Monthly Archives: May 2017

Cats and humans

Cats and two humans traumatized at the airport

Cats: everyone loves them, and everyone must know they do not travel well.
But, knowing that didn’t deter me from taking Peaches and Buddy to Costa Rica where I lived for two years.
They had traveled before on a longer flight to Holland when I lived in The Hague.
I did my homework: the veterinarians required check-up on the cats a day before leaving. The shots were up to date and all paper work in my hand with my passport and airline ticket.
I was up on the airline rules as well as the customs requirements in Costa Rica, and was as ready as could be. What could go wrong?
I was all set. Both cats in separate carriers this time, as allowed when flying in the cabin, and placed under our seats.
My son, Ron was with me to help me get the cats to Costa Rica. We got our luggage weighed in and picked up our boarding passes. We were ready to walk through security.
An agent stopped both of us while our carry on luggage rolling down ahead of us.
“You must take the cats out of the carrier and put them here.” She pointed to the floor.
I started to put the cats on the floor.
“No the carrier. Take the cats out.”
“What? Take the cats out of their carriers?”
“Yes.”
I had a death grip on Peaches, and Ron has a death grip on Buddy.
I knew if either one got loose they would be lost forever in the airport.
Then the agent asked the impossible. Hold your arm out so I can pat you down. I gripped Peaches in one arm, while the other arm was held out; then transferred the procedure, moving Peaches slowly and carefully to the other arm, extending the other arm. She patted me down on both sides.
I tried to see if Ron was okay with what he was asked to do, but felt Buddy was in capable hands, but in this case, arms, and all we needed to do was to get the cats into their carriers and get on the plane.
Wrong.
“You must take off your shoes.”
“How am I to take off my shoes while holding on to a cat?” I sassed back.
“You have to do as you’re told.” So I sat down, and with one toe, got one shoe off. Then repeated the process with the other shoe. Both shoes were off, and then she stretched my enthusiasm for traveling all together when she asked me to raise my feet so she could look under my shoes.
“Are you kidding me?”
“You must do as your told.”
Try to do that; just try it. You have a cat in your arms wanting to dash away, and now you have to raise your legs high enough so the agent can look under your feet.
Then we were asked to put the cages on the belt so they could be searched. Really? Yes, really.
Traumatized cats and two humans, as well, finally boarded the plane. We put the cats under the seat in front of us. They screamed at takeoff until we reached a high altitude.
“Do you have a cat back there?” A man in front of my chair turned and asked.
“Yes,”
“Well my wife is allergic to cats.”
I didn’t have the courage to tell him there were two cats, not one.
His wife told him it was all right and to leave me alone.
So we landed in Costa Rica and breezed through customs with luggage, paper work, passports and cats, with no problem.
There are other stories to tell about living with the cats while in Costa Rica and the return to the U.S., but those stories will follow later.

The stinky long bus ride

It was a day of sharing space with strangers

After five hours on the “garlic” bus and other annoyances, I arrived at Vitoria in the Basque area of Spain. The man sitting next to me must have devoured an entire field of garlic bulbs, as he reeked. I offered him a mint and he said, very politely, “No, gracias.

Then, there was the greasy-headed man who sat in front of me. He had little spiked hairs all over his head, which made me think of a hedgehog.
 Stinky got off the bus after about two hours, and then a big bear sat next to me. He was fat and wore brown and had been drinking. He also reeked. Then, in about two minutes, the big brown bear fell asleep and leaned on me.

When I pushed him away, he snorted, and that made the hedgehog in front of me laugh. The little spikes jumped up and down on his head.

This was just one interaction I experienced in my one-year journey around the world. If you’re lucky, you will see the humor in every situation, and that includes day-to-day life in and around your hometown.