…… of Texas.
The weather in Houston caused our plane in NY to be delayed for about 40 minutes, which really wasn’t all that bad.
Unless you’re hunched over in your seat while keeping one hand inside a pet carrier, trying to make sure that your cat isn’t dying, or already dead.
My flight was scheduled to leave at 1:00 p.m. and I was being picked up at 11:00 a.m., so I gave Oliver his prescription sedative at around 10:15. I gave him a double dose, just as I did back in October when we flew to NY (which the vet said I could do if the single dose wasn’t effective).
The double dose wasn’t as effective as I, or the driver who picked me up at the airport, would’ve liked.
But this morning he seemed to calm down pretty rapidly. I was able to put him in his carrier without getting claw marks on my arms and bits of black fur all over my white blouse (I have no idea why I almost ALWAYS wear a white top when I have to take him somewhere. None.).
He was pretty quiet on the trip to the airport. But he seemed pretty ticked off that I disturbed his drugged-induced nap when I had to take him out of the carrier and carry him through security.
And he let me, and everyone within the same zip code, know about it.
I felt like that person who’s carrying a crying baby down the aisle of the plane, while everyone refuses to make eye contact, in hopes that will cause her to keep walking past their row.
But as soon as I sat down at the gate to wait for the boarding process to begin, he stopped yowling. The silence was indeed …… golden.
But after about 5 minutes I got a bad feeling and couldn’t concentrate on the book I was reading.
So I unzipped the carrier a bit and put my hand in to pet him. And he didn’t move a muscle. I could feel the panic rising inside me, up to my throat, all the while trying to not let anyone know, and trying to see if he was breathing.
I couldn’t feel him breathing at all. He didn’t respond to anything I did …… rubbing his head, rubbing his feet or rubbing his stomach, which he hates.
He didn’t move.
And I suddenly knew that he had died.
Because I gave him a double dose.
I didn’t know what to do. Should I take the carrier on board and deal with this once I was in Houston? Should I say something to one of the gate agents? Should I wrap him in a bag and leave him in a bathroom trash bin?!
My mind was paralyzed and yet racing at the same time. And I was trying very hard to not cry in front of all those strangers.
My hand remained inside the carrier, petting him and praying that he’d be ok.
The last time I prayed that prayer things didn’t turn out so well.
To say the least.
But after a few minutes I noticed that his ears still felt warm. As did his feet. I knew that if he had really died, that wouldn’t be the case. So I just kept rubbing him, and feeling his ears. Then, right before we started boarding, I heard a little meow.
I cannot express the relief that I felt.
I was so fixated on getting him on the plane and continuing to rub and talk to him, that I sat in the wrong seat on the plane. The woman whose seat I was in said, none too kindly, “Excuse me!” I was bent over, one hand in the carrier, talking to Oliver when she said that. I looked up at her and she said, again, none too kindly, “That’s MY seat!” I was a bit confused and then realized that I had sat down in the row in front of my seat. So I got up, picked up my bag and the carrier and almost unleashed all of the emotions I had experienced in the last 30 minutes (panic, grief, confusion, relief, elation, worry) on her. But instead, I paused and then said, as sarcastically as I could, “Sorry!”
She saw the carrier and then suddenly got all syrupy and said, “Oh, that’s ok. I’ve done it before, too.”
Who knew that the sight of a pet carrier could calm the savage beast?
The flight was uneventful and Oliver slept for almost all of it, pretty much like last time, only he was much more sedated this time. I kept checking him throughout the flight.
And, just like last time, the drugs started wearing off right about the time we started to descend.
By the time we got off of the plane, he was yowling again.
Louder than ever.
Which thoroughly entertained everyone in the women’s restroom.
Not so much.
My friend Michele picked us up at the airport, and thankfully, he went back to sleep in her car.
He’s now hiding under my bed. This is the first time he’s been in this house so I imagine he’ll check it out a little at a time. He comes out from under the bed when I go into the bedroom, and he follows me around in there, but as soon as I head towards the door, he heads for the bed. And stays under it until I come back.
Thank goodness cats can’t write blogs.