Tag Archives: cars

Musings: Cat in Car

Today’s topic is: “Tell us a funny story about an animal.”

Once upon a time, I had a wonderful roommate. His name was Clark and he was a very large orange and white cat. (Even though I limited his food in an attempt to keep his weight under control, he averaged a sturdy 14 pounds during our seven years together.) We lived together in a cozy walk-up apartment in Boston and in a spacious patio apartment in the desert. And we moved across the country together, twice.

Our first cross-country adventure was in 2005. That summer, I decided that I needed a significant change in the direction of my life. (This was my first intentional detour; a second, more significant one, would come in 2011.) I gave notice at my corporate job in Boston and started planning to move home to Phoenix (during the hottest month of the year). I was, of course, intending to bring Clark with me.

Five weeks before our departure, I bought a harness, a retractable leash, and a huge pet carrier. I wanted him to get used to wearing the harness so that I would have something to hold onto when I needed to get him in and out of the car. He wasn’t a huge fan of it at first, but he eventually stopped trying to wiggle out of it. However, his glares that said “you should be ashamed of yourself for inflicting this humiliation on me” never went away.

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When August 1st arrived, I packed up the rental car, strapped Clark’s enormous carrier into the passenger seat, and headed west. For the first two days, we made regular stops for snacks, water, and bathroom breaks, and thankfully, he slept a good portion of the time.

clark sleeping

However, on the third day, just as we were entering Chicago, I got completely stressed out. I was driving an unfamiliar vehicle, in dense traffic, in a city I didn’t know. They have these crazy left-side on-ramps that appear out of nowhere! And Clark decided that right then was the perfect time to start howling. Not a cute little meow-meow; a full-on wail that said “I have never been more miserable, not even the last time you tried to give me a bath.” I tried to calm him (and myself) down by saying comforting phrases like “it’s alright, we’re almost there” (which we weren’t) but he continued to moan, over and over, very loudly into my right ear. Finally, I got so fed up, I yelled “YOU KNOW WHAT? YOU NEED TO CHILL OUT!” and I cranked the air conditioner on full blast. Almost instantly, he stopped yowling, sat down in his cage, and poked his nose out the vent to breathe in the cold, crisp air.

Clark nose

Huh, I thought… I guess he was hot. So, for the next three days, I drove to Arizona wearing my winter coat (in August) in a very cold, but very tranquil rental car.


Coincidentally, we ended up moving back to Boston five months later (in the dead of winter, go figure). Clark once again tolerated the carrier, the harness, and the retractable leash. And as you can see, we were both happy to be back in our old apartment.


Share your funniest animal story in the comments.

~ Phoebe DeCook

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