By: joealaska , 4:39 AM GMT on July 09, 2013

Yes, it was a bad start.

I thought I could hand carry the girls to the vehicle. It was their home and they would not be so stressed. Fluff was no problem. But Dutchie put up a fight from the start. The basic squirm move all cat owners know. But I anticipated it and adjusted. Both were in the car, secure. But I had to say Bye to Dianna, so I left them for a minute. When I came back, Dutchie was ready. Fluff could care less and watched the free entertainment.

I knew Dutchie wanted to bolt, and I was ready. But she easily faked me and was gone. She immediately went into a drainage pipe under Dianna’s driveway. Dianna was all over it, going to the far end and banging something to scare Dutchie back my way. That eventually worked, and Dutchie sprinted past me easily and sprang into a DENSE thicket across the road. No hope for a human to follow.

This could have lasted all day. That cat has more time than I have. We tried talking to her. Dianna went back to her house and I kept talking. Dutchie was talking back. I mimicked her. It took about 10 minutes, but out she came. I snatched her by the tail as she continued to play a game and stay just out of reach.

We all were in the car and I got the hell out of there.

Thanks Dianna for the quick goodbye. Dianna has the ONLY autographed version of my book, that has to be worth SOMETHING on EBAY.

Fluff occasionally put out a half hearted MROW. Dutchie was more adamant. Eventually she shut up, but started up again. Silence, then screaming. Sometimes just one good yell. She had a bite to eat from the buffet I laid out in the back seat. I swear she was eating and yelling at the same time. She almost choked.

It got better over time. I drove almost 500 miles before I stopped. BAKER CITY, OREGON.

Unloading the girls was a challenge. They are loose in the car, and I have a back seat folded forward so as to allow feline access to the trunk. In the trunk is all my luggage, as well as a litter box.. The trunk is pretty full.

When I turned off the car and turned around to grab a cat and put her in a carrier, there were no cats to be seen. They had both retreated to the deepest bowels of the trunk. Outta sight, outta reach. I arranged the cat carriers for efficiency, then called for the cats to come out. Right away, Dutchie appeared. Put in the carrier and delivered.

I knew Fluff would be more entrenched. But much less prone to bolt. My new car pops the trunk wide open when you hit the button. I did so. Fluff was exposed in her lair. She was comfortably sprawled at the very back, which was now closest to me. She gave no objection when I snatched her and packaged and delivered her.

Mission accomplished.

I had scoped out the room before I brought the cats in. There were a couple narrow openings and I covered them up. Dutchie got stuck behind the TV console. Lots of scratching probably heard next door. They have roamed every inch of the room, 5 times. Dutchie is sleeping under the bed covers. Fluff is plopped right in the middle of the big bed.

Should be a bit more efficient tomorrow.

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17. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
4:33 AM GMT on July 12, 2013
joealaska has created a new entry.
16. dotmom
1:47 PM GMT on July 11, 2013
OSDianna - I saw that too. Really warm up there in Dutch Harbor. I hope Joe passes on the golf this a.m. I don't think he should leave the cats in the car while he plays and he will probably be checked out of the hotel room. Just a mother worryin' agin'.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
15. osdianna
12:48 PM GMT on July 11, 2013
4:43am AKDT, and it's 58 degrees in Dutch Harbor! That is just plain weird. It's only 51 here in Ocean Shores, and looking like it might drizzle.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
14. GracieO
11:15 AM GMT on July 11, 2013
Dang Joe, you're booking it! Checking out the distances on Mapquest, 522 miles! I'm road weary just looking at it.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
13. Ylee
2:34 AM GMT on July 11, 2013
Are the kitties going to be in the cart while you play? :' )

You're making pretty good time! Two more days, perhaps?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
12. joealaska
2:26 AM GMT on July 11, 2013

Maybe a quick round of golf in the AM...
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11. osdianna
5:56 AM GMT on July 10, 2013
You're making good time...Dutchie's yowls give you good reason to move on down the road. I'm so glad you have Fluff to balance it out.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
10. joealaska
4:12 AM GMT on July 10, 2013
Rock Springs, Wyoming.

Fluff is the seasoned traveler.

Dutchie is the vocalist.

More tomorrow night.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
9. iaotter
1:56 AM GMT on July 10, 2013
Cat bites are the worst. I was cat sitting a friend's feline and startled him as I went to pick him up. He latched onto my hand and I swear it felt like his top and bottom teeth came together in the side of my hand. I went right to the doctor hoping to get it cleaned up and some antibiotic ointment so it wouldn't get infected. By the next morning I had rad streaks running up my wrist. When I called the Doctor he said to go straight to the hospital. I was in 3 days with IV antibiotics every couple hours. By the time the drugs finally kicked in the red was almost to my elbow. That was scary.
But, the cat seemed very sorry he bit me. As soon as he let go he rubbed up against my leg and purred and meowed like he was apologizing. Couldn't stay mad at him. Mostly it was my fault for trying to pick him up when he was intent on watching something in the grass.
Joe, I hope you and the girls are doing well and almost home. May the rest of your travels go without any more escapes or yowling.
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8. lotis2
11:22 PM GMT on July 09, 2013

Joe, what kind of pizza do you like?

If you're coming back thru St. Louis on your way home, let me know & I'll toss one in as you go by.

Careful popping that trunk open.

Safe travels.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
7. osdianna
6:18 PM GMT on July 09, 2013
Dotmom: Yes, Joe showed me Spec's work...still scabby. I told him about my own feral cat, Scooter, who came with the house. He eventually allowed a hand to be held out to him as long as it was palm down; if the palm was up he would nail me. Palm down produced a quick rub of his face on my hand, "marking" me with his odor...and of course he "allowed" me to feed him in a bowl at my feet.

