Traveling with pets: cats in cars or Lastech’s traveling circus

Recently, Rudha-an posted about traveling by air in winter by air and its dangers. We know of a Sphynx cat who died from exposure in the cargo hold of a plane, a devastating experience for its new humans.
It’s said cats don’t travel, they are creatures of habits and the risk of escape is just too great.

grand auto theft
Grand Auto Theft

On the other hand, I also remember watching this guy on the main road to Yosemite, stopping to take a picture (on timer) of himself with his cat next to the park’s entrance sign.
He was driving a Subaru Outback wagon, so if this sounds familiar, give us a shout, this was sometime around May 2008, and dude, you got me thinking…

Half Dome

Yosemite Falls

The notion of hitting the road with three cats may sound nutty, but we do live in strange times… And I love road trips, which kind of limits how far we do go, and for how long since we can’t leave the Pointy Eared ones home alone too long. Three hours into our day-cation, one of us will ask “I wonder what [insert cat name] is doing?”
A few chuckles later, thinking about their antics, the next question will be slightly more serious: “I did close the front window, didn’t I?”, “did you refill the water dish?”, and on and on.
It’s not exactly paranoia, but well yes it is. Not enough to ruin the enjoyment but spoils it just that little bit.
I’m not sure when the notion occurred to me, maybe after watching Tommy Lee Jones in “the fugitive”: it should be possible to select the right vehicle and secure the rear compartment to transport our precious cargo in comfort and safety without possibility of escape. A little bit like Scooby-Doo and the gang but with a cage in back, draped in velvet, and probably with a DVD player playing “Winged Migration” in a loop.

Beyond the fold is NSFW due to a profanity in the video title.

Quick non-sequitur, “red lights” by the group ‘Holy F*ck’. Check ’em out:

Some companies specialize in this type of transport already, so I would draw on their experience, and hope that someone will come up with an app that hypnotizes kittehs to deep relaxation on road trips (Google? Apple? Are you listening?). The rest would be a process of acclimatization and careful planning.
Special care would go into climate control and ventilation: I’ll go as far as naming the rig “Cat Shit One” on the CB radio but I certainly don’t intend it to actually be a giant pan of cat litter on wheels… Moonroof, check.

the catmobile
Not what I have in mind…

I had given thought to a conversion van with a barrier equipped with a door or a similarly equipped SUV. The right SUV would actually offer better gas mileage and its comparatively limited cargo space could be expanded using a tent designed to fit the rear of the vehicle.
Ideally, the JBoDMobile would also have Wi-Fi, ports to power our laptop and cameras to capture the food fights (gulp) out back… One can dream…
So now, a bit of a poll for you guys:
– What is your preferred mode of travel?
A – airplane
B – car
C – motorcycle (ever seen a biker with a dog or cat perched on the tank..?)
D – boat
E – none of the above, thank you

– What animal would be your ideal traveling companion?
A – dog
B – cat
C – bird
D – turtle or lizard
E – other

– Open question: what would be your ideal destination?

This post is not a one off, I intend to revisit the topic as more people consider the Carnivale experience of traveling with all its wonders. That’s my project and I’m sticking with it.

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