In the late summer of 1987, my first husband landed a job near my hometown. Yes! I was finally able to pack up and leave Colorado to return to Wisconsin. Daniel moved in with my parents sometime in August and the first part of September I packed up all of our possessions, twenty-month-old Nicholas, and our black cat Keshia and began the 1200 mile drive.
OK, it really wasn’t so dramatic. My in-laws loaded their truck and rented a U-Haul. They rode most of the way with Nicholas, while I followed in my Chevy Citation packed full of my clothes, other personal items and the cat. Oh, and for the first half of the trip, Grandma rode shotgun, until we dropped her off at her son’s house near Lincoln, Nebraska.
For that first entire five hundred miles, Keshia remained in her cat carrier on the car seat between me and Daniel’s grandma. The cat cried the entire time, nonstop. In an attempt at added attention, she kept poking her paw out of the cage and clawing at poor grandma. After we dropped off Grandma, the cat continued to mew, but at least from the passenger seat she was no longer able to reach anyone to claw. It wasn’t until I was fifty miles from home that I finally left her out. She explored the car gingerly, but then settled on the back of the car seat just behind my head.
The poor traumatized cat. She ended up living in my parents’ garage for nearly a year, before I was finally able to take her home, to the trailer house that Daniel and I had bought. Two years after that she moved with us to the house we bought, the house I am still in and the house where my pride of cats really started.