It was only a few miles down the road to Phoenix when Talia noticed she was the only cat in the car.

“Uh, mom? Something’s wrong!”

“It’s okay, Tali.”

“No, mom! Where’s the little guy? You forgot Shadow!”

“It’s fine, sweet girl. He’s not coming with us this time.”

“Well, if he’s not going, I don’t want to go either!”

“Tough.”

“I can’t go! I’m sick!” And she promptly hacks up a hairball and most of her breakfast on the passenger seat.

“Nice, Talia. But you’ve tried that before. I’m onto you.”

“Rats!” she mutters as she retreats to the top of the show cart for further thought and a nap.

An hour or so later, Talia is back. “Why do I have to go when the Peanut boy doesn’t?”

“I want you to be a Grand Champion.”

“Doesn’t he have to be one, too?”

“Yes, but not right now. There’s plenty of time for him later. You’re almost there now and soon you’ll want to stay home and be a mom-cat.”

“I want to be a mom-cat now. Can we go home?”

“Goofy girl, you haven’t said a word about wanting a boyfriend. And even if you did, you’re too young. We’re going to the show.”

“Hmph.” This time Talia curls up my suitcase, shedding and napping. But the peace was to last for just a short time. Soon she was back with a head butt to my arm.

“Are we there yet?”

“No, we’ve got a long way to go this time.”

“I still think Shadow should have to go with us.”

“There’s no sense in it, T. You’d just beat him and he wouldn’t earn any points. Besides, he’s been a grouch lately.”

“I could be a grouch, too.”

Laughter. “No, Talia, you’re too much of a show off to be a grouch in the ring. You like it when the judges pick you up and tell you you’re a pretty girl. You even purr!”

“Well, I won’t this time. I’ll be a grouch so you let me stay home.”  As if to demonstrate her grouch potential, she settles on top the cat carrier with a variety of grumbling noises. I ignore her.  

Talia continued to grumble, whine, beg, and nag me during the entire 13 hour drive. I stopped in Gallup, New Mexico to get chicken for lunch, thinking I’d bribe her with one of her favorite foods. She turned up her nose at the chicken and continued to complain.

‘It’s not fair. I want to go home. Shadow should be here, too.” And on and on…

It was about this time that it dawned on me that Talia had never spent the night alone – that is, without another cat for company. I began to suspect that our arrival at the hotel would not end the grumbling. And I was right.

After checking in and carrying Talia and our necessary goods to the room, I arranged food and water dishes and the litter box so Talia would be settled. I then headed to the car to carry up the cooler. As soon as I opened the door of the hotel room, Talia darted out. She had never done this before. But she was on a mission. A mission of what sort I’m not quite sure, but a mission of great purpose all the same. I have narrowed it down to looking for Shadow (maybe he was here after all) or planning to walk home. As she trotted down the hall she veered into each doorway briefly, then continued on. Whatever she hoped to accomplish, she was foiled when I caught up to her by the elevator. After that, I shut her in the bathroom when I left the room, adding to the things she had to grumble about.

I spent the next hour playing with her, having brought her favorite teaser and toys from home. I figured she needed the attention to make up for the long ride and the lack of company. And I was hoping she’d be tired soon. After the long drive and the whiny cat I sure was!

That night, the complaining continued. Every hour or so I’d hear a tiny little cat voice saying, “Mom, I’m loooooonely!” “Mom, I need a cuddle.” “Mom, I miss Zeke. I miss the little guy!” We didn’t sleep much.

The next morning at the show, Talia was not a grouch, despite her threats. Instead, she was an island of calm in the midst of a chaotic ring when a female Maine Coon blew as her owner was taking her out of the cage to return to the benching area. Talia just sat and took it all in. Her behavior was rewarded when she was awarded 3rd Best Longhair Champion in that ring and became a Grand Champion. The rest of the weekend was much the same – Talia being a sweet little beauty queen in the ring and whining to me about being lonely all night.

Monday morning we set off for home – a grumbly, lonely cat and a tired cat-mom. I don’t care if Shadow is a grouch. He’s going to St Louis with us. 

(--> Cat Tails, Pg18)

2003 lisa s vasa

 

(Please note that you will see a number of photos of our cats and kittens that I've taken outside in a natural setting. The LostWoods cats do NOT go outside unsupervised! When we do go outside for pictures and occasional adventures, there is always one person and usually two watching them closely. We do have an outside, fully enclosed run to which the older cats are allowed access, but even then we check on them often.)

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