Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The luggage that meowed

I'll have some more Flores posts soon, but wanted to say we have all survived the trip from Jakarta to Phoenix more or less intact. Susu traveled in her new soft cat carrier, which she hates as much as she's hated her other cat carriers.

Under the seat
The most worriesome parts of the trip were at certain security checks where we had to take her out and hold her while the carrier went through the scanner. We had put a kitty halter and leash on her, which she hated even more than the carrier.

Still, it was scary standing there holding a squirming cat in an enormous and chaotic airport. The security people seemed remarkably clueless about this and would fire questions at us and demand documents while the cat freaked out and the cat carrier sat there on the scanner belt, already approved for flight but just beyond arm's reach.

Susu was anxious at the beginning of the journey, she was panting with her mouth open, which is a strange and disturbing thing in a cat. I can't say she really got adjusted to traveling but she