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  • Nancy Bathurst

  • January 2014
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Cat House on Wheels – On The Road Again


It is finally time for the Cat House on Wheels to get on the road again for our winter trip to Florida. Packing up in zero degree weather was not fun! For a change we pulled out of the driveway at our scheduled time, not our usual two hours late.

We entered Tennessee yesterday afternoon and stayed the night at a KOA campground…way too cold to do our usual overnight parking at Cracker Barrel. The entire family (Zoe, Jackie, Sophie, Amy,  Izzy, Lily, Mr.Silver, Trouble, Zeke, Jim and Nancy) needed heat!

Got there and satellite activated in time to see the last half of the Tennessee Lady Vol/Florida basketball game. Yes! Beat the Gators by 20 points!

This morning Jim said let’s not take time to make breakfast; let’s get on the road. We’ll stop at a McDonalds for an Egg McMuffin. I just love Tennessee! I go into the McDonalds and am greeted with a smile. I take a while to place my order … I am not sure what I want. The cashier just smiles, no exasperated look of impatience that I experienced last week at Panera. I place the order, pay and take my change and all the while she is smiling and when she says thank you she looks right at me and I know her words are genuine. I wait a few minutes for my order but I don’t mind. I am listening to four men at a nearby table talking over cups of coffee. I have to look twice because they sound just like our friend Charlie. Of course, it isn’t; we are not close to Morristown where Charlie lives. But that familiar Tennessee accent warms my heart. Another pleasant young lady steps to the counter and says “Number 95.” I take my order and she says “have a nice day.” The words are not uncommon but the way she says them is. You just know she actually means it. Memories came flooding back … memories of our four years in Tennessee. There is such a calmness about these people. They are genuinely nice. I have either lived in or visited many southern states and observed the “southern hospitality” that is all gushy and over the top. Tenneseans are different. I don’t know if it is the way they are raised or the water they drink! They don’t go out of their way to make you feel welcome – they don’t have to; it is just part of their nature. I left that McDonalds feeling like I just had a hug. I won’t get to see my friends in Morristown this trip…Diana and Charlie, JL and Patsy, Steve and Kathy, but my trip to McDonalds this morning made me feel like they were close by waiting to welcome us “home” again.

Now we are down the “road a piece” having eaten our bacon and egg biscuits, feeling satisfied from morning hunger. Jim decides to stop for gas before we leave Tennessee (much cheaper) he fills the tank, goes in to pay and comes out with two Krispy Kreme doughnuts! Said he just couldn’t pass them up. Oh dear, it is beginning to look like this year’s trip will add another 5 lbs!

I couldn’t help but think about the time we left Thompson-Boling arena in Knoxville after seeing a Lady Vol game and Charlie pulls into the parking lot of Krispy Kreme. He goes in and brings out a dozen doughnuts still warm and dripping with frosting. Did Charlie, Diana, Jim and I devour all of them? What is your guess?

We are scheduled to meet Barbara in Atlanta to deliver handsome Trouble. Sounds simple, right? Well, it did when we made the original plan. I thought…we will just pick a Cracker Barrel; they always have room for RVs. Would you believe there are no Cracker Barrels in Atlanta, not even on the near outskirts! So I look at the atlas and right on the northwest corner of Atlanta is printed Galleria Mall – all malls have large parking lots, right? Wrong again. Barbara ia already at the mall waiting. Jim finds a strip mall nearby and we call Barbara and say meet us here. We had planned to take her to lunch but since we are taking up half the parking lot, Jim says I think I’ll stay here so somebody doesn’t give us a ticket or tow us away (not a pleasant thought with 7 cats, one kitten and Zeke on board.). So Barbara and I go off to have a nice lunch and talk about the transition process. Sad to see Trouble go (now that I see that in print, it sounds rather strange – when is someone ever sad to see “trouble” go!) but Barbara is very happy and the two of them take off for North Carolina and we start heading south.

After two months of the bitter cold of Illinois, we were beginning to think we would never be warm again but things are looking up. As we are going down the interstate we see an orange traffic sign that says Mower Ahead (not snow plow but mower!). Several more miles down the road we pull into a rest stop so Zeke can get some exercise and go potty. Jim and I are actually talking with each other outside and our breaths are not making frost! Very promising – Florida here we come!

For those of you who have been following me for a couple of years, you may be surprised to learn we are not going back to our favorite RV park in Bonita Springs. This year we are going to Fort Myers. Stay tuned for stories about another cat house!

Brotherly love!

Brotherly love!

It would be a shame to have a blog post without a photo of a kitten so I have a special one for you. The day I was to leave to go to Palatine for kitten delivery, I found Roscoe and Bruno laying in the cat tree with Bruno’s arm around Roscoe. It just melted my heart – especially knowing they were going to the same forever home. My next blog will have photos of all eleven kittens and their families – you will see all the families experiencing absolute joy. Until then, I hope you are experiencing this same joy with your sweet Siberian!

P.S. We still haven’t eaten the Krispy Kremes. How is that for will power!

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  1. czarsmom

     /  January 24, 2014

    Hello Nancy and Jim, we are absolutely having a ball with Ivan and Tasha! They have been just wonderful. They are now able to be together with Czar, and he is just fine with it, as are they. They are eating great, and have had no accidents at all. They are so playful, and I get so much joy out of watching them frolic and cavort together! They are truly blessings from God. I will take pictures soon and email them to you. Have fun in Florida! Enjoy the warmth. Thanks for all the time and effort you put into this – it makes a huge difference. Jennifer and Andrew

  2. Amy Schubert

     /  January 25, 2014

    Hi Nancy and Jim – as we’re getting up this morning and watching the Chicago weather forecast on TV it is nice to vicariously enjoy the warmth of the south through your words!
    Enjoy your time in beautiful Florida – you deserve to relax. We are loving our boys – what two distinct personalities! How much fun we’re all having. Look forward to the pictures. John and Amy

    • We hear Monday is going to be below zero in Chicago. You need to join us! We just pulled into a truck wash to have the motorhome cleaned – it is 65 degrees!


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