We had avoided the highway closure on I-70 from snow in the Rockies by opting to take I-40, but the back story is how our young kitty, Sasha, finally convinced us to let her stay in the Southwest where the climate more to her liking.
It started on the six-hour drive from Los Gatos to Long Beach in California. Our four-month-old kitty, Sasha, (see photo left) hated riding it car so much that she wailed nonstop from the minute we started moving. We decided that letting her out of her “riding cage” would make her more comfortable and less stressed.
She did stop crying; but once released from her confinement, only swift, evasive steering avoided a serious accident on the highway as the kitty jumped on the driver (me) and dug her sharp claws into whatever was available (my body), determined to stay where she was in spite of anything.
It became evident that we didn’t get the message she was trying to convey. She did not like riding in the car!
She grudgingly managed to endure (as did we) the rest of the drive to Southern CA, and calmed down considerably when safely inside the house.
The next day began the four-day drive from Long Beach, CA to Michigan and it became apparent that Sahsa was not pleased at us for ignoring what she was trying to tell us. After a day and a half on the road with Sasha’s nearly nonstop crying, plus her deciding that my nice winter coat was the proper spot for her bathroom functions, (we had to throw the coat away) we were at wit’s end.
The four of us, including our imperturbable black lab, Cali, (see photo left) who loves to travel and jumps in the car at any opportunity, stayed that night at a motel in Albuquerque, NM to rest and decide what to do about Sasha. As neither my wife nor I could bring us to simply abandon her, that wasn’t an option . . . but something had to change.
In the morning, my wife came up with the idea that we (meaning me) would talk to the maids at the hotel (American Indian ladies) to see if there was a shelter that would take Sasha. After all it would be a good deal for the new owner as the kitty had all her shots, was fixed, in good health, plus she really was a great, friendly cat . . . just one who didn’t want to travel!
So, off I went to talk to one of the ladies working at the motel. I found someone who turned out to be very understanding and helpful and she knew a place nearby that would take Sasha. In the process of getting the directions to the location, I asked if she might be interested in taking the animal there herself, if I made it worth her time. Her eyes lit up and she asked if we had a carrying cage, which of course we did. She said, sure! Her eyes lit up even more when I put a $100 dollar bill in her hand. I mentioned that if she wanted to adopt the cat herself, she could keep the money and I would give her all the other accessories we had with us (considerable in number).
As it turned out, the lady was delighted to have the young kitty, as her young daughter, who was with her that day, and Sasha hit it off immediately. We gave them all the stuff we had with us to help her get started on caring for the kitty and they (and we) were all thrilled to say the least.
So, Sasha has a new family to love and care for her in a climate that was exactly what she was looking for and we proceeded on our way.
The look of utmost pleasure in the little girls’ face plus the look of appreciation and thanks from the mother combined with the obvious calmness in the kitty, let us know that we had done the right thing. Sasha seemed to let out a big sign of relief . . . we finally got the message!
We imagine with a smile, Sasha with her new family, now known by her new Indian name . . . “Runs With Squirrels,” while thinking . . . it’s all good!
daniel w. jacobs
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