Jodell, Ed, and Bear's Excellent Adventure

by Jodell Raymond

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Well, "Bear" and I shared with you the story of our First Bath.

Then we told you all about our local First Show.

We have now attended several local shows together and I have now had the opportunity to reflect on my show experience thus far.

I did not plan to do as many shows as we have, but I could not resist as they were in my backyard! And, it was fun!

More importantly, I am getting more comfortable with grooming techniques. Except for that one time at the show when he had diarrhea which he got on the back of his tail. Of course, a spectator picks this particular time to admire him and ask me what I feed my cat... and that's when I notice the poop on his tail!

Being inexperienced and in a minor panic, (actually it was a major panic) I flipped the tail back and the diarrhea shoots across his back in a skidding fashion.

I am hyperventilating now, and beyond panic, I scoop him up, and start cleaning furiously, forgetting that I have him against me and my brand new light blue sweater.

You get the picture.

Needless to say, imagine the dry cleaner clerk's face when she asked what was on the sweater.

But, we survived.

The show hall was just around the corner, so I had Ed, my hubby, bring me another sweater. I just walked around in my coat for an hour until he could get there. Other than that little incident, things went swimmingly! And I actually have some idea as to what was going on!

Until now, all the cat shows I have entered have been around the corner, down the street, or within an hour's drive.

But in the natural course of things, we were always destined to begin to travel farther from home.

So, here we are... just about ready to leave this week for our first AWAY show... Destination: The Albany/Schenectady Cat Show.

This "away" show will be our first - and another totally new experience for us.

Attending this cat show means not one hour, but a FOUR hour drive from home, a hotel stay, and a four hour drive back!

We (Bear and I) decide to tell Ed the week before the show that we have entered (I entered a month earlier.) We just tell Ed how great it will be that we can all be together for a few days. Kind of like camping.

Ed does not say a whole lot when I tell him - at least not that I could decipher as being part of the English language.

For our road trip, I have made a list of the things we need to get. Which means back to my now favorite new store, Walmart.

I have my list in hand.

First stop... More Goop.

Next stop... a mini-refrigerator. (I pretended that this was a casual stroll down the camping aisle, like I just saw a refrigerator, and thought how nice it would be to have one to keep the food cold).

This is also a new experience as I have never been in the camping aisle either. This is stealth planning at its best.

There it is! I see it! It will definitely do the trick... and it's only $47!! The cutest little refrigerator. Bear's diet consists of raw meat, dry food, hamburger and rice, and local water. We cannot have a diarrhea situation on "foreign" soil. I cannot have him on dry food for two days.

We grab the refrigerator.

Or, I grab the refrigerator. Ed keeps saying, "Are you sure we need this?"

I keep walking. I have a list after all.

Ed pays for the refrigerator, Goop, and shampoo (I make a quick stop down the shampoo aisle on the way to the checkout, and before he could figure out where I went). We walk out of the store.

Next stop. Petsmart.

I needed to get a transport carrier for him (Bear, not Ed). He cannot sit for four hours in a cat carrier. We find a nice carrier that is big enough for a midsize dog. Actually, this thing can fit a German Shepherd.

At the checkout, the clerk asks, "What kind of dog do you have?"

I throw my nose in the air and say, "Dog. No we don't have a dog. We have a SHOW CAT. He's a PERSIAN."

The clerk says, "Au, must be some cat."

"Yes," I say, "He is some cat. He is a SHOW CAT and we are going to a show in Albany."

Exit store, $89 later.

I have my list and am now prepared... Now we must pack for the trip.

I have everything in the spare bedroom ready to go.

  • Refrigerator, Check.
  • Grooming supplies, Check.
  • Show curtains and rug, Check.
  • Two bottles of local water because we cannot use foreign water, Check. (Foreign water is any water outside our county.)
  • Litter boxes, Check.
  • Litter that he is used to, rather than foreign litter, Check. Same reason as above.
  • One litter box for the car and one for hotel, Check.
  • Cat food, Check.
  • Dishes, check. Not plastic dishes, but china. He does not "Do" plastic. Yes, I am serious.
  • Water Bottle, Check.
  • Blow dryer, Check.
  • Plastic bags for trash, and micro trash can, Check.
  • Cat toys for hotel and show hall, Check. All of the above in three bags, two designated for the show hall, and one designated for the hotel.
  • One transport carrier,
  • one cat carrier,
  • one blanket, (the $5 dollar store blanket of course),
  • one towel,
  • one grooming table, Check.
  • And… one suitcase for Ed and I.

When everything goes into the trunk, Bear's stuff takes up most of the trunk and our little suitcase takes up one teensy-weensy corner! Is something wrong with this picture? One little cat with SO MUCH STUFF? How is this possible?

So with everything now in the car, we begin driving.

We hit a snowstorm on the way down to Albany. Ed was a trooper and just drove right through it!

And, thank goodness for the cat transport carrier. For the trip down, Bear was comfy, cozy, and most importantly, asleep!

Albany was fun!! The cat did think he was camping and raced around the hotel room. He looked like a cartoon running around.

The first night Ed and I ate in the hotel because I did not want to leave the hotel. Actually, I did not want to leave the room, but Ed convinced me to go down to the hotel restaurant, and that Bear would be fine.

He was.

I just finished my dinner quickly and ran back upstairs. I don't recommend that. You get indigestion!

The second night we went out to a restaurant. I saw everyone else leave their rooms and figured it was O.K.

After the show, on the way back home, Bear fussed a little bit. I ended up (once again) sitting in the BACK SEAT on the trip to keep him company. I started out in the front seat. But, he carried on so much, that when we got to a rest-stop an hour away from home, I relented and went and sat in the back seat with him. I think he was hungry. I did not think about that until AFTER we got home!

I have resigned myself to the fact that I am going to see the country from the backseat!

Of course, once I got in the back, Bear was quiet as a church mouse!

But we made it! Our first road trip accomplished!!

We can now travel with Bear!!

Next Stop: Last show as a kitten!

Jodell and her Himalayan kitten, "Bear", share stories of their first forays into the world of cat showing:

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