I was sitting on a weird pink box in my apartment when the unthinkable happened. My human Caroline scooped me up and shoved me into a crate. She didn't ask me if I wanted to get in the crate, she simply decided that this was crating time. I dug in my heels and stuck my stinky tail in her face, but she was insistent.
There was another human with her, helping her do this to me. I meowed in protest and sent telepathic signals to them both. Either they have great strength or the crate blocks all psychic activity. My money is on the crate. It is made of evil.
It was nighttime when this horrible event took place. They carried me outside and the wind blew through my little window sending me reeling. It had to be -17. Ok, maybe -4. My luxurious fur barely protects me from the chill.
Unceremoniously, they stuck me in the back of the car, and tried to assuage me with treats. As if treats would ever make up for what they were doing to me. Well ok maybe a little. And oh yes, they gave me water. I suppose that helped.
I was still very very unhappy.
The great metal beast began moving, the humans had forgotten to buckle me in. My face was being splashed by my tiny bowl of water and I knew this would be the day I died. Then suddenly the door flies open and hands are securing my psychic-energy-blocking crate to the seat and the sliding stops. My face is still wet. I will make them pay.
For the first hour of this journey I made as much noise as I could, scratching at the walls and telling them all the things that I would do to them once we stopped. Unfortunately, I got so worked up that I wasn't as articulate as I had hoped. I had tried to say, "Please mademoiselles I demand that you return me to my warm heated house this instant or I shall be forced to call the authorities." But it came out as "meow meow meaaaaaaaow." All of my diction lessons at university failed me at an instant. Such was my stress.
My human turned around in the front seat and poked at me. "You're ok, Stanley. We're almost there."
Hearing her voice reassured me, I felt myself calming down. Alright, we're not going to the vet – I thought – maybe this will be a short pleasant trip...
Little did I know that she was a dirty liar.
Well into the evening we arrived at this...place. There was snow everywhere although the temperature had raised to a balmy -1. When they let me out of my crate it was sweet liberation, although I had no idea where I was. I stretched myself out and hopped up onto the computer desk, there was an odd family on the computer monitor. They looked nothing like my human Caroline. I figured since they lived in the computer they must be robots. I rubbed up against the monitor for good measure, taunting them with my fur. All robots wish they have fur, I have this on good authority.
Throughout the night I prowled the tiny room, looking for a way out. Finding none, I went over and sat on my human's face. Maybe if she stopped breathing she would realize my discomfort and take me home.
It was not to be.
The humans have forgotten the bathroom materials. They have placed a white bag in a box and thought that would be sufficient. Do they think I have no dignity? Have they lost their minds. I am not a dog, I have...standards. However, I have to go. Maybe they have hidden the essentials in the horrible crate.
Sadly, when they shove me back inside, no materials. I consider that, when I have the opportunity I could always poop in their shoes. Dogs tend to find it amusing...the thought comforts me.
After two hours of motor vehicle whirring and humans singing along to the worst music I have ever heard, they pull over again and accost me. I think maybe it is finally my turn to drive. I went to kitty driving school and have my license, but the humans always laugh when I tell them. They don't seem to believe that my license is perfectly valid. I am also an excellent driver.
But, instead of handing me the keys, they bring out my litter box again. Except this time it has the essentials. I think, you must be kidding. There are like, y'know, windows. People can see me. I attempt to climb into the front seat but I am thwarted. She places me in the box and I am feeling so much pressure. This is not the way that these things are supposed to go...
Then, seemingly out of nowhere there is this aroma. It's sweet and nurturing, reminding me of my times as a kitten playing with the curtain tassels. The feelings of nostalgia overwhelm me, I go into a trance. I hear beautiful music playing all around me and without warning, my body releases everything I had been holding in since yesterday. The relief floods over me.
Still taken over by calm, I find myself back in the crate. I am joined by a tiny squeaking creature that I know must be eradicated. I know this with every measure of my being. However, the little being is tough, so eventually I grow weary and fall asleep.
When I awake I am surrounded by images of myself. Truly, on the wall there are 14 Stanleys staring back at me. What creature has taken my soul and put my consecrated persona into the shimmering walls. This must be investigated. I rub up against all of my clones trying to understand, to grok, my current circumstances. The other Stanleys are behind an impenetrable barrier. I stare and I stare, attempting to shatter the pane that separates me from my brothers, from the many aspects of my self.