That is how I got Sadie...his offspring; Scooter mated with another intact female that showed up in my yard at the same time as Rose, who was already fixed. Punkin (Sadie's mom) and Scooter would eat on a plate at my feet as long as I didn't try anything. When they began bringing Sadie along, she had no real fear of me. One day I saw Scooter start to mount Sadie, a whole 10 weeks I set up a 4X4X4 cage upstairs on the vinyl dining room floor, and that afternoon feeding, I just reached down and grabbed Sadie by the scruff of the neck and brought her inside and caged her...hissing and fighting. She adapted very quickly, and I kept her indoors only for almost a year before I allowed her outside.

She is very affectionate sometimes, but feral instincts are just below the surface. I'm lucky I caught her early...maybe Spec was older?

As for Scooter and Punkin, they disappeared during the week I went on an Alaska cruise. They were unable to sync with the lady who came by to feed all my indoor and outdoor cats; the outdoor plate was left untouched.
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6. dotmom
5:54 PM GMT on July 09, 2013
OSDianna: This is not the first time Joe has experienced blood from the cats - well maybe not his - but FranKy's. That is nothing to be snickered at. We had a neighbor who died from cat scratch fever. Her cats were all outdoor cats roaming the woods and one scratched her leg (she was over 80 y/o at the time). Her immune system was compromised and she got sick and couldn't shake it. Just a couple of months ago FranKY was bitten by her "Spec" and she ended up with an extremely swollen hand with lots of redness resulting in a trip to the Immediate Care Center where she got shots and pills. That trip was expensive and NO fun. Joe has had a couple of good bouts with Spec. Let's hope there are no repercussions. Cats!
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5. osdianna
5:42 PM GMT on July 09, 2013
He didn't mention the blood drawn by Dutchie in trying to get her into the car the first time, nor the fact he was wearing long pants for the first time on this trip...our marine layer was a tad coolish. It's a good thing really because the mosquitoes were doing some serious dining while we were trying to capture Dutchie.

As for the autographed copy of the book, I didn't want to stir up book envy, so I didn't mention it, but yes...I do have the first autographed copy...and it will NOT be up for grabs on e-Bay! It will be a treasured item, along with some of the DVD's (I watched the 2012 Overture), a sweatshirt (it fits), two caps from fishing boats (too big), and the 2012 visitors guide to Unalaska (a real gem, lots of info about the island). I was thrilled to get them, and I have to say, there is a good "coffee table" book in these photos...they are that good.

Finally, as Joe has mentioned, Dutchie does some serious noise at times...and I have to say she has one of the most piercing screams I have heard from any other cat, so my sympathies Joe. I expect she will settle down...I hope.
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4. OGal
12:05 PM GMT on July 09, 2013

Joe having two cats I am enjoying every part of your journey. Your kitties love you and will be so happy when you land in your permanent spot. On my Vet trips my cats yowl constantly. Izzy on the court of two and Petunia on the count of four. Music does help. Maybe it just helps me. Have fun...ya right.

Dianna gold stars on your kitty chart. What an awesome lady you are.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
3. insideuk
11:36 AM GMT on July 09, 2013
You’ve changed Joealaska.

There was a time when all YOUR luggage could have fitted inside a SHOE BOX…with your shoes included. You were always the type who knew that a long toothbrush handle was surplus to requirements.

You always had a place for everything, and everything in its place.

Including carrying your loose change in your socks. It never has been made clear if you wear them at the same time.

Mr Joe Jangles…

Now it sounds like you brought everything but the kitchen sink in the back of your poor car. And I for one hope that you did leave the sink at home because Dutchie has already shown willing with the drainage pipe disappearance trick.

You really don’t want to have to pull up outside the firehouse and ask them to extricate your cat out of a plastic U-bend now do you?

Maybe a McDonalds drive-thru would be better placed to help. Surely no cat can resist the lure of a Fillet-O-Fish?

Take good advice. Get them identity micro-chipped. And ask the vet for the heavily magnetised version for Dutchie.

Then she could entertain herself by sitting out on the hood catching bugs at 75mph.

She’d love that.

And your front windshield would stay so much cleaner.

Good luck with getting her out from under the motel carpet this morning...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
2. DHaupt
8:19 AM GMT on July 09, 2013
Just curious Joe, but have you had Dutchie and Fluff "chipped". After the upheavals of the last few months, I'd expect both them to be pretty stressed and flight risks, especially a high-strung cat like Dutchie. Damn, but they are beautiful cats!

I'm re-reading your book and enjoying it even more than the first time. This time, I have fired up my iPhone and Google Maps so that I can track your route and look at the local geography around Anaktuvuk. Found Minnie Street with no difficulty. Still not quite sure which "Y" your place was located. I hope someday you can re-publish it with some photos.

Good luck with the tiger cage for the rest of the trip.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1. BriarCraft
8:09 AM GMT on July 09, 2013
You're a braver soul than I to insert cat into car without benefit of carrier. Last time I tried that, I was bleeding in several places and was wishing for someone to help me let go of her. I hope you use the carriers in the morning to get them back in the car. Otherwise, Dutchie might lead you on an all-day chase just on general principles.

And don't get too smug, thinking you're smarter than a cat. At least it should be quieter after a couple hours on Day 2. Good luck!
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I have just taken a new job in Great Falls, Montana. A new state and new areas to explore.

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