Wednesday after work Sarah and I loaded up the car with our bags and cats. It was really kind of funny. We loaded up the babies in a carrier and placed them in the backseat. Mia and Cora were each put in the car separately, but not in a carrier because they're both used to riding in the car freely. We did, however, take the door off of another carrier and left it on the backseat in case Mia or Cora wanted a place to go hide.
Once we were all packed and ready to go, we started up the seXterra and hit the highway. Sarah hasn't driven to PA in quite sometime, so I guess she figured we'd look at a map to make sure we were heading the right way. Hmm. About 2 hours into our trip, Sarah quickly discovered my horrifying inability to read maps.
"Do we hit The Garden State Parkway from 287?" she asked me.
"I dunno," I replied, petting Mia who was sitting on the center console between me and Sarah.
"Well, look at the map," she said.
"What?" I asked. "Don't you know how to get to your mother's?"
"It's been a couple years since I've driven down there, so I don't really remember."
Ulp. I always plot out my trips ahead of time and write out each step of the drive to avoid any confusion. I have a very poor sense of direction and get very frustrated with maps, so I rarely ever use them.
"Ummm..." I hemmed, flipping through the pages of the atlas, looking for New Jersey. "Let me see..."
After about 5 minutes of turning the map in different directions, I found 287. I could not, however, find the Garden State Parkway.
"Liz, what are you doing??" she asked, exasperated.
"I can't find it," I said.
I'll spare you the gory details of our argument, but it ended in my hurling the map onto the floor in a fit of frustration, Sarah pulling over, discovering we'd passed the exit we needed, and me saying not-so-nice-things.
Finally we pulled up to Sarah's Mom's house at 11:30 p.m. I was so tired and very grouchy. We unloaded the car, me not saying very much. I was extremely exhausted from having woken up at 4:30 a.m., so I was more weary than usual.
After about 15 minutes, Sarah hissed at me, "You can try being a little nicer and actually smiling."
"Well, sorry," I whispered back. "I'm really tired. I just want to go to bed."
"Well, my mother doesn't know that. Just act happy to see her at the very least."
It was now 12:00 a.m. At the very least, I wanted to strangle Sarah. But I put on the smile and was as sweet as could be.
Finally we were able to go to bed. Thank God.
The next morning we got up, got dressed, and Thanksgiving began! Sarah's Mom adores the cats, so she, of course, fed them a ton of food and bought them lots of toys. She has a cat of her own, Jezebel and an 18 year old little back dog named Spot who is mostly blind and completely deaf. Spot was a huge source of fascination for the cats because they've never seen a dog so small, being that their experiences involved terrifying encounters with big Golden Retrievers and Black Labs. So the babies would hiss each time Spot stumbled nearby, but Mia instead would just get about a foot away and study him. After a while, she soon caught on that he was not even a tiny threat and somehow relayed this information to the babies because they, too, would stand close enough to study him, but not enough to be detected.
Sarah's Mom thought it'd be a good idea to put one of those child safety gates in the doorway of her room to separate Jezebel from our cats.
"All the cats will be able to easily jump over that, Mom," Sarah pointed out.
"True" she agreed. So she stuck a large piece of cardboard on top. That did the trick because after a while Mia discovered Jezebel and vice versa. They had a growling stand-off on either side of the barricade and then decided to ignore each other.
Later after Sarah's sister and her boyfriend arrived, I figured that since the cats were all ignoring Jezebel and napping under the bed in the guest room, we should let Jezebel out because she was meowing lonely sounds.
"Well, okay, but I hope there aren't any fights," Sarah's Mom said.
"I doubt it because they've all been just ignoring each other, which is really unlike Mia to do," I said.
So we let little Jezzy out. She was such a beautiful little cat with the brightest green eyes I've ever seen.
A few hours went by and I decided to go upstairs and check on the napping cats. Jezebel trotted along behind me. As I climbed the stairs, I saw little Cody peeking around the corner.
"Hey, little man," I said.
He stared at Jezebel and Jezebel stared at him. She cautiously moved forward and sniffed him. After a few minutes, Cody decided he'd had enough and went into the bedroom. Jezebel followed. I did, too.
As we all entered, I spotted Cora stepping out from under the bed. Her eyes grew wide as she noticed Jezebel. Cora's the most skittish cat I've ever met, so I wasn't surprised when she darted back under the bed. This apparently was an invitation for Jezebel to stealthily pursue Cora. She quietly leaped from one point to the next, front legs spread like a flying squirrel. She leaped up onto the bed, hopped across and landed on the floor. As she folded her ears back, I knew what she was about to do: she was going to try to launch a sneak attack on Cora under the bed. Uh oh.
"No, Jezebel!" I cried and ran toward her. I knew who else was under the bed with Cora.
As Jezebel creeped forward to stick her face under the bed, out popped Mia's head, nose to nose with Jezebel.
"Hisss!" said Mia, which translated to, "Hello there! Got something to say to my little sister? Well, you can say it to me!"
"Reowww!" Jezebel leaped up and ran for the door, Mia followed in hot pursuit.
Yikes. Anyone who messes with Mia's posse, messes with Mia and she doesn't stand for it, as I learned in witnessing her attacks on Sarah's cat Emersen. She only ever did anything when Emersen would yell at the babies or hiss at them.
So Jezebel flew downstairs with Mia close behind. I ran after, shouting, "Someone catch them...!"
Jezebel ran into the living room and Mia caught up with her, leaping on top.
The two cats tumbled around and Sarah's Mom tried to separate them.
"No, Mom!" Sarah's sister said. Sarah's sister is a vet and knows everything related to just about every animal. "Grab Jezebel by the scruff!"
Jezebel managed to kick Sarah's Mom with her back legs and she jumped back crying, "Yaggh!"
Sarah scooped up Mia and held her close. Sarah's sister got ahold of Jezebel and placed her back up in Sarah's Mom's room and closed the door. I kinda hovered in the doorway, cringing.
"Whoops..." I shrugged, as Sarah shook her head at me.
All was finally calm and the rest of the day continued without incident. The next day we all went to see Harry Potter, which was adorable.
Yesterday we pretty much just hung out. I took Mia outside to play on the lawn and then packed up the car to leave. Throughout the day Sarah's Mom fed the cats turkey, which they liked, but they were more interested in eating Spot's food.
Bad bad bad.
The ride home was awful. When we got to NY, we had to pull over because of a horrible smell coming from the backseat. Ugh. The babies had the runs. Lovely.
After sorting that mess, Sarah and I switched seats and I drove the rest of the way home.
We finally arrived at 11:30, ahead of schedule. When Sarah dozed off, I did 80 instead of 60. I thought I'd die from the stinky cat box.
Anyway, to sum it up, Sarah gave the babies a bath while I unloaded the car. Geez. It was the furriest thing on 4 wheels! Can we say "date with a vacuum" today?
So, as much as Thanksgiving was fun, I'm sorta glad it's over. My goodness, what a weekend. Thank goodness Christmas won't be quite so eventful...