Three Cats… In A Camper

Hey y’all, Guess what? I’m posting again! Let’s talk cats.

When we started on the road, I wasn’t sure how our cats were going to handle such a drastic change in scenery, being used to seeing the same sites day in and day out while living stationary in a non-moving trailer in the middle of a trailer park.  I worried more about one of them slipping out the door, however, now that we’ve been on the road since October, I’m not worrying quite as much because I’ve found that one cat has no interest in being outside, one cat has decided her ‘perch place’ is as far away from the only door as possible, and one cat we keep harnessed during the day and leashed only when needed.

Our oldest, Merlyn, has no interest in being outside.  She’s nearly 10 years old and we’ve had her since she was 8 weeks old.  She doesn’t even seem to care about looking out the windows.  She’ll make herself comfortable almost anywhere she can plant her butt.  She gets comfortable sitting on the dash right in front of the steering wheel, laying out on top of the dirty laundry pile, at times she even claims our daughter’s open backpacks as her own, and then there’s the top of the back of the passenger’s seat, right beside the only door.  We can literally have the door open. She looks out, but she has the Jeff Dunham’s ‘Walter’ attitude… “I don’t give a damn.”  I’m not surprised being where she has been with us; Maine, Massachusetts airport, Georgia, and now Florida where we’re currently visiting. 

Merlyn says she will make herself comfortable anywhere she pleases.

Our second oldest, Carlee, has a slightly different attitude about traveling.  She’s nearly 8 years old and we’ve had her since she was 8 weeks old as well.  We’ve found her favorite place to perch are right on top of our printer in our bedroom, or on the back of the booth next to their food and water dishes.  She won’t go near the door, which  I’m very thankful for because she spooks so easily, thanks in part to my godfather.  When she was a kitten, after we first got her, he visited from Maryland and simply would not leave her alone.  She has become the kind of cat that comes to you if she wants attention, otherwise, leave her alone or she runs.  If she were to get out, she’d run, and that would be the end of her; an image that makes me sick to my stomach to even think of. 

When we first started out traveling in our motorhome, we spent the first weekend at a place called Beaver Run, in Metter, Georgia.  We left her and the others harnessed and leashed while we took a family walk around the spring-fed lake.  We were only gone for about a half hour, maybe 45 minutes.  When we returned, I found her harness still attached to the leash, but she was nowhere in sight.  I didn’t start panicking until we literally searched every possible place in our 24-footer and couldn’t find her in any of them.  Frantic, I didn’t know what to think.  Hubby finally found her when he decided to run his hands up under the dashboard, over the engine hump (because our camper is an ‘87’ and does need some work) and that’s where he found her.  She was simply hiding from our youngest cat which isn’t surprising.  I of course, cried tears of relief, on the verge of the possibility that she was gone forever. 

Carlee preferes to stay towards the back of the camper.

Now, the youngest of the three, Maleficent, has quite a different personality.  She just turned a year old this past November.  We found her at Kitty City Cat Rescue in Macon, Georgia and adopted her for our teenage daughter, also making a $60 donation to the rescue in our daughter’s name.  We call her the ‘puma’ because she is fiercely playful and doesn’t seem to have a fear of anything.  We have to keep her harnessed throughout the day and leashed, but only when necessary, otherwise I fear it could be a ‘curiosity killed the cat’ kind of situation.  Not a single day goes by that she doesn’t live up to her name.  We’ve given her several nicknames since the day I brought her home from the cat rescue.  There’s ‘puma’ because when she plays, she growls like she’s a big scary puma in a small, indoor domesticated cat’s body.  We call her ‘Belles’ like ‘Belle’ in “The Beauty and the Beast” because of the bell on her collar which allows us to easily keep tabs on her regardless of the time of day, or night.  She makes a really good early morning alarm clock.  Scratch-jingle, scratch-jingle, scratch-jingle… time to fill the food bowl! 

Maleficent likes getting herself into trouble.

