I see by the newspaper – to borrow a line from Will Rogers – that a feline in Green Bay, WI, covered a thousand miles between there and Roanoke, VA, as a stowaway in a moving van and it was none the worse for the experience.
After a three-day ride without food or water, the 10-year-old Annie hopped out as frisky as ever. She reminded me of Misty, a vagabond cat, who didn't seem to mind traveling a couple miles now and then.
She showed up in our garage, tired, hungry – and pregnant. That didn't happen to Annie, though, because no amorous Tom shared the ride with her. Misty wasn't that lucky.
Somewhere along the way she met a cat of another gender, and after a short-term romance, she found herself "with child."
Phyllis took pity on her and had her – in the words of the veterinarian – aborted and "fixed." Annie didn't have to undergo the operation, but she did find a friendly, though temporary, place to stay until her rightful owner came to get her. We weren't so lucky with Misty.
She hung around for several years – and an untold number of cans of cat food – until we sold the farm and moved to town. Despite Phyllis' anguish, we decided to leave Misty to fend for herself, but my wife – cat-lover that she is – did finally find a nice home for the roving animal.
They took her, but her traveling days weren't over. She wound up at another neighbor's house where she was fed and well cared for.
I don't know where she is now. Probably in Roanoke, VA, or Madagascar for all I know.
She didn't have a visa, so she's no doubt in this country, but I wouldn't put it past Misty if she sneaked aboard a ship going to God-knows-where. Like Annie, she's been a traveling cat, and she's liable to be anywhere!
So if you have a moving van, be sure you check it for meows before it takes off on a journey. You'll never know what you'll find when it gets there. It could be another Annie or Misty hiding and riding behind these boxes.
I've heard of cats and dogs finding their way home after being dropped off or abandoned miles from their feeding dish.
Misty couldn't – or wouldn't – make it back the few miles to its former owner after she had found a "soft touch" like Phyllis.
I thought she (Phyllis) had learned her lesson when she was bitten by a stray, traveling cat. The doctor gave her 13 shots in the belly and told her to capture the animal and keep it for several days to see if it was rabid or not.
She did what the doctor ordered and put it in a cage. But she put it in a wooden chicken crate from which it chewed its way out and escaped.
Who knows where it went traveling to, but it showed up months later as healthy as ever. She (Phyllis) had a sore belly for nothing.
Being neutral about cats, I thought the same thing would happen to Misty. She (not Phyllis) was not rabid but pregnant – and all I had to pay for were doctor and veterinary bills.
The chicken crate was a wreck!
© 2007 Robert F. Karolevitz