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My cat hates vacations

We might learn from mistakes as long as unmuzzled optimism doesn’t cloud the past. The education is available, but progress sometimes requires a refresher course. Here’s what I mean.

I made a fateful trip a few years ago with my two cats, Oliver and Cassidy. We visited Klamath Falls to escape a stifling and smoke-ridden valley. Well, they hated the plan and, though dealing with their drama took my mind off the heat and smoke, I found there were worse scenarios — like yowling cats and publicly hefting a litter box.

My plan this summer was to enjoy an extended writing getaway — to give concerted effort to my book and share in Southern Oregon Journal about a cooler slice of Southern Oregon, the delectable coast.

I needed a change of scenery, and my destination was Bandon-by-the-Sea. Cassidy was gone from us, but I thought (or did I?) Oliver might enjoy taking in a different view. I realized there would be a period of adjustment but reasoned he would settle down after a couple of days of gull- and people-watching from a different window. I couldn’t leave my furry companion for several weeks, after all.

Fiona was packed to the gills with everything we would need. It was a beautiful day, the drive on Highway 42 was only slightly less refreshing, and the music was usurped only at brief intervals by Oliver’s complaints. After the first hour or so, he assumed the resigned feline pose. Either that or he was about to hurl. I’ll never know, but we made it to Bandon.

We were cordially welcomed by smiling faces at the Lighthouse Cove Inn on Highway 101. New owners Kelly and Audrey Hassani and Laura Munson knew I was there to write, and they had made every accommodation for me. They even gave Oliver a sweet gift pack, including food, bowl, a towel with blue kitties printed on it (this may have been prophetic), and three little mice to bat around the room in pure glee. Perfect!

Highway 101 is a busy thoroughfare. I knew this going in. A mild panic ensued at bedtime when, in rummaging through my bags, I realized I had run off without my white-noise machine and earplugs. Both are essential travel gear for me. The newly installed sliding-glass door and window muted traffic noise well, but I’m a light sleeper, and a cricket wiping its mouth could wake me.

Memories of yesteryear were stirred when Oliver jerked and started with every thud and bump. I spent the first night pretty much as expected, trying to keep his moans to a low decibel level so as not to wake my neighbors. The second night, he switched into overdrive and let me know unconditionally at 3:30 a.m. that sleep time was over, and I would have to leave my comfy bed.

Desperate times and desperate measures being notoriously linked, I thought by now I probably could be separated from my fur buddy, the little rat, and phoned my faithful house/cat sitter, Lane.

Before leaving, I managed a windy walk to Face Rock Creamery, 3-year-old replacement to former Bandon Cheese Factory. I watched through the window as white-washed oompaloompa types manhandled huge slabs of cheese in the making. Having just read "Moby Dick," I couldn’t help make the comparison of whale blubber to a man next to me. I don’t think he got it. My next move, naturally, was to take solace with a cheese panini for lunch.

Oliver and I enjoyed the ride home, though I was thankful for dark sunglasses. He knew he’d won and didn’t make a peep. It was worth chauffeuring him home to see him sprawled out, content on his favorite lying spot, snoring away. Yes, he does.

For the last time, cats hate vacations. Dogs are adaptable, but cats like their status quo. However, a coastal muse awaits, and the friendly innkeepers have kept my room. I’m going back.

Peggy Dover is a freelance writer living in Eagle Point. Reach her at pcdover@hotmail.com and visit her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SouthernOregonJournal.