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  • Writer's pictureAldona Birmantas

Time to Pack: Vacation or Guilt Trip? (Feline Friday Series)

Much like my love for cats, I also have a strong love for travel. Thus, a few times a year, much to the cats’ dismay, I skip town. Betty, being the older one, has been around for this much more often than Marge. Betty, also being the co-dependent one who would prefer that I never set foot out of my apartment ever, isn’t much of a fan of these times. I can see the look of “Ugh, no, not *this* again” on her face the moment I drag the suitcase out.

Once the suitcase is open and ready to be packed, Marge will come sniff it out and maybe hop in for a sec to see what the fuss is about. Betty will jump into the suitcase and just sit there, staring pitifully at me. I like to joke that she’s taking me on a guilt trip because I truly believe that’s her intention- and, of course, it works! Eventually, it’s time for me to go and I have to bid farewell to them at least a dozen times before I can walk out the door.

Similar to every other diehard cat owner I’ve met, I sing and talk to Betty and Marge almost constantly when I am home. However, that doesn’t stop when I set foot out the door. When I travel, I find that I still sing and talk to them as if they are there with me. I especially do it if my lodging is a house or apartment (a house or apartment without an animal in it just feels weird and not very homey to me). I went on a trip about a decade ago with my partner at the time and we spent an entire dinner just making up songs about Betty.

Betty would get so lonely when I was gone and I would worry about it, but I do believe the addition of her frenemy (Marge) has helped that out somewhat. Whether or not they interact much during that time, I have no idea, but I’ve noticed that Betty doesn’t seem as anxious when I’m not there since Marge has been around. Marge is always happy when I get home, too, but I don’t think she is overly upset when I am gone. Marge is perfectly content with soaking up all of the attention when the cat-sitter arrives, but Betty wants no part of it and will just lay in one of her spots until my return.

From all previous experiences, I know that every time I return from a trip, I will not sleep much that night. Betty will wake me up every ten minutes by meowing and pawing at my face, almost as if she is “just checking” to make sure I am really there and that I’m not just a figment of her imagination. It’s actually very cute and funny. Before Marge came along, sometimes the second night of being home would also have a similar result.

By the time this blog is live, I will already be on Day #3 of being gone. I will have already received multiple updates on how they are doing and will likely have made up a few new albums’ worth of songs about each cat. For added fun, my housemate during this trip is also a fellow cat enthusiast, so I am certain there will be a lot of chatter about our beloved weirdos back home. By the time this blog is live, I will have already been missing them terribly since the moment I stepped outside my apartment to leave. Those pet guilt trips are no joke!

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