Monday, May 2, 2011

Percy Meets His Mama

Friday was a crazy busy day for me and for Percy, too.  First thing in the morning, Beatrice's mom picked us up to take me to work and Percy to her house (where he undoubtedly made Beatrice angry by his very presence.) Then she packed him back up, picked me up from work and took us both to the airport. 

It took us a while to check in, but it was all straight forward as I'd made reservations before.  Then it was time to get through security, which was also straight-forward but not fun.  Percy was upset and did not want to come out of his carrier for going through the metal detector.  And I discovered that he'd already peed in said carrier, presumably because he was upset/scared.  But I kept a hold on him and we got through to our gate.

Both in Phoenix and during our lay over we got a lot of comments because Percy kept up a steady stream of meowing.  His carrier, unless you look really closely, looks like an ordinary duffle bag.  (The black mesh sides are hard to see, particularly with a black cat inside.)  So people would look around, totally confused, upon hearing a cat in the airport.  "Is that a cell phone?" they'd ask. "What a weird ringtone."  "Is there a cat around here or did I take too many drugs before my flight?"  But once I admitted that the noise was from the cat in my bag and explained that he was a foster kitty going to meet his forever mama, everyone was very supportive and pleased and wanted to chat about their cats or about traveling with pets.

When we landed in Charlotte for our layover, I became uncomfortably aware that Percy had pooped in his carrier.  I decided that I had to at least try to clean him  and the carrier up before the next flight, and so I ducked into a women's room.  All the restrooms in Charlotte have attendants, which surprised me, but fortunately the one in the restroom I picked was very friendly and helpful. She even said that last week someone else had a flat-faced cat in the bathroom and was giving it a bath.  So I gave Percy a bath, too.  He was un-pleased, but since he had poo all over his tail, I felt it was a necessity.  His having a harness on made the bathing process possible. I then put him on the floor (while I held on to his leash) so I could clean out his carrier, and he made a new friend of a small toddler who had seen him and started happily calling out, "Cat! Cat!"  His mom let him pet Percy until a helpful flight attendant who had seen me bathing Percy told her that he had poop on him (which he no longer did, of course.)  The mother was then suitably horrified and scooped up her child to wash his hands.  Afterward, the toddler went right back to Percy and then had his hands washed again.

Things cleaned up as best as possible, Percy and I headed for our gate, which was in the back of beyond as we were taking a puddle jumper from Charlotte to a small airport in Virginia.  We settled in to wait-- only for me to discover that Percy had pooped again.  So to another restroom and another attempt to clean up-- only this restroom was more crowded and I didn't think it was fair to anyone in this space to try and bathe poor Percy again.  I did what I could with paper towels and hoped everything would be okay.

Our flight was delayed by a few minutes, meaning we didn't land at our final destination 'til midnight.  Percy's mama, although in from Germany, couldn't take him 'til Sunday night, so we went straight to where he and I would be staying for a few nights and I plopped Percy into a bathtub of warm water.  The poor dear was miserable for a bit, but I quickly got him clean and then swaddled in a fluffy towel.  Once he was dry-ish, we gave him food and he was back to being his usual self.  (I, however, still had a bunch of scrubbing to do of his carrier.  Ew.) 

Anyway, Percy had to stay in bathroom-style isolation for two days because the apartment also held three other cats, but he was fine.  Several people, including of course myself, spent time with him and he was his usual helpful self as people showered/brushed their teeth/etc.

Then, yesterday afternoon the Big Moment arrived!! We bundled Percy back up into his carrier, grabbed all his belongings and took him to the hotel where his Mama is staying for a few days before her return to Germany. 

Once in the hotel room, Sir Percy popped out of his carrier and made a survey of his new domain.  He couldn't really look out the window, but he had an entire human bed to himself, so I think he decided he'd make do.  He enjoyed cuddles from everyone, including and especially from his new Mama. I gave him a bit of a brushing (it's his favorite thing ever), and his medicine (his least favorite thing ever) and food (his other favorite thing ever.)  He explored everything, from bathroom to desk. I gave him a goodbye hug and then plopped him into his new Mama's arms, and he  cuddled there like he'd always belonged.  And by the time we left, he was sprawled on a bed, looking for all the world like he'd always been there.

Percy's mama and I talked about his quirks and his health history.  I gave her all the necessary customs forms that my vet had filled out.  She told me about the many, many cat accessories she'd prepared for him back in Germany-- and he is going to be one very spoiled, loved, happy cat. 

He still has adventures to come. On Wednesday they have to drive to DC then take a flight to Amsterdam and then another flight to Germany.  I'm sure he won't enjoy any of that, but I'm equally sure that it's brief unpleasantness compared to the happiness of a wonderful forever home.

Some pictures were taken of Percy's meeting his mama and once I get them I'll post a few here.  And if I get permission from his mama, I'll also post the super-cute picture of Percy and his mama finally together.