Friday, December 17, 2010

A bad cat day

Jorgito was already feeling a little punk when we loaded him in his cat cage at 0-dark:30 this morning.  We set the alarm for 4:00 bus time which was 3:00 Calgary time.  By 4:30 we had the bus parked for the rest of the winter with the micro-truck snuggled in beside it.  We haven’t shut the bus down like that for over 3 years now so it felt pretty weird.  It got a lot weirder before the morning was over.

We breezed through the Horizon check-in – nobody there but us and the two agents.  And we weren’t long at US Homeless Insecurity either.  There was a bit of a lineup when we arrived and there were only two agents on but at 6:00 a bunch more agents arrived and things moved pretty quickly.  The guy we got was actually jovial, inquiring about how the cat was travelling and generally waving us through.  Then we hit the Canadian version of TSA – I can’t remember what the acronym is but they all say Bowjewer – Good Morning as you walk up to them and there’s about 400 of the useless tits in the Calgary airport alone.  All wearing blue latex gloves too.

So we took off our shoes and unpacked our computers and emptied our pockets and waited patiently.  Pretty soon some nitwit appeared and asked us why Jorgito wasn’t mentioned on our boarding passes.  Huh?  Since we have never flown with any animal before what did we know?  For a while it looked like they were going to make us retrieve our checked luggage and pack our goodies back to Horizon’s check in so that we could start over from scratch.  There was a lot of bustling around and talking on walkie talkies and making of phone calls.  Eventually one of the nitwits approached us and told us that one of us would indeed have to return to Horizon check-in but that the other one could stay at “security” with all our stuff.  Ridiculous as it sounds we felt grateful for that concession. 

So off I went on the great quest for a felt pen scribble on our boarding passes.  And that’s exactly what I got after I went backwards through security pre-screening, US Immigration (where you turn in your declaration card), US Customs (where you answer all the silly questions), US customs pre-screening, the 2nd US customs pre-screening and finally back to Horizon’s counter.  At which point the Horizon agent was genuinely baffled as to what I was talking about.  She was no dummy however.  If “security” wanted something written on my boarding pass then she was more than up to the challenge.  She whipped out her Sharpie, scribbled “Cat Incabin” and I was on my way back through US customs pre-screening #1, US customs pre-screening #2, US Customs bitchy-broad who was holding my passport, “security” pre-screening and finally back to the actual security lineup.  Then I got a full body scan which I managed to thoroughly confuse by virtue of having about 47 dollars in mixed currency in my right hand pocket.  Good thing it wasn’t in my underwear. 

I was more than a little rattled by that point but I honestly don’t think a soul looked at my boarding pass after the nice lady at Horizon scribbled on it.  After all that the flight was pretty un-noteworthy.

When we arrived in Seattle it was an absolutely gorgeous day.  Clear blue sky.  Not a breath of a breeze so the ocean was like a mirror.  We made a quick stop at Target on the way to Elliott Bay to pick up a pizza for dinner and then went on a major grocery and provisioning run after dinner.  I got my Verizon wireless dongle reactivated so that I could get online.  The two boxes of stuff that I shipped from Airdrie on Tuesday arrived this afternoon while we were out shopping so we are truly settled now.  (the place is in a hell of a mess but at least we have the necessities for housekeeping)  We’ll spend the next few days getting to know our new home before we start into any major work. 

Jorgito however is not so sanguine about his day.  He started in a funk because he had to go to the vet yesterday.  A complete waste of time and money as usual but you have to play the game.  Horizon insisted on having a “letter from his vet stating that all his shots were current within the last 3 months”.  He’s the healthiest cat you could hope to meet and he is well vetted but no vet with half a brain would ever write that letter unless he had poked or drugged the cat within the last 3 months.  Marilyn couldn’t get an appointment for the little vermin until yesterday and of course the vet found something that he could sell her by way of a needle or a pill so Georgie was already feeling rough when Marilyn stuffed him into his cat cage in the middle of the night.  And then things went right downhill from there.

Nobody at any point gave a damn about his papers or the famous vet-letter.  George however clearly disliked all the strange smells and big noises.  By the time we got to the boat he was so pissed off that when he came out of his cat cage he promptly turned around and went back in.  And he’d still be there if I hadn’t dragged him out by the scruff of his neck.  But he let us know in no uncertain terms that he wasn’t pleased with the new accommodations.  Right now he’s curled up sleeping on the master bed but if one of us goes in there and tries to pat him he lets out the most blood curdling yowls.  He’s clearly not a happy camper but he’ll just have to cope with it.  I’ve tried to point out to him that his options are adjust or go overboard but I don’t think he listens.

Marilyn just pointed out that George has had a really bad week, not just a couple of bad days.  When we went back to Saskatchewan we put him in storage so he was just getting over that ordeal when he had to go to the vet and then it’s been all downhill from there.  As far as he’s concerned anyway.

For us on the other hand it’s been a pretty wonderful day.  It’s a tremendous relief to be back onboard with all our gear.  We’ve had a frantic month since we were last here and we are both looking forward to kicking back a bit over Christmas.  We’ve got no shortage of things to do while we’re here but the first and most important is to relax.  I’ve got some beer in the fridge, Marilyn has three magnums of wine and tomorrow I’ll track down some scotch.  Then we’ll truly be settled.


Singing Land Cruiser said...

Poor George, I can understand how he feels put out But he'll get use to it and find his place aboard. Maybe as a Swabby.
We are so happy for you guys and sad that our paths will not cross for some time. We will miss you three. All the Best, M&C

Jorgito's dad said...

That's the hardest part about staying on the boat and moving it back home. We're really excited about our new toy but very sad to miss Quartzsite and all our southern friends. I expect by Dec. 2011 the novelty of the boat will have worn off and we will be back in Arizona or S.California again. We'll certainly come your way when we do.

Anonymous said...

We will miss you at Q this year, but maybe see you sometime in Saskatchewan if our schedules permit.

Have a great Christmas and New Year.

Mark & Donna

Reluctant Cowboy said...

I'm so sorry to inform you that the scotch will have to be replaced by rum now that you are a boatie :) It is just one of the sacrifices one has to make to be on the water. If you need help in the transition just let me know.


Jorgito's dad said...

Your berth is ready and waiting. What do you want with your rum?