Travels with Murray
Today's guest contributor is Murray the First, a veteran of the open road from the Lone Star state. Murray has since gone to the Rainbow Bridge, but while he was here, he loved nothing more than a good road trip. His mom admits that Murray was not "a normal cat," and loved riding in cars. Here's his story, as told by Murray the First himself:
When alive, I loved riding in cars. For that matter I suppose I still could as a ghost cat, but it doesn't seem practical.
Often we would drive from Texas to Missouri to visit grandma. I would take a travel sized litter box along since it's a 12-hour trip, and I'd get really excited when we got in the car. I would yowl for the first 20 miles or so and then use the litter box because I got too excited. I won't repeat here exactly what Dad said, but it usually included the sentiment that I should have done that before we left. Didn't have to go before we left. And I DID warn him it was coming.
He would pull over to a parking lot, and empty the litter box for me. Then we all settled down for a long drive. I often offered to do some of the driving, but Mom and Dad never accepted the offer. Their loss - I was free to sit on the center console in the sun and nap leaning against Mom.
Fur a short time we had a van and that was very cool. Mom and my other grandma would sit in the middle seats and I was free to ride shotgun.
Every time we got fairly close to our destination, we passed through a small town (which I won't name here) that had the BEST smell. It smelled like catnip, except not exactly. I'd stand on somebody's lap so I could press my nose to the vent and get all the smell.
Mom said they couldn't smell it, but it must be somebody growing pot. She told my I should be a drug enforcement cat (DEC)! I didn't have time to do that, but I would have loved having a badge...
As I mentioned in a prior entry, I enjoyed the drive through restaurants where people would hand us food. Sometimes even fish! Not only did I get to share, but usually the purrson in the window would make a fuss about how well-behaved and/or handsome I was.
One time when we had the van Miles went with us. He slept through the drive and missed a lot of the fun, but he was delighted with the destination. He sat in the window all day watching the farm cats that live outside at grandma's house. He wanted to stay longer, and ran away from Mom to hide when it was time to go home. MOL It didn't work - she caught him anyway.
But grandma was very happy that he liked her house so much that he wanted to stay. So I'm glad he made her feel good and loved.
A few years ago we went to visit grandma and Mom and Dad decided not to drive all the way home in one day, but I don't remember why.
So, they found a hotel that let me stay with them. It was my first time in a hotel and I loved it. First we got in this little room that moved up and down. Mom said it was an elevator. I'd heard of these but never had seen one in real life. Mom said my eyes got wide when it started to move - it was so much fun!
Then we went into a room that had 2 beds and a TV and a bathroom. Since I had my travel litter box and food, I was all set. But there were lots of places to explore. My only complaint was that I wasn't allowed to explore the hallway and I really wanted to go out and see who else was staying there.
The next morning we got up, Dad got us some breakfast, and we hit the road again. WELL, we just got to Oklahoma City when the car died! Mom got it to the side of the road ok, but it wouldn't go any further. None of my suggestions worked either.
Mom started calling on her cell phone and soon a taxi arrived and he waited with us until a tow truck arrived. Well through the stupidity of humans, Dad had to go with the tow truck and Mom and I took the taxi to try to find a rental car. The tow truck driver wanted Dad to go with him all the way to Dallas for some reason.
Mom wanted me to ride in the back of the taxi with her, but I insisted on sitting up front with the driver in case he needed help. (I'm not trusting my mom to just anyone.) The driver laughed and said it was ok for me to ride shotgun and we went in search of a rental car. I rearranged his paperwork a little on the front seat so I could see out the window. When he really seemed baffled, I put my front paws on the dashboard to direct him - he seemed appreciative.
We drove around and around, and the driver wanted to drop us off at the airport. Mom said NO - she was not going to cart me through the airport to find a rental counter (they didn't have one outside). Darn - I wanted to see inside the airport.
But we found a Hertz local place, and Mom and I went inside. They couldn't believe how polite and calm I was just walking around their offices. (They had a serious mouse problem, but I didn't have time to deal with it for them.) They were very impressed, and gave me a bowl of water while I waited. I recommend Hertz!
Meanwhile, it was a good thing I was there to help, because the whole time we were in the taxi Mom was on her phone yelling at the roadside assistance place because they lost Dad. Finally she said that if they didn't bring him to us right THERE at the Hertz place, she would call the police. Pretty soon the tow truck pulled in and Dad got out of it. Heh-heh! Go MOM!
We rented a car and drove the rest of the way home. The tow truck driver got his brother-in-law to ride with him to Dallas to take the car back to the dealer, and Mom calmed down a lot. After all of that, the dealer said there was one loose screw that cut the connection between the computer and the engine and that's why the car quit. Technology is sometimes frightening.
But they paid for the tow, tightening the screw, the taxi and the rental car, so it turned out ok. And I had the best time riding in a taxi, staying in a hotel, and renting a car. Not to mention laughing at Mom!
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