Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lucy in the Sky

not going as planned... view from c27

So I'm in Portland, OR now and it's lovely here. Of course, It was no easy feat getting here with all our stuff and our sweet cat Lucy. We've moved from the Midwest (last time from Columbus, OH, this time from Chicago) to the Northwest before (last time to Seattle, this time to Portland.) I've even flown with Lucy once before, during our move to Chicago. On its own it's no easy task!

This time was even more difficult. We found out Lucy was pretty sick the day before Chuck was going to leave with our moving truck. We found blood in her urine just before we were going to start loading the truck. We quickly made an appointment for that afternoon and took her straight to the vet as soon as we were done. We really weren't expecting to leave Lucy at the vet, but an ultrasound and x-ray showed a significant number of stones in her bladder; surgery was the best option. We wanted her to feel better as soon as possible, so we admitted her right away for surgery the next day.

The vet indicated that the flight with the cat would still be alright. Of course that didn't really alleviate my concerns about her and the whole situation. A move or a surgery alone was a lot to go through. After some consideration Chuck decided to go ahead and start his drive as planned. That left me to pick up the cat, try to give her the required medicine and help her cope with a completely empty apartment. I suspect that in Lucy's mind the empty apartment was the worst part of the whole experience.

For me it was the flight. Sleeping on an air mattress in an empty apartment is not great, true, but flying is hard enough these days without a cat. I was forced to miss my flight I suppose due to the fact that airlines can no longer seem to handle a traditional, non-electronic kiosk check-in. You really need to go to the desk when you fly with a pet, as far as I could, and I asked. In fact I went up to a completely empty desk, asked what I should do and was then sent to a completely full, non-moving line. A super fun line in which everyone was freaking out! At some point people started freaking out so much that they were cutting in line, with apparently no airline officials discouraging them in any way. By the time I was finally next in line I found out from a guy in front of me, on the same flight, that it was too late to check any baggage and there was (supposedly) nothing they could do. I had a 45.6 lb bag crammed with stuff which would take well over the 30 min. (or less, I don't really remember) that I had left to decide what I had to have or wanted to get rid of, and after that I'd still needed to get a cat through security. So in addition to the ridiculous fees I was already aware of and expecting I had to pay another $75 to change my flight. Yay.

My main concern was getting Lucy through all of this, and fortunately she did great. She was a little doped up on the pain killer patch from the surgery plus some sedative for the flight that clearly had an effect. She was pretty cool with everything. On her last adventure she ran all over her carrier, freaked out at take off and landing. This time she did not care. I am sure I stuck my nose into her carrier to check on her enough to make even the sweetest doped up cat (who is Lucy, btw) annoyed.

Meanwhile, Chuck had his own ordeal to go through driving a sixteen foot truck across the country. (It was supposed to be a ten foot truck, we asked for a ten foot truck. Yes, we will be writing some complaint letters about all of this in the near future!) Yet somehow he managed to move all the furniture into the apartment without me, before Lucy and I got there. Okay, so he found and hired some cheap movers, but point is it was all in the apartment when I got here. He didn't say anything about it, and I think my reaction upon entering the apartment was a slow blink, then I headed straight to the bedroom, put the cat was moments before I could actually comprehend the situation enough to ask what was going on.

I think all of the familiar furniture in place when Lucy arrived was a big help for her recovery. She's still struggling with a few things, all of which the vet has reassured us are typical for her condition. She's been more and more alert every day and she's starting to figure out her routines. Meanwhile, Chuck and I are so happy to be back in the Northwest and are settling in. Our internet, until Friday, is fairly slow, but I've been trying to upload pictures. I'll post soon about my activities the last few days I was in Chicago, and then I'll start posting about exploring Portland!


Sara said...

Yikes! A little bit all on the "non-fun" side of adventure. Glad you all made it in one piece despite everything!
Welcome back to the NW - here's hoping everything else here on out is smooth sailing!

Lazy Smurf said...

That sounds SO HORRIBLE flying has just become the worst thing ever, I am so glad you guys made it :)

Emma said...

It was an ordeal! It wouldn't have bothered me so much if it had just been me flying, but with the cat, argh. But I'm so glad we made it!