It was only a few miles down the road to Phoenix when Talia noticed she was the only cat in the car.
Uh, mom? Somethings wrong!
Its okay, Tali.
No, mom! Wheres the little guy? You forgot Shadow!
Its fine, sweet girl. Hes not coming with us this time.
Well, if hes not going, I dont want to go either!
I cant go! Im sick! And she promptly hacks up a hairball and most of her breakfast on the passenger seat.
Nice, Talia. But youve tried that before. Im 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 doesnt?
I want you to be a Grand Champion.
Doesnt he have to be one, too?
Yes, but not right now. Theres plenty of time for him later. Youre almost there now and soon youll want to stay home and be a mom-cat.
I want to be a mom-cat now. Can we go home?
Goofy girl, you havent said a word about wanting a boyfriend. And even if you did, youre too young. Were 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, weve got a long way to go this time.
I still think Shadow should have to go with us.
Theres no sense in it, T. Youd just beat him and he wouldnt earn any points. Besides, hes been a grouch lately.
I could be a grouch, too.
Laughter. No, Talia, youre 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 youre a pretty girl. You even purr!
Well, I wont this time. Ill 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 Id bribe her with one of her favorite foods. She turned up her nose at the chicken and continued to complain.
Its 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 Im 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 shed be tired soon. After the long drive and the whiny cat I sure was!
That night, the complaining continued. Every hour or so Id hear a tiny little cat voice saying, Mom, Im loooooonely! Mom, I need a cuddle. Mom, I miss Zeke. I miss the little guy! We didnt 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 dont care if Shadow is a grouch. Hes going to St Louis with us.
© 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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