Friday, February 1, 2013

A flying cat?

I was standing in line waiting to board the flight from Charlotte to Boston and noticed a young, somewhat flamboyant looking woman standing across from me holding a black bag with meshed sides.

Inside the bag was a cat, it stood up and turned around a couple of times and I made eye contact with the young woman just as I was thinking, “now what on earth would possess someone to bring a cat on a flight with them…”

My colleague, who got onto the plane ahead of me got the seats mixed up and sat in my seat and I waved at him to stay there because we were both destined to be crushed between fellow passengers in the middle seat of our respective rows.  I asked the passenger on the aisle to let me through and pushed my briefcase in the space in front of me.  US Airways have a few airbusses and the legroom is not bad compared to Delta.

As I settled in with my legs on either side of the briefcase the young woman on the ailse reached down to her bag under the seat and said: “I have a cat there” and I looked at her and said “I saw you in the line and was wondering…”

“What that crazy woman is doing on a plane with a cat?” she finished off for me.
“Well what are you doing with the cat?” I asked.
We had a 2 hour flight so plenty of time to hear the story.

She had just spent two weeks in Savannah working (she is on an audition board for a TV network) and came across this cat near the dumpster at the hotel where she stayed.

The first time she met the cat she walked over to it and was surprised at how friendly it was, allowing her to rub its head.  After that, she found the cat running over to the car when she came back to the hotel - almost as though it was looking out for her.

Someone who saw her stroking the cat said to her that it had been around there for ages and had prompted the hotel staff to put latches on the trash because it was making a mess digging around for food.

There was a massive storm system that made its way through Georgia couple of days before the flight and when she heard that there was a tornado alert for the evening she decided to take the cat into her hotel room.  This meant bathing the cat - although it had done a good job of keeping clean on its own she didn’t want to take any chances.  She said she had told the cat it couldn’t get on the bed unless it smelled of “peaches”.

Can you imagine a cat being bathed?  Apparently this one had no problem with this, nor with being cradled upside down like a baby (try do that to an average cat sometime) and was soon running around the hotel room picking up and carrying her company access badge like a puppy.

Our intrepid traveler had said to her dad that she wished she could rescue it but living in Boston made this impossible…only to discover that her dad had gone ahead and bought the cat a plane ticket ($130).

So I got to find out what on earth possessed her.

The cat was amazing.  It looked up at her during take-off as if to say “what the hell?” but right after that curled up and slept and I saw it cleaning itself as we came in for our touchdown at Logan.  No meowing or scratching, just completely laid back.

I told her that both my daughters would be proud of her.  I didn’t tell her that I probably was not the dad who would have bought the cat a plane ticket but I think my daughters have come to terms with that about me… it all goes back to Charlie Browne - a pet I had years ago … but that is another story.

And the cat’s name?