The Flying Circus Whirlwind Trip to Iowa

Oh my, how much can change in the span of a week.  Our house is so quiet these days, as these two doofuses are now residents of the state of Iowa.  We flew to Iowa a couple weekends ago to drop the cats off with my parents, look at houses, and for me to interview for a job. Since that trip we have sold our house, bought a house, and I have a job!

The house sold while we were in Iowa.  We found a perfect house and close on it very soon.  The job is perfect and I can’t wait to tell you more about all three of these things soon.  I feel like we won the lottery!

But, back to our trip to Iowa.  We started with a long meow-filled drive to Charlotte.  Thor, the black and white cat, meows non-stop in cars.  By the time we got to Charlotte, Greta was also meowing non-stop, but in perfect intervals between the cat.  Good choice to fly with them instead of the 17 hour drive.

Here are a few tips for flying with cats based on our experiences:

1. Make sure your cat is up to date on vaccinations.  Take him/her to the vet before flying and get certificates of health as well, just in case.

2. When going through airport security, ask for a private screening room.  This way your cat(s) can be pulled safely out of the carrier without fear of a lose kitty in the airport.  This was much better than the tip given to us by our vet of putting the cats in a pillow case and walking through with them.  When we told the TSA guys about this they looked very puzzled.

3. Put a shirt worn the previous day into the carrier.  This way your kitty will have your scent to calm them down through the stresses of travel.

4. Limit water and food intake the day of traveling.

5. Find quiet places to sit with the cat and carrier during the layover.  We stopped in a family bathroom with a small makeshift litter box to give the opportunity to use the restroom.  However, both cats were too stressed to do much of anything.

6.  Call before flying – we discovered that only 4 animals are allowed on a plane at a time, so calling in advance is a must.

7. Once you reach your destination, give your cat some time to unwind.  We left the carriers out as a home base, but showed both cats where the litter box, food, and water was located.  Expect a couple days before things return to normal.

Greta enjoyed looking at the flight safety information.  She picked up the word airplane very quickly!

Once in the Minneapolis airport, Greta settled in with some pizza and watched people.

Watching baggage trucks was almost as much fun.

We got to Des Moines without much of a hitch.  The cats were dropped off at my parents’ house and we were set to spend some quality time with Bapa.

Lots of goofing off ensued.

It was a nice warm Iowa night and so we spent some quality time playing outside.  Greta even shared with me!

I am so looking forward to more time at the grandparents’ houses.

Greta had a car waiting for her at her other Bapa’s house.  This provided hours of simply getting in and out of the car.

We enjoyed a lovely meal outdoors at my parents’ house.  Whenever my sister is around, she takes charge in the kitchen.  I keep trying to get her to join forces with me so we can do Sisters Medley on this blog.

Heaven is an Iowa evening.

Caroline made these fantastic grilled salmon packets – simply salmon filets, slices of lemon, and grapefruit balsamic vinegar, wrapped in foil and grilled until done.

Alas, we had to leave too soon.  When we left however, this silly cat was well adjusted and happy for large windows that are left open more often than in Greensboro.

Thor was settled in too, and even saw us off in the wee hours of our departure date.

Greta was a lucky girl and even got her own seat on our second flight.  She slept on Eric’s arm the entire way.

Once home, Greta immediately began asking about her ditties.  She looked for them and would not relent until we showed her the pictures on my phone of the ditties in Iowa.  I went about my way of distracting myself when bothered and arranged couple of bouquets of flowers from the garden.  The peonies and irises were just finishing up when we returned.

Today was the last day of school.  I was home with a feverish Greta, which in some ways was a blessing in disguise. I knew I’d be a weepy mess, so staying busy actually wasn’t all bad.  

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