Now that we’ve been traveling for a couple months, I’m not worrying quite as much, but I won’t lie, my worry is still evident, just lessened.  They’re all proving we’ve done well in training them, with the exception of Merlyn’s ‘her majesty’ attitude.  We spoil all our cats, but Merlyn, she’s just… too spoiled for her own good, and she knows it.  Hubby is putting a wager on that Merlyn will become a ‘dash cat’ within a year.  If he proves to be right, she’ll be the only one in the three cats we have, and that’s only because she’s his cat, or he’s her human.

Not pictured- Merlyn, because she walked away when I set up to take the photo.

Well, I think that does it for today’s post. Thanks again for reading and for following y’all. Check in tomorrow for another new post as I fill y’all in on our experiences in Fort Myers, Florida!

TravelChat: From Thomaston, Georgia to St. Augustine, Florida

Hey y’all!  It feels like it’s been too long since I last posted, yet it’s really only been 2-3 months.  I’ve wanted to write and post, but with us just starting out on the road, we’re still working on our lack of Wi-Fi.  With any luck, next month we’ll be able to fix that.  This month we’re striving for a generator.

We left out October 3rd for a campsite called Beaver Run in Metter, Georgia.  Since then, we’ve been to Tybee Island and swam in the Atlantic Ocean, and I saw Tracy Byrd walking the beach. Before you ask, I did not walk up to him, mainly because I didn’t know what to say, since he was sporting turquoise / seafoam- colored swim shorts and no shirt, he was obviously on vacation.  Otherwise, I would have found, both the words and the courage, to have approached him.

After we left Tybee Island, we found a place and parked overnight in the back of a Publix parking lot.  That was an experience, but we were all very comfortable.  Finally, the next day we found another place and parked, this time staying in Savannah for the remainder of October, in what appeared to be a mostly Hispanic community.  A trailer park called Water’s Edge.  You can imagine my reaction when I knocked on someone’s door, trying to get help in contacting the landlord upon our arrival because my free phone service only works with Wi-Fi, to receive the response, ‘No English’ in Spanish.  My eyes were wide once I realized my surroundings.  I know very little Spanish, but thankfully my husband knows keywords.  Again, this place was also very comfortable as well as an experience.

I learned quite a few things during our stay in the park.  The kids all wear uniforms and masks to school, for one.  On Halloween, I was looking forward to handing out bubble gum lollipops to the trick or treaters while dressed in my own costume of the Deranged Easter Bunny from ‘A Christmas Story’ pajamas, but that didn’t happen.  I didn’t get to pass out candy or admire costumes, but I did dress as the bunny, and I took a walk with hubby to the Kroger which was just up the road from where we were staying while wearing it.  That was an intriguing experience!  I was hysterically laughed at by a Hispanic sitting in his car, beeped at by a passing truck on the main road, received many looks from vehicular passerby’s, and I got a compliment from a shopper inside the Kroger.  I admit, the experience was entertaining.  Funny thing is, I almost chickened out of wearing it to the store, but I’m glad I didn’t because I would’ve missed out.  I wouldn’t be surprised if a photo appeared online.  Someone might have taken a one because how often do you see a 5’7” pink bunny walking along the side of the road?  LOL!  That’s the only fun we had for Halloween because apparently, Hispanics don’t really celebrate it with costumes and candy, but Halloween aside, everyone was ever so friendly, helpful, and though there was a language barrier between us and our neighbors, it didn’t stop us from communicating and making friendly acquaintances. 

