Cat travel prep.

If you know me, you know that I have a little tortoiseshell shadow called Jellyfish. I got her from the RSPCA in Brisbane when she was a wee runt of a kitten, and now she’s a big and beautiful girl, nine years old. There was no way I was coming to Hobart without her, and I had to give a fair bit of thought as to how I’d get her down here.

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There are two clear options with interstate pet transfers—air or road. There are easily identified pros and cons for both options. Air is a far, far shorter total travel time for your pet, but it’s also more of a hassle to organise if you’ll be driving your car down (side note: why get your car freighted when you can have a road trip adventure?). If I was going to have my cat flown down, I would have had to either leave her with friends or a cattery in Brisbane for a few days while I drove down, so I could be there to meet her at the other end, or I could have put her on the plane myself in Brisbane and then had a cattery pick her up in Hobart and hold her for a few days until I got there.

The third option would have been to leave her with friends, drive down to Hobart, fly back up to get her and bring her back on the plane with me—or the opposite, bring her down to Hobart on the plane first and leave her in my new, empty house for a few days while I flew back up to Brisbane, got in my car and drove down. All of these options meant that she’d be spending at least a few days with STRANGERS!!! in a STRANGE PLACE!!! (her thoughts, not my words) and for anyone who knows my cat, that may not have been very good for her already delicate nerves. She’s easily startled and/or terrified of most things that exist on this earth. It also meant shelling out money for the flight/s and the cattery (or asking for a HUGE favour of friends).

So instead, I chose to bring her in the car with me. Her delicate nerves would still be tested, of course, but I would be there with her to talk her down from the ledge for most of the trip (which, to be honest, would probably actually just make ME feel better, as this is a co-dependent relationship). The only cost to incur was an extra $20 for a kennel on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry that I was using to bring my car into Tasmania anyway, and a little extra for the pet-friendly stopover accommodation (the Ardeanal Motel in West Wyalong; a solid option).

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Roadtrip cat!

I’m going to waffle on a bunch more about preparing my (or your) cat for a road trip, but I’ll spare the front page and put this behind the cut, so keep reading only if you feel so inclined. Continue reading »

12 October 2012, or Zero:

I am woken up by a polite but loud voice over the speakers telling me that the Spirit of Tasmania is about to dock in Devonport. Mum and I quickly pack up and head to the waiting zone and then the car, where I am glad to find my cat still alive and somewhat happy to see me, too. We are lucky to be one of the first to drive off the ferry.

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After a quick pitstop at Maccas we hit the highway toward Hobart. The fields we pass are so green and beautiful, and I can’t stop smiling. Jellyfish decides to finally make an attempt to break out of her travel crate and spends a little while exploring the packed-full car, then a longer while splayed across my lap and sooking. When we arrive in Hobart we have two immediate tasks: firstly to pick up the keys to my rental property, and secondly to purchase two single mattresses for mum and me to sleep on, as my furniture won’t arrive for another three weeks.

Dinner is hilarious, with two orange crates for seats and the couple of boxes I’ve brought down in the car serving as a table. Couches became my next priority, and I spend the rest of the evening doing some furious gumtree searching. (Great success follows tomorrow, just so I don’t leave you on a cliffhanger.)

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