Catmas Miracle

Sometimes the only thing that can comfort you or make life better is your cat.

My mom passed away July 31st 2021. Nothing can prepare a daughter for losing her mother. Climbing out of the grief pit is like trying to find the light switch in a pitch-black room with no electricity. Often you just sit back down and curl up with your cat.

Your cat is always there. Your cat doesn’t give you platitudes or unsolicited advice – which is the worst by the why. They don’t preach to you or tell you to get over it. Your cat is there to hang onto to and talk to and “listen”. God created a true miracle in the wonder of the feline.

Kali-Ma and I have been together nearly 12 years on New Year’s Eve. In those years; We had moved five times, I had changed jobs six times, been nearly homeless together, I had two major surgeries and many other life challenges, but NOTHING compared to this.

I think I went emotionally numb for two years after my mother died. The pain was so excruciating that I just couldn’t bear it. I was on autopilot of work- home- weekend- work. At least until Kali-Ma recently had a little health scare –then, I WOKE UP. I realized I wasn’t being present and living for her at all. And she has always come first. Always.

Then something miraculous happened. My downstairs neighbors rescued a cat they found on a walk in the park. Poor little thing was full of worms and needed lots of love and they called “me” for advice. “Me” – the emotionally dead person.

Well, I gave them some medicine and the name of my vet. I even started to feel alive again. I woke up talking to Kali-Ma about “Chloe”, as I had given her a name (of which I don’t know where I got it) and they seemed to like it! They named her Chloe!

So, Chloe is getting better every day. She has an appointment to get spayed. The neighbors have completely fallen head over heels in love with her. She’s the cutest little calico.  The vet approximates her to be 2yrs old. They are like new pet parents asking me all kinds of questions. I feel very honored.

I’ve seen them more in the past few days than I have in the year since I moved in. We discovered we have some things in common. Even though they are much younger than me, we now have cats in common. The air doesn’t seem so heavy around me, and I usually can’t breathe this time of year with all the “holiday” stuff going on.

Chloe reminds me of when Kali-Ma rescued me. All the joy of that first year of us bonding. There hasn’t been much joy lately as I have been so emotionally unavailable. It’s like waking up out of a long dark sleep, but for the first time there is hope. I have ten vacation days starting tomorrow and there is hope.

Happy Tails to you……

Tips For Vacationing With Your Cat

TIPS FOR VACATIONING WITH YOUR CAT

VACATIONING WITH YOUR CAT

Recently, I was vacationing with my cat for 10 days in Traverse City, Michigan. People that we met were amazed at how well Kali-Ma rode in the car, adapted at the hotel, and in general how friendly she was to everyone she met. 

Here are some tips for you and your kitty to have a wonderful vacation together the next time you travel.

PREPARE AND PLAN AHEAD

Cats are not dogs, and they are not people. You cannot throw a few cat essentials in the car and hit the road hoping for a good outcome, in fact, that is a plan for disaster.  Cats like consistency and routine. So, plan and prepare everything ahead of time to ensure the best possible vacation together with your kitty.

The Hotel

Be sure the place you are staying is cat-friendly, not just pet-friendly, but cat-friendly. When I made my reservations for vacation, I called and made numerous inquiries about the room, the hotel, the cleaning service, etc. I had a list of questions prepared and I then checked several travel websites for references to the hotel before making my final decision. 

Because if my research, I was very happy with the staff at the hotel and everyone there for our entire stay. We were at the Bestwestern Plus in Traverse City, Michigan and they spoiled Kali-Ma rotten.

Tips For Vacationing With Your Cat
Kali-Ma Tucked In Bed At Besternwestern Plus In Traverse City

We had a two-bedroom with a loft. Having the room cleaned knowing that Kali-Ma was cared for with kindness and love was a weight off my mind. Miss Heather and her team took excellent care of her at all times when I was out of the hotel. I would come back and find her tucked in the bed every day.

Every morning I would get up early and walk her before breakfast. You can watch a video of one of our early morning walks on our video page here: https://www.tailsofkalima.com/videos/

Tips For Vacationing With Your Cat
Kali-Ma Playing in Hotel Room at Besternwestern Plus In Traverse City

Often early risers would see her and great us with smiles because they were pet lovers staying at the hotel too. Then when we returned Kali-Ma would run upstairs and play amongst the loft walkway while I held my breath!

