I’m feeling it now, that stomach-churning excitement of imminent travel mixed with fear of flying and…guilt.
Guilt has whiskers and four paws—meet our cat Janacek. Janacek is a big, lovey fellow whose hobbies include shedding, begging for dinner, shedding, sleeping in sunbeams and by the radiator, shedding, sitting like a pumpernickel loaf, playing hockey with his catnip mouse, shedding, reclining on his side with a picturesquely curved paw, and shedding. We adopted him ten years ago from a local shelter, where he’d been previously adopted, de-clawed, and then returned to the shelter. It’s hard for me to imagine why anyone would adopt and then return such a sweetie pie
it was because of the shedding, though their loss is our gain. We are unclear about how he old is, though one thing is certain, Janacek is no traveling cat. Janacek does not want to go in his cat carrier. Janacek does not want to stay at my parent’s house. Janacek does not want to visit the apartment next door. Janacek wants to stay home in his own damn apartment and shed.
So we leave him at home. Fortunately, we have help: my parents are good for for a few kitty checkups (during which they usually rearrange my furniture) and for the rest of the time we hire the world’s greatest pet-sitter. My parents and our pet-sitter keep us up to date on Janacek via email and that lessens my anxiety, but still, he’s always on my mind. I start to see him everywhere, especially in art.
On viewing Luca della Robbia’s Emblem of the Arte della Lana on our first trip to Florence I shouted out”It’s Janacek!” You can appreciate the remarkable resemblance for yourself since we recreated della Robbia’s masterpiece with our own furry Lamb of God.
How do you cope with pet related travel guilt?