Not only is this a grand adventure for the hubby and me but also one for my sister and her hubby.  You see, she agreed to take in our three rotten little freeloaders for the duration of my competition semester.  If I’m selected into the full professional program, we’ll be sending for them to join us in our new home but until then they are at kitteh camp in Nashville, TN.

Before we left, my parents, sister and her husband all made the trip out to Los Angeles for a big dinner celebrating all our birthdays and a final goodbye.  We also timed this so Mojo and Mab would accompany Dana and Steve on their return flight to Nashville as their carry-on luggage.
Flying with pets is stressful but flying with someone else’s cats, especially one that’s as neurotic as our dear Mab is downright tortuous.  Dana’s worst fears were realized at the LAX security checkpoint where they made her remove Mab from the carrier and walk her through the metal detector.  Keep in mind that we’ve owned Mab for 12 years and she still thinks we’re going to put her in a pot and cook her.  So removing her from the carrier was possibly one of the worst things you can do for a cat whose nerves are constantly on the verge of collapse.  But the flight was boarding and things were desperate, so poor Dana hung on to Mab as if her life depended on it and made it through the nightmare that is the TSA.  Steve also had to remove Mojo from the carrier but let’s face it, that cat is a little too hefty to make a quick get-away.

Mojo and Mab arrive at Kitteh Camp

The airlines only allow one carry-on pet per passenger so Gordito remained at home with us for another week.  Plus, removing the Gord from his carrier and walking him through security simply would never happen.  I can just imaging seeing breaking news of a TSA rep missing an eyeball, my sister crying and a manhunt for a crazed black cat running free in the terminals at LAX.  Yep, the Gord was getting shipped cargo style.

Once all the cats were safely in Nashville, the house grew sad and quiet although I no longer had to worry about hearing the sounds of cat nails against upholstery and seeing great tumbleweeds of fur floating by.  Dana and Steve were kind enough to send daily pictures of the little beasties both to ease our worries and to show us how their lives had been changed.

Dana is a woman of order and of rules.  First and foremost, NO cats on the bed.  Gordito was made aware of this rule so he immediately challenged her by staking claim to her pillow.

In all fairness, I did warn Dana about this

Attempts to remove him were unsuccessful.

Dana’s nightly routine now includes shooing Gordy from the pillow and doing a sweep to make sure there are no stowaways hiding under the bed.  Mojo seems to have perfected the art of going undetected during these sweeps and enjoys snuggling up to Dana long after she has fallen asleep.  No one, not even the cats, really knows where Mab is currently hiding out.

Notice the brave Mojo hiding behind his sister in the filing cabinet

The Gord has found a new favorite spot – the fireplace mantle.  We suspect he uses this as a platform for revolutionary rhetoric when Dana’s at work.

Dana melted my cat

And it seems to be working.  The troublemaker kitten of Dana’s, Bosco, is a now a devoted follower of the Gord.  And like other radical figureheads, the Gordy has developed a groupie in the form of Flower.  However, attempts at flirting by Flower have been rebuffed and she now admires from afar.

Everybody on the bed!

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