English: Corner view, Marine Air Terminal, LaGuardia Airport, New York (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Finally, quiet and at peace, sitting on the hotel bed watching the News. If you’ve never watched the News in Florida, you don’t know what you’re missing! Every car crash, kidnapping, murder, robbery, hate crime and jaywalking is reported in glowing terms, vivid color and dramatic overtones. Ahhhh
Of course I digress, what I learned today at LGA – LaGuardia Airport to those of you who do not live in New York. It all began a few weeks ago when my daughter informed that she and family were spending the holidays in San Diego with her brother. Not having them around for Christmas was a bummer but to top it off, she said they would fly from San Diego directly to their new home in Florida! The movers would come on the 19th and 20th and empty the apartment and they would spend two nights in a hotel before they took off on the 23rd for San Diego and they would arrive in Florida on January 2nd. ”OH” I said. ”What will you do with the cat?”, I wondered. ”THE CAT” “OMG”, she shrieked. Did she think she could leave the cat in an empty apartment for 12 days? Someone could come in and feed it? GEEZ I hope not. Mom to the rescue-I said I would find someone to take the cat and I would bring Pasha (the cat) to Florida with me when I went to help her set up her new household.
Just a bit more digression….I found someone who said yes they would and my daughter was going to pay the person and of course provide for all of the cat’s needs and since he was de-clawed, he hopefully would be easy to house. TWO days before the woman was to take the cat, she knocked on our door and said she couldn’t and Peter didn’t tell until about midnight. OMG now what?? I literally had one day to find the cat a home before it spent a night in a vacant apartment. Mind you this is a Siamese who talks and I could only imagine how his yowling would echo through the empty rooms. YES we found a second willing soul to keep the cat. Poor Pasha saw all the furniture in his house dragged out by strangers, then his mother put him a cat carrier (not his) and brought to my apartment where he sat cowering in the crate while my two resident cats hissed and stared at the intruder. Then he went to his foster home where he had never been and with people he never saw or smelled before!
Fast forward to today; I had called the cat keeper last night and said I had to pick him up at 12:30pm. She informed me that she wouldn’t be there, but her Dad would. I asked her if she would make sure he was there, “yes’ she said. What do you think? NO ONE was home at 12:30! Frantic phone calls and 1/2 hour later, we were able to scoop him up, shove him in sherpa bag and hail a cab to catch a 2:30 flight.
Lesson One-Check and then double-double check that everyone is on the same page about the time. Also I specified that all of the equipment and supplies could be tossed or donated but instead they were piled outside the door!
Lesson Two - Always check (somehow) which terminal your flight departs. Apparently Delta has 3 terminals at LaGuardia! We instruct our cab driver to go to Terminal D. Upon entering the terminal I am SHOCKED! There are hundreds of people in line to check in AND I have to check in because I have two suitcases to check and a live cat with me. I feel myself getting warm because although I’m headed to Florida, I am still in NYC and so I have a couple of layers on and carrying two MAC computers, a handbag loaded with stuff including a Kindle and a 12 1/2 lb. cat in the other. I had no idea where to go and thank God, I literally blocked the path of one of those airline facilitators who wander around the perimeter of the roped off line area. He noted I was traveling with a friend as he referred to the red bag hanging from my right hand. Oh so I can go to Special Services check in and he tells me to follow him as he leads me to a line that is miniscule but then he inquires as to where I’m going. West Palm? Oh well in that case, I should go back out and get into the blue bus and it will take me to Terminal C! Not to worry, he says, plenty of time as I protest that the cat has to be checked in as well as baggage.
Lesson Three - Not a good idea to attempt to go through security with TWO computers, a handbag, a blazer, running shoes, a computer case AND a live cat who most apparently was NOT given the holistic calming tidbit in the morning as instructed ALONE! I methodically filled 3 bins and was inching the cat in the bag towards the X-ray machine. I was waved over to a metal detector arch and told to remove the cat from the bag. Easier said than done as Pasha had decided it was safer to stay in this cosy bag than to come out into a huge space filled with hundreds of people and SO MANY smells-NOT. Hissing at me I yanked him out and reluctantly went to the metal detector. Reluctantly because now I have lost sight of both computer and my handbag. Pasha and I sailed through BUT then were told to wait here. WAIT, is she crazy? The cat is squirming and wiggling and twisting and turning and trying to jump out of my arms as I stand there barefoot struggling to hold onto him. I announce I cannot stand here because he is going to jump and run. I was lucky, a kind TCA agent took pity on me and called me over to a cubicle and snatched Pasha’s bag off the rollers and I put him in. Now why was I in this cubicle? Because she had to do my hands! I had no idea what she meant as she swabbed my hands with some pad. I asked if this was some random thing but no, anyone bringing a live pet with them has this done to them because they are checking for residue.
Lesson Four - Make sure you look at BOTH sides of your Boarding Pass so you can find out what gate your headed to instead of walking in the wrong direction while carrying two MAC computers, a handbag and a cat while wearing a cashmere sweater under a wool blazer and a silk scarf around your neck.
Lesson Five - Do NOT attempt to administer sedative pill to cat who is already quite disturbed, just before boarding. The instructions are to give the cat the pill at least 45 minutes prior to boarding. By the time I got to the right gate most everyone was already on board. I realized the futility of my attempt and so I went up to the desk to get on the plane. Thank God it was cool in the jetway.
An aerial view of LaGuardia Airport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Lesson Six - Smile and be charming to your seat mate while the non-sedated cat continue to thrash around and cry. Have you ever hear a Siamese cry? They sound just like a baby and don’t we all love to be on a plane with a crying baby? Irwin was a delightful seat mate and LUCKILY no one was seated in the middle so with his agreement I moved Pasha up to the seat once we were in the air.
Lesson Seven - Once you realize that the cat is NOT going to settle down, muster up your courage and stick you hand down the cat’s throat and drop the sedative down his gullet! Then hold his mouth shut so that he’s forced to swallow it and then once you have wiped the sweat off your forehead, order a cold drink from the Flight Attendent!
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