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  • Nancy Bathurst

  • April 2017
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Cat House on Wheels 2017

Do you miss the Cat House on Wheels stories? Well, here is a doozy!

We usually leave Florida sometime during the last week in March which gives us plenty of time to get home for the litters born while in Florida to go to their forever homes back in Illinois. As you know, this year we had to delay our return until I was released by my eye surgeon. This happened on April 10 and we were on the road by 9:00 a.m. on the 11th. On our way out of Fort Myers we had to stop by the RV dealership who had our coach almost the entire time we were in Florida fixing a myriad of things, putting on new tires, re-painting the front and changing the oil in the generator…and there lies problem No. 1. They took the old oil out but when Jim checked it, the dip stick was dry! Obviously, they forgot to put in the new oil, or so they told us.

Okay, so they put in the oil, and we were on our way!

First night we pull into a Cracker Barrel parking lot where we like to spend the night. They have parking for us but no electricity. But that is fine because we have the generator to run whatever is needed, like the furnace or air conditioning. But guess what? No oil in the generator! So now it is obvious, they had stripped the plug and the oil leaked out. We weren’t concerned the first night because the weather was beautiful and we needed neither heat nor air. We would worry about it when we got further north.

Well, we didn’t need to worry because we weren’t going to get much further north! As we entered Tennessee, just over the line from Alabama, the check engine light came on. Within seconds, the red stop engine light came on. So at mile marker #2 on I-65 Jim pulled the motorhome over to the very narrow shoulder off the interstate and turned the key to off. We called our road service and seven (yes I said 7) hours later the motor home was being towed to the nearest repair shop, back in Alabama! And this repair shop informed us they could not get to inspect it to find out the problem until Friday – this was Wednesday!

We (by “we”, I mean Jim!) decided we could not delay our trip home for an undetermined amount of time – one main reason: what hotel would let us come in with seven cats, nine kittens and a dog!

While Jim was waiting for the tow, I took our Mini Cooper and drove to the nearest Enterprise Car Rental, also back in Alabama, to rent a vehicle large enough to transport us all home. (Now realize, I just had eye surgery, and I can’t see well enough to read any signs. Aren’t you happy you weren’t on I-65 in Alabama that day!)

We loaded everyone into the rental vehicle, one litter and their mom in one playpen, the other litter and their mom in a second play pen. Two cats are in carriers and the other three plus Zeke, the dog, are lying in the back. It is about 9:30 pm and Jim starts the vehicle and we head north.

About 20 miles down the road Jim stops the car and says “I cannot handle the meowing. We are letting these kittens out of the playpens!” For those of you who already have kittens from us, you know Jim and I totally disagree on this issue. I believe they have to be enclosed to keep them safe in the event of an accident. Jim, on the other hand, is such an animal lover, he cannot bear to hear them cry and feels they can just be left loose in the car.

After the day Jim had just gone through, I knew there was absolutely no point in arguing with him. I sent up a fervent prayer asking God to keep us all safe.

The kittens were fine, several slept on my lap or Jim’s. The cats were fine too. I believe driving at night was the right choice — yes, Jim, another good decision by you! You were right!

We pulled into the driveway of our home in Crystal Lake at 10:00 the next morning – Jim drove the entire 12 hours.

And there are 6 very happy families who are glad Jim safely transported their precious kittens back home so they could pick them up on Friday and Saturday.

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Justin, Megan, Jack and Kate loving SkippyJon who will become a great friend to their two dogs, both yellow labs.

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Nikki and Sierra taking home Buttercup to meet their two cats, Gwen and Diego and dog, Charlie.

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Chris and Jessica wanted a companion for their dog, Maddy, and we think Jasper is the perfect choice.

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Jami with sons, Christian and Kellen selected the only girl in this litter and appropriately named her Sugar because she is so sweet!

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Bryan and Jami are from Wisconsin. We met when they were attending chiropractor college in Illinois. They adopted Tia from us several years ago and now were ready to add a second Siberian, Winston, to their family.

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Beth and Justin selected Berlioz for their precious children, Elijah and Margaret. Beth reports that Berlioz settled right in by lying next to her and taking a nap after the ride home.

We thank each and every one of these families and will be anxious to see photos as the kittens grow.

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So what is wrong with the motor home? It is an alternator which is on order and will hopefully be installed later this week so Jim can drive all the way back to Alabama and then turn around and drive back to Illinois!

I think next year we will forget Florida and just stay home!

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5 Comments

  1. Jane Tuchscherer

     /  April 18, 2017

    Oh my lord!!! What an adventure!!! And how is your eyesight, Nancy?????You two are amazing! Glad you are now home

    Reply
  2. t b

     /  April 18, 2017

    Oh no! So glad you are all home sweet home! Mr. Sebastian is happy too and says hello!

    >

    Reply
  3. Although I always read Nancy’s posts, I never comment (I have to live with her) LOL Anyway, can you imagine seven crying adult cats, nine screaming kittens, a dog that is being tormented by the nine kittens and is furious, and a wife that…..well, we’ll just leave that one alone. After a few hours I was ready to turn the car over to Nancy and hitchhike home. Have you ever reached a point in time when you become so frustrated, so demoralized, so upset that you just want the Lord to come on down and sweep you up and take you away. That’s the way I was at about the ten hour mark. I simply did not care anymore. We had to get home, nine parents were waiting for their kitten, And what Nancy did not tell you was Sophie was due Friday. Can you see us in a hotel with seven cats, nine kittens that should have gone home the week before and are running all over the place, climbing curtains, etc., a dog, a wife, and a husband that wished he was back in the Corps leading 5,000 Marines ashore in an amphibious landing, and of course food, water bowls, 50-11 litter boxes. And the next day one of the seven cats gives birth to six more kittens.ALL OF THAT IN A HOTEL ROOM? Come on, be serious. I’m sorry, but I made a command decision that we were going home and going home NOW. Get in the car! LOL

    Reply
  4. Vicki

     /  April 18, 2017

    YES SIR Colonel Jim (not sure of your rank) – Get in the car!

    Sorry, but the blogs by both of you made me laugh. However, if it had been me I probably would have been an anxious mess and not a very happy camper. I can see you now trying to sneak everyone into a hotel room and hoping Sophia did not give birth while you were there! I have to agree with Jim about the hotel – there is no way those cats would have let you get any sleep and your damage bill would have been way high.

    Nancy, your version of the story was funny even though I am sure you did not mean it that way.

    What an experience – one you will never forget. What can you do but laugh and be thankful you all got home safely?

    Yes, rename the cat mobile to – “Get out of our way (cats, dog, and us are heading home)”. And stay home next winter.

    Reply
  5. Beth

     /  April 19, 2017

    What a trip! I am so glad everyone made it safe! Maybe Berlioz is adjusting so well due to that extra week and adventure!

    Reply

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