I'm writing this from the Marriott Hotel and Convention Center in Bethesda, Maryland. It's been a long and tiring day.
I deliberately didn't pack my suitcase last night. Instead, I hung all the clothes I would be taking with me in the hall bathroom so the sight of my luggage wouldn't alarm either Bob or Dinah, my two younger cats. I wasn't too worried about Dinah because she's only been boarded once--six months ago. I didn't think she'd have made the association between my suitcase and her being stuffed into a carrier and dumped at the kennel. I KNEW Bob would immediately recognize the danger signal luggage posed.
My schedule called for us to leave at 8:30 AM to give me time to drop them off at the kennel in Dallas and get to D/FW Airport before the 10:30 boarding. That meant putting the cats in their carriers at 7:30 so I would still have time to pack my bag.
Bob was a sitting duck because of his habit of following me around all the time. I just walked out to the garage, waited for him to step into the garage and then I shut the door to the house. While he was sniffing around the Christmas decorations, I got his carrier off the shelf. I scooped him up, dropped him in it and locked the case. After opening the overhead door, I carried the carrier out to the driveway and set it down next to my car.
I returned to the house, figuring the major part of the job was done. It was only 7:40, leaving me plenty of time.
More fool me. Dinah was nowhere to be seen. I don't know how she figured it out. Bob had been so startled, he didn't make a sound.
I called to Dinah. No response.
I walked through the house, checking her favorite spots. No Dinah. The little witch was hiding. And since I've been singularly unsuccessful in keeping a collar on her (the score is now Dinah-9 Maya-zip), I didn't even have the benefit of a bell to help me find her.
I searched until 8:00 when I had to stop to pack. I'm a very efficient packer, and was done by 8:15. Still no Dinah. I now had fifteen minutes to either set up a litter box and enough water and food so that she could stay alone in the house for four days or figure out how to find her.
I took a gamble and opened the front door about one inch. I walked down the entry hall to the den and opened the pocket door between the breakfast room and the dining room. I circled around to the front door through the dining room.
Sure enough, there was Dinah trying to move the heavy door with her paw. Since I'd replaced the hollow door with a solid one when I moved in, there was no way a seven-pound cat was going to budge it. I slipped up behind her. She looked over her shoulder, and I asked, "Do you want to go out?"
The poor trusting little soul stayed in place, I scooped her up and carried her to the carrier.
I made my flight, but there was a problem on the tarmac at Reagan Airport. We were kept on the plane until nearly 4:00 PM.
I'm too tired to write a more coherent post. I promise I'll do better tomorrow.