Dayton is supposed to be a very good assignment; lots to do and see, just no family nearby. Everything we own was packed up, loaded onto a truck, and off we went… with an aging Golden Retriever and a Truly Pissed Off Cat.

Max the PsychoVelcroKitty howled for the first 5 hours in the car. He cried all the way to Sacramento, he threw a temper tantrum – complete with body slamming himself against the walls of his carrier – through the drive up the mountains, through Reno, and halfway to Salt Lake City. At some point, when he finally quieted down for more than 5 minutes, we decided to let him out for a bit so that he could stretch (dang cat is too tall and could not stand in his cage, only turn around). He stretched himself all the way across my lap, and promptly fell asleep.

We had blissful quiet the rest of the way that day as he slept either on my lap, or on the floor of the passenger side of the truck (and yes, I know this was stupidity on our part; he should have stayed in the carrier, but it felt like sticking him in a coffin for hours on end and he was literally having panic attacks). After 14 hours on the road we were all ready to collapse; we stopped in a small town in Wyoming and discovered quickly that finding a motel room wouldn’t be so easy. Who would have thought that the Senior Olympics would be held in Wyoming?

I didn’t realize anyone even lived in Wyoming. You just can’t tell by the nothingness of the landscape along the Interstate.

We settled on a second floor smoking room, the Spouse Thingy carried Hank up the stairs (Hank does not do stairs, we’re not entirely sure why) and we suffered through a night of smoke-tinged air and Max running at full tilt from one corner of the room to the other, hollering his little head off every fifteen minutes.

Max only cried for three hours the next day. We’re fairly sure he was nearly bored to death by the scenery along I-80 in Wyoming; he fell asleep before lunch and only vented his frustrations every hour or so, as he woke to turn over.

He cried off and on the third day. It was tolerable; we felt sorry for him, after all, being stuck in a box and not knowing why or what was going on.

And on the fourth day, Max was lucky he was allowed to live. He started his chit fit at 5:30 a.m. and did not stop until we had checked into a motel room in Dayton Ohio at 3 p.m. He cried from the moment he was put in the car, he screamed and threw a hissy fit every ten minutes, he hollered at the top of his little lungs when we made it to Dayton and searched for the base housing office. Max was tired of the trip, and was letting us know in vivid feline language. He stuck his paw through the bars of the kitty carrier, trying – with loud frustration – to open the latch that kept him locked inside that plastic tomb of doom.

Tuesday morning, August 13, Max found heaven.

We got base housing the first day we got here; a 2 story, 3 bedroom 2½ bath duplex with tile floors. The empty house, combined with the tile flooring, makes for one large echo chamber – something Max discovered within an hour of arrival. And he lets us know, all day long, especially at 2 a.m., that for a little cat he has a big voice, and a persistent one at that.

He talks to himself all night long.
Max is insane.

The house will be virtually empty until the 20th, when all our stuff gets here; I suspect he’ll still be in kitty heaven. The house might not echo, but there will be boxes. Lots of boxes. Boxes to jump on, jump in, and explore. A veritable Max Jungle Gym, complete with krinkly packing paper to attack and carry from room to room.

He was mad as hell all the way here, but I think Max will like Ohio. Max’s people probably will, too, but they’ll like it even more when he quits bitching about everything. When they can get a full night’s sleep without his nonstop chatter.

No comments: