Many thanks to Laura Too, who has given us the story of her travels with Merlin, who was a good boy all the way. [I have taken the liberty of paragraphing her comment.]
It started out a bit rocky. My car died on my way home from work Tuesday night and I was too nervous to attempt to pick Merlin up at the vet. I figured no big deal, bestie could take me. Nope, she was busy. What to do?
Schlamazel’s wife lives in that neighborhood so I sent her a message. Back and forth for a bit but she was on board with the scheme. An instant sense of peace came over me, which is very unusual when it comes to travel. I’m usually a wreck. I slept well & caught the train to the airport and waited for my Aunt to arrive. All good, waited in special services with the special guy and got our boarding passes.
Now for TSA. Everyone said don’t open the kennel and that was what the agent was insisting I do. Nope, I dug in, there has to be another way. He reluctantly said a hand search and called the supervisor. Very nice supervisor and agent took me to a private room, letting me know I made a good call. Last week they spent 2 ½ hours searching for a cat whose owner said he’d be fine out of his kennel. Yeah, not so much! So on we went to the small room where they asked me to take him out so they could put the kennel through x-ray.
I didn’t want to admit I had no idea how he would behave because I was worried they would deny boarding if he wasn’t mine. So I opened the door and peered in. Come on dude, out you go. He wasn’t having it so I had to tip him out. He hid in a corner and didn’t try to run but I wasn’t sure how putting him back in would go-visions of my arms being shredded. He was a perfect gentleman returning to his safe space.
We continued towards the gate and as I’m walking I got the giggles thinking of John Cole’s trips to the vet and praying I didn’t get THAT smell! I needed breakfast so we stopped at a juice bar and I thought karma had come to bite me as I thought I heard the tell tales signs of a cat winding up to vomit but got lucky. It was only the bass on a really bad country song. Whew!
We did pre-boarding and of course I put him in wrong but that’s okay I was also in the wrong seat. So we move again and this time with help the kennel is safely under the seat in front of me. (Why would you put velcro on the bottom of a kennel???) Two hours passed and he was a perfect sweetheart.
We got off at Reagan international and the hunt for Steeplejack began. I of course chose the wrong side of the terminal but I was standing in glorious sunshine so I was good with it. Steep? Not so much. I stressed my highway angel out a bit but we finally connected. It was determined that I didn’t have enough time to get Merlin to Tomato Queen and make my return from Dulles airport so I got a wonderful animated tour of DC from one airport to another and the most awesome Steeplejack got to delver Merlin to his forever home.
I found a great pizza place, had a beer and a 15 minute massage and was home by 7:00. I want to thank Red Dirt Girl for being such a kind souls as to care for this kitty, Tomato Queen for opening heart and home, Steeplejack for the kindness of an amazing taxi service , Anne Laurie the amazing pet saver, John Cole for being John Cole and everyone who contributed to making this a success! It is supposed to be -5 tonight and we can all sleep well knowing the beautiful black cat is safe and warm.
Update: An update from TomatoQueen is at comment 51.