My favorite part was washing laundry.  Obviously, we don’t have a washer and dryer in our motorhome, so I’m either washing laundry by hand or stopping at laundromats.  Since I’m not stopping in and using laundromats, I’m handwashing our laundry.  The first time I washed our laundry, I did it on a Saturday afternoon.  Washing our clothes wasn’t an issue.  I used the time to wander into my own thoughts, shutting pretty much everything and everyone around me out, until one of the neighbors walking around, greeted me in Spanish and then asked if I spoke Spanish.  I know a little Spanish, so I was able to greet him in return and say ‘little’.  He seemed to understand me, but also not understand at the same time.  He saw I was washing clothes by hand and proceeded to offer me the use of his washer and dryer.  He kept saying, ‘This America, this not Mexico.’  I just kept on washing our clothes and chuckled whenever he said something.  Just so you know, he was drinking, as the label on the glass bottle he was carrying around drinking from read Sangria. 

While staying in the park, we were also able to fix a couple things dealing with our home with some help from the landlord of the park.  First, we discovered our plug was actually a dryer plug, but the landlord was extremely helpful going to Home Depot to pick up the right plug and an additional connector.  We reimbursed him for the parts, so now we’re able to plug into a 30amp or a 50amp for full electric, including air conditioning.  We were also able to, per say, fix our plumbing/sewer issue, so now we no longer need to worry about that.  All in all, things have been bumpy, but nothing is perfect right off, and we’re learning as we go.  Fixing things as we go.  Last month we fixed our electrical plug, this month we’re hoping to find a generator, and then next month we’re aiming for proper phone service with Wi-Fi accessibility.  One step at a time.

Now it’s November and we have since left Savannah, to go further South.  It’s a good thing to because in listening to the local radio stations, we’ve since learned of some coastal flooding taking place in Savannah.  We left Savannah two days ago.  Now I’m happily writing this from a spot in St. John’s RV Resort in St. Augustine, Florida.  Before now, I’ve never been to Florida, even though I do have family who live in the panhandle.  I guess it was just never the right time, but here we are and I’m still pinching myself. LOL. 

The drive to Florida wasn’t bad.  We’ve come to realize that the interstate is much easier to travel in a motorhome than any backroad, simply because the lanes are wider.  Normally I’m scared to death to be on the interstate and surrounded by all the big trucks when I’m in a rinky-dink car.  So, I normally prefer the backroads.  Navigating a backroad in a 24ft motorhome is edge-of-your-seat stressful with narrow roads and tight curves.  I’ve found the interstate to be much easier because now I feel like equal to the big boys of the trucking world.  To ride in a car on the interstate, feels like walking with giants; scared of being stepped on, or in this case, ran over.  The most stressful I’ve been on this trip, so far, has been when hubby was driving our way through the heart of Jacksonville.  We were going to bypass it and go around using the Beltway instead, but just before we left Walmart in Yulee, Florida, where we stopped and parked for the night, we were consulting our road atlas, and hubby decided our best chance is going straight through the heart of Jacksonville rather than fight with the constant merging of traffic on the Beltway.  He called it ‘one large rotary from hell’.  Needless to say, I spent the ride calling out when lanes were clear for lane changes, when to slow it down around certain curves, and silently telling myself to breath while clutching both sides of my passenger seat with clammy hands as the traffic around me continued to move at a very fast, very tight pace.  It was like being caught up in a stampede.  Keep moving or you’ll get run over. LOL. 

So, now we’re in St. Augustine, Florida, and the weather today is calling for sporadic rain.  We were going to continue on down the coast taking I-95, but we’ve decided, due to the rain, we’re going to bebop around St. Augustine for a couple days and once the weather clears, we’ll continue our road trip down I-95. 

I apologize for not including photos in this post but do know I’m working on video uploading as well as photo uploading, and it’s taking extra time because of our lack on Wi-Fi accessibility.  There is a lot to do, and it takes time. 

Well, y’all, I will close out for now.  With luck and proper planning, next month I’ll be able to start posting on a weekly basis and share loads of photos and videos.  We have a video that you can take a walk with us around the lake at Beaver Run, another short video that includes the Tybee Island water tower, and another one I may or may not post where I’m telling y’all about how my cat Carlee scared me near tears.  To give you a little hint, she found herself a nice tight hiding place in our home while we were walking around the lake.  Until next time, thanks for reading and following!