Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Fraidy Cat

Snickers is always entertaining us. But I shutter when I think about what it took to get Snickers here from California.

We moved to Georgia in the spring of 2002, just seven months from 911. Security was high. We bought a pet carry-on for Snickers. It is just a square, soft-sided oblong box. There is cloth mesh at both ends and on the top. The end zips open for �easy� access.

We are at the security station when the fat lady with the spray-on pants tells us that we have to remove Snickers from the carry-on so that they can run it through their x-ray.

Snickers is the epitome of paranoia when he�s at home with strangers in the house. Now, we are standing in a long line of strange people and strange noises. I unzip the case and reach in to pull him out. He doesn�t want to come and his claws come out and grip the little carpet floor of the bag. So he comes out with carpet stuck to his paws.

He�s looking around, his ears pasted back, he�s ready to bolt. I hold him tight avoiding the claws. I fear he�ll swipe me and leave me bleeding with ribbons of flesh hanging from my arms. I try to calm him with �That�s okay Snickers. Come on.� But he�s not buying it. I press his claws to my chest, feel the pain, and walk through the scanner with him. No lights or alarms go off but the important woman wants to wand me anyway.

Snickers glances back at her, hissing. His eyes follow her wand as it goes down my one side and up the other. I can only see the whites of his eyes. This was very entertaining for the folks standing in the line. Kids are pointing, people are smiling, I�m flush with embarrassment. Snickers tail was swatting. They see a man with a crazy cat glued to his chest hissing all around.

Finally, what seems like an eternity, she waves me through. And I put him back into his cage. This was much harder than pulling him out. I was pretty cut up when I was finished.

Through out the flight we consoled him by unzipping part of the opening and giving him a stroke. Once, he pressed his nose in the opening and his head popped out. We almost lost him in the feet of the passengers.

I think next time I�ll buy him a separate ticket and have him check himself in!

"Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this." Anonymous