Friday, January 9, 2009

The Move Day 2: Dec. 31, 2008

Today was our day of travel from Chicago to LAX. We drugged the cats more than an hour before we were due to leave, but the drugs didn't seem to help all that much. They were still really freaked out and upset. For this flight the cats had to go in the cabin with us, and were in smaller, soft-sided carriers. We got to the airport and got ourselves and our cats checked in in good order. I can't believe that we had to pay $100 per cat to have them in cabin with us, and they still counted as one of our carry-on items. Damn airlines squeezing us for every penny.

Worse was to come. We had to take the cats OUT OF THE CARRIER and carry them through security in our arms. SO not kidding you. As if the poor cats aren't freaked out enough, we had to take them out of the carrier (which had to be e-rayed) and walk through the metal detector with them. This was not in some secluded side area - this was the main security area with everyone else trying to get through. I was so terrified that one of the cats would struggle and that would be it - we'd loose them in the airport. So not happy with TSA - nothing on their website prepared us for that! We would have put a body harness on them so we could have had a solid grip, had we but known.

We were both really worried that one or both of the cats would cry the entire 5 hours, and that our fellow passengers would kick us off the plane at 30,000 feet. They did make some mewing noises, but the sound of the engines and the crying baby drowned them out. Did you know one infant can cry at the tops of his lungs for 5 hours? Yep - amazing stamina for such a little creature. Ugh. Fierce headache by the time we landed.

We flew over the Grand Canyon. Pretty cool sight. The picture is pretty hazy - it was fairly overcast.
From The Move

We arrived at LAX on time, and gathered all of our luggage and headed out to find a taxi. We found the people organizing the taxis and got in line. We ended up with a van, which we needed with all of our stuff. Then I endured the scariest cab ride of my life (and it was less than 5 miles to the hotel!). The driver sped into this parking lot and down a back ally behind the hotel. I seriously thought we were about to be mugged! He dumped us and our stuff off in the alley behind the hotel - no joke! Damn scary.

Jim's sister Branda (and her friend) stopped in to see is for a little bit before they went to a New Year's Eve party - it was so good to see her!

We discovered that night that my cat had pulled two of her front toenails completely out sometime during the flight. Her paws were still bleeding. Oh, I cried and cried - I felt responsible and so terribly guilty. (She seems to be doing just fine now. She is not favoring either paw, and will let us look at her feet if we are careful). Combine that with the fact that the drugs only seemed to make them punch drunk and not relaxed, and well, it was a traumatizing day for the kitties.

Needless to say I didn't really sleep that night, plus we had to be at the airport super early.

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