As you can see from the photos she had a most extraordinary time at the hotel and I can highly recommend it to anyone with a cat. Bestwestern Plus – Traverse City

Tips For Vacationing With Your Cat
Kali-Ma Playing in Hotel Room at Bestewestern Plus in Traverse City

Tips For Vacationing With Your Cat
Kali-Ma and Miss Heather from Bestwestern Plus in Traverse City Michigan

 

 

The Car Ride

Please read my complete blog for car travel tips with your cat: Cat Car Travel Tips

There are just a few things I want to touch on for long car rides with your kitty. 

From experience, I highly recommend a pet booster seat. It secures the cat with a harness so they cannot roam about the car. Kali-Ma loves hers and she rides very well in it. It allows her to lay down and sleep or see out the window if she chooses. It also has pockets for all of her papers which I always carry with me when we travel.

Also, ride with your cat before you travel on vacation. For instance, Kali-Ma travels well around town on short trips, however, she doesn’t care for the sound of semi-trucks on the highway. So, sometimes I consult our veterinarian for travel assistance in case we need it.

Never leave your cat in the car alone or unattended. Kali-Ma and I stopped at a rest area in Clare, Michigan as I had to use the restroom. I put her in her stroller and was wheeling her to the bathroom with me. Her stroller fits nicely in any handicap stall. 

I find her stroller to be the best tool for travel as I can keep her with me and it also allows her to have a break when she needs it. Although I know my cat, and she will never use a litter box in the car or eat or drink unless we are stopped and settled in where we are going, she does like to get some fresh air. So, we walked around for a short while.  I gave her an Inaba Treat and when we continued on our journey she fell right back asleep. 

Pack For Your Cat

Kali-Ma and I were gone for 10 days. I had (3) suitcases and she had (2) plus she had (2) bags and a litter box. Essentially, she had more luggage than me. 

Remember, cats like consistency so BRING THEIR BELONGINGS because they have their scent on them! I packed a small bag of her toys, two of her cat scratchers, some liquid catnip (so I could spray it around the room and calm her when we arrived – Catnip and Cats) and all of her essentials.  

The more of your cats’ belongings you bring the happier your cat will be!

INCLUDE YOUR CAT IN YOUR VACATION

Depending on the cat, don’t leave it cooped up and ignored all day in the hotel room. If your cat is a cat that doesn’t enjoy walking on a leash or being in a stroller, then my advice is – spend time with your cat in the room. Play with your cat. Don’t ignore your cat for 15hrs a day and expect it to behave in a strange place.

I included Kali-Ma as much a possible on our vacation. She is my best friend and if I could take her everywhere I would.

Shopping

Tips for Vacationing With Your Cat
Kali-Ma in Downtown Traverse City Having an Inaba Churu

Tips For Vacationing With Your Cat
Kali-Ma Shopping In Traverse City

While shopping in downtown Traverse City, we kept hearing “it’s a cat, it’s cat….”.  People stopped to pet her and tell her how wonderful she was! She received more compliments than I could have given her in a month. So, for her good behavior, I stopped and gave her a treat! Inaba is a good treat with vitamins and probiotics.  It also keeps her hydrated when I cannot get her water.

Traverse City Open Space and A Winery

Tips For Vacationing With Your Cat
Kali-Ma At Traverse City Open Space

After she rested from days of shopping, I took her for a walk on the Traverse City Open Space.

We also drove out on the Peninsula and stopped for a picture near a winery.

Tips For Vacationing With Your Cat
Kali-Ma At Traverse City Winery

 

Clinch Park

Tips For Vacationing With Your Cat
Kali-Ma At Clinch Park

Kali-Ma loves the water so I walked her at Clinch Park Marina.

Tips For Vacationing With Your Cat
Kali-Ma At Clinch Park Marina

That day, she walked the length of the entire peer. When we were done two ladies in their car clapped as I placed in her stroller to continue on our walk. They rolled down their window and said: “I’ve never seen a cat like that!”.

Although Kali-Ma is special to me, I do believe with patience and time you can teach a cat to walk on a leash:  Teach A Cat To Walk On A Leash 

Final Thoughts……

I had the best vacation with Kali-Ma. People do not understand the relationship I have with my cat, and often they refer to me as that “crazy cat lady” but that is ok. It was so wonderful to have her there with me to walk with her every morning and share the beauty of my trip with her every day. 

She also touched so many lives as she often does when someone sees that Pink Polka Dot Stroller and say “It’s a cat…can I touch her?”. Kali-Ma always obliges them and they go away just a little happier for having met her.

On the drive home I told her how much I loved her and treasured every moment she shared with me and others. It seems she constantly gives selflessly of herself.  Cats are truly amazing creations. 

I hope you found helpful some tips here so that you too may share your vacation with your cat. Until next time…Happy Tails to you!