Monday, February 26, 2007

heart of america

Saturday morning, I packed up all my cats' things, their litter box, their food, their toys. I cleaned out their carriers, and I put all this in the car. With cats and Franklin the dog, we drove out of town, southeast on I-70 to Effingham, Illinois, turned left at the giant white cross, and began the drive through the middle of the country, essentially down the MIssissippi River valley on I-57 and I-55.

Somewhere close to Effingham, it began raining, and it rained hard all the way through the rest of Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas, all the way to Memphis, with wind blowing, and lightning overhead. My cats rode in their carriers in the backseat, with towels covering them. They cried for a while and then became quiet. Franklin spent the first part of the trip looking out the window -- he has a seatbelt harness to keep him from becoming a canine missle in case we had to stop quickly == and then he settled down and slept on his rug that I had placed on his seat. Partner kept me company by cell phone, checking in as we made our way down the flat riverland. This is the middle of America, a very quiet center, a series of small towns and fields.

I drove through the rain without listening to the radio or music. We finally got to Memphis, and I unloaded the car in the hard falling rain. I met Partner's niece and her fiance, wonderful people who had said for some time that they would take care of our cats in Texas. They had gotten to Memphis a day earlier, so we stayed at a hotel close to Graceland. There were pictures of Elvis everywhere, something I hardly recognized at first.

All night, the cats nuzzled and cuddled with me. I didn't get much sleep. The next morning, we packed all their things in the truck going to Texas. The dog and I drove north, but this time there was little rain. I missed the I-57 exit and ended up taking a detour from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, across the Mississippi, taking a two-lane Illinois highway through Jonesboro and Anna, before finally getting back on I-57.

I didn't feel much like watching the Academy Awards. The dog and I turned in early to bed. Today begins my last week at work.

I miss my sweet cats, but am grateful that they have a safe, good home. Franklin will miss Jake -- they lay down next to each other, and sometimes Franklin convinces Jake to chase him. Chloe won't miss Franklin at all. It was hard saying goodbye to them, and it was hard when we got home and they weren't there. The work of moving to NYC picks up.


lemming said...


Truly, I offers you hugs and wishes for the future. You have done one of the hardest things for any animal lover and you have done the right thing. To steal blatantly from Jacquess Brel "If we only have love" - and you and Partner have given love.

Don said...

I miss them. Cats are much more complicated than dogs (and I think dogs are also complicated given their perspective is so different from we primates of the non episcopal kind), and while I will never completely know what they think, I have been blessed with loving, kind and interesting cats. I got a report today that they made the trip ok and are settling in.