A Transient Life in Albuquerque

I’m writing to you from Albuquerque! I’m living in an extended stay hotel, the kind with a kitchen and extra living space. My cat, Zeus, has spent the better part of the past two days under the bed, so he’s adjusting.

As far as the flight from California to New Mexico goes, I’m happy to announce that there was no diarrhea! Zeus let loose a few stress-hormone-laden farts, and he tried to claw his way out of his too-small carrier, but no actual fecal disasters.

A few minor frustrations and hiccups along the way: The woman at the baggage-check counter was slightly infuriating. She exclaimed that Zeus was “huge” and said he was too large to fly. Maybe it was my pregnancy hormones kicking in, or maybe it was the fact that this woman was calling my cat fat when she could hardly see him through the mesh windows of the carrier, but the rage that welled up inside of me that I could hardly contain seemed to prevent her from making any further comments about my cat’s weight.

At the security line, my husband was asked to take Zeus out of his carrier and carry him through the metal detector. Then he placed Zeus on a table so that the TSA agent could “inspect” him. Next my husband had to ensure Zeus didn’t take off (he wasn’t that sedated) while the agent passed a wand over my husband and checked his hands for gun residue. Can anyone explain why that last part was necessary? Are all cat owners suspected terrorists? Maybe the agent was a dog person.

Both legs of our flight were on small planes: two seats on one side of the aisle, and one seat on the other. The noise of the engines was loud, and the floor vibrated violently. We had to place Zeus underneath a seat in front of us like a carry-on. He was scared from the noise and vibrations, and he meowed and tried to claw his way out of the cloth carrier. We gave him a second pill. Now that we’ve had a couple of days to settle in, Zeus seems okay with being inside for the most part. He’s made a few attempts to bolt for the door, but otherwise he contents himself with his toys and cat nip.

My husband and I spent Sunday walking around Old Town and can’t wait to explore the rest of Albuquerque (and the rest of New Mexico). He started his first day of work today. It was funny to help him get ready. Ironing his clothes, making his lunch, serving him breakfast and coffee–I felt very domesticated, a not unpleasant feeling. Just different. I’ve spent the afternoon doing laundry at the coin-op. I could trace the course of my life by the laundromats I’ve visited…

Now to find an apartment so we can feel a little less transient and more like we’re home.

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