"Ohhhh Stanley, are you looking at how handsommeeee you are." My Caroline says. My Caroline does not understand the depth of my distress.
I say "Meow" and look at her, but what I mean is "Can't you see that I've found myself, but after coming all this way in a strange space vehicle, and being so close...I still cannot reach myself?"
My existentialist crisis grows at an alarming rate.
She doesn't seem to understand. She scratches me behind my ears. The feeling is so euphoric that I am temporarily distracted from my plight. That is, until she leaves me for countless hours to solve the problem on my own. This is unkind.
By the time she returns I have made no progress. The Stanley's beyond the hard smooth surface continue to mock me. They seem to say, "Don't you want to be one of us? Come to the other side."
All is lost as again I am pressed into the crate. I become motionless with despair. Never will I see my brothers, my refracted selves again.
The humans press on despite my pain. They must never have experienced the torment I feel so acutely.
Fortunately, today is mercifully short. We are driving through a world that is yellow and white and yellow and white with the occasional patch of grey. They call this strange place Misery. The name matches the shades haunting my soul.
For me, the ride, for once, is fine. All the roads are straight, there aren't any potholes, and the humans are in a trance of some sort because they are saying little and keeping the music down. I drift in and out of consciousness, catching glimpses of cows and odd pointy-topped buildings and the setting sun.
When I am carried inside that night I am delighted to find that there is in fact another one of me. Except this mini me is smaller than me and corn-yellow and and a speed demon. I am also called Stanley while he is called Flash. I vow that I will hypnotize him to be my minion, but before I can get a lock on his eyes he darts out of the room and under the bed.
Perhaps by morning I will have tamed this feral creature.
I have succeeded, he wishes to journey on with us. I have even allocated space in the crate. My plan was perfect...until my Caroline ruined everything.
Come now Stann-y (she gets cutesy when she wants something, she knows the effect it has on me. I am so ashamed) say goodbye to Flash. It's time to go.
I am nonplussed for the duration of the day's journey. When one has the chance to manipulate a younger assistant to do his bidding for all eternity, and one loses the chance, one becomes inconsolable.
I brood. I brood. I brood.
When the car stops and I am carried inside yet another strange domicile I am immediately surrounded by not one, not two, not three, but four furry beings that have naught to do but antagonize me. One of them hasn't had a hair cut in years and I cannot see its eyes. Never trust a creature who hides its eyes. Another is offering me a tiny rubber snow man as if fetching were something a cat would ever consider. A third is growling intently, but strangely this being is the least unsettling. The fourth is licking itself. The fourth is also a cat, but unfortunately not one who wants anything to do with me. It is not like Flash. Again I fall into a melancholy.
Oh, the pangs of ennui.
I retreat to the highest window sill I can find and wait until dinner time. The window is my solace. The window is my refuge. The window is, unfortunately, quite drafty.
After a night spent in utter despair, listening at the door in case one of them broke in, I am whisked away for a 6th time. Into the crate, into the cold, but not before the creature with hidden eyeballs knocks me over. I am in a huff. My Caroline uprights my crate but pays me no real notice, but I know she is eager to leave this strange place as well. I know this because she gives me a snack. Snacks are the best way to show me you love me.
I am a cat. I have simple needs. Food and world domination.
In the evening we arrive in the most magical of places. There is the largest catbed I have ever seen. There are no hidden-eyeball cretins. There is even a frozen waterfall. I take up the entire bed and use all the blankets and sleep the best sleep I have had in many moons.
OH MY BLARGH WHY AREN'T WE THERE YET CAN'T YOU SEE I'M A CAT AND I HATE ROADTRIPS THIS IS THE WORST THING YOU HAVE EVER DONE TO ME I - ....oh what is that pleasant aroma? I think someone has released the most fragrant she-cat into the car and she is adorned in catnip perfume oh my, wow...I feel strangely serene.
Stanley the cat, Caroline the human, and Joey the human spent 6 days in the car enjoying each other's company as much as could be possible and listening to 80s music. Altogether they drove approximately 3,107 miles through 16 states. Stanley is now living like a king in Portland, OR and will not be getting in a car for a very long time. Or at least, that's what we told him.
© 2015 Salem Pet Photo