Rocky (left) and Rex (right) in the back seat of the car.
My car used to be a sleek little sporty number. It’s black, it’s a convertible and, apparently, goes really fast. (I’m a Sunday driver so I wouldn’t know). These days, it’s a zoo-on-wheels – covered with white fur.
You see, one of my furry babies (Rocky the cat) gets airsick. So I have no option but to pile everyone into the car when driving from the farm (one hour out of Melbourne) to Sydney (home).
And that’s exactly what I did yesterday when I managed to wrangle Rex (cat), Rocky (cat), Rambo (dog) and Dougal (dog) into the vehicle. With nothing but an audiobook of Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink” and Jim Collins’s “Built to Last” for company, we set off from the farm to head back to Sydney. (Yes, it’s true. Again. I forgot to load my iPod with ANY music).
Oh. My. God.
We had driven for no less than 40 minutes when Rex (on the right of the picture) let out an almighty M-E-O-W. At that instant, I knew I was it was only seconds until I would smell the results. Rex has a tendency to display his dissatisfaction with any given situation by releasing his bowels. It’s really quite a skill. And this time was no exception. Goodness only knows how one little cat can fit in so much poo. But he can.
Half a tissue box and shit-load (pardon the pun) of antiseptic Wet Ones later, we were on our way again. At this point, Rocky (pictured left) decided to add to his list of ailments. It appears that not only does this fluffy white kitty get airsick, he gets CAR sick too. Lucky me.
In the meantime, Dougal (dog) was harnessed in the front passenger seat. Dougal has decided his best friend in the whole world is Rocky (cat). So he had to maintain eye contact all the time with the object of his obsession. Try THAT for 11 hours. Thankfully, Rambo (dog) did the only sane thing, which was to go to sleep, waking only to drink or pee.
Yes it took a long time. When you have a 2-door car and you’re not the tallest person in the world, it takes the skills of a contortionist – which, in turn, takes a considerable amount of time – just to reach into the back of the car to tend to a couple of furry troublemakers.
You might think that it would have been easier to take the top off a convertible to access the fluffy back seat passengers. Well, that’s a good idea in theory. And it even works for people who are taller than me. But I can’t actually reach far enough over the door for this even to be an option.
And before you ask: No, when I bought the car, I did NOT factor in that I was going to turn into a courier service for my furry babies. I had imagined zipping through country lanes with the wind in my hair, an Hermes scarf around my neck and my designer lunettes reflecting the beautiful sun. Totally deluded.
So there I was. Four animals. 11 hours. And a very long drive across what felt like half of Australia.
I’m glad to report that we made it. Malcolm Gladwell and Jim Collins kept me sane. And next time, I don’t care who gets motions sickness: we’re catching a plane.