Friday, April 15, 2011

On flying with cats

It occurred to me the other day that I had never really been on a plane until I graduated from college.  Before graduation, I had been on a plane once when I was ten on a family trip to Toronto. Now I seem to be flying all the time. The irony of this is that while I love to travel I’m also a terrible (read: terrible) flyer.  I hate flying.  I don’t mind the mind- numbing waits at airports, the uncomfortable airplane chairs, or even the airplane bathrooms (which I actually think are kind of cute in a Tokyo-apartment kind of way).  No, what I hate is not being able to shake the feeling that at any minute we are going to crash and plummet to our deaths and that if by chance I do happen to survive the crash, I would drop into the sea where miraculously I do not drown but am instead devoured by a school of sharks.  I am one of those people who actually pay attention to the stewardess when she provides the just-in-case-you’re-about-to-die, do-this procedure.  I have actually shushed my husband if he tried to talk to me during this. 

Nor does it help that I am extremely motion-sickness prone.  I’ve gotten nauseas watching fast-paced car chases in movies.  So there you have it.  On a trans-Atlantic flight, I am sick to my stomach, green in the face, and willing myself to remember if you should stay perfectly still when you see a shark or if you should just try punching it in the face.  My husband is the complete opposite as a flyer.  He loves to fly.  He takes advantage of the free newspapers (normally getting one in every language even those he does not speak), gets a glass of wine with every meal and watches as many movies as he can. 

So what kind of flyer do I expect our cat to be?  Does she take after her mommy and will she also be battling sharks, or will she be curled up next to her daddy reading a copy of El Pais? Yes, readers (or reader, rather):  We are planning on taking our cat with us to Barcelona.  I’m actually surprised when people seem surprised about this.  Why shouldn’t we want to bring her? She’s been a part of our family for five years.  Yet, many people whom we’ve told have reacted with a mixture of bewilderment and disapproval.  I don’t know what they expect us to do. Take her to a shelter? Unload her on a family member? (not that she wouldn’t be an excellent addition to anybody’s family). So now we are deep in the research on the proper shots needed, what kind of carrier we need to buy, and how to make sure she doesn’t have to poop for 12 hours.  ¡Qué lío!


  1. What a beautiful, non-evil appearing cat!

  2. Found your blog through your AT comment!

    I identify with this boyfriend loooooves flying...I don't really think about the plunging to my death part (ha!) but I do get really restless and can't seem to concentrate on movies.

    Looking forward to hearing about your big adventure! I was thinking of moving just outside of Madrid at one point but alas, work visas did not work out :( so I'll live vicariously through you guys for now:)

  3. @ThisTinder Welcome! It sucks that the work visa didn't work out for you. If you follow this blog, you know that I am NO fan of the visa application process. By all means, live vicariously!

  4. My husband and I moved from the US to Barcelona in November, with our two cats. We were very nervous about how they'd handle the flight but they were amazing! I hope you have a similar experience with your kitty.

    Please let me know if you need any advice about cat stuff, apartment hunting, or anything else Barcelona-related! The help of our expat friends here was invaluable when we were getting set up, and I'd be more than happy to be of help to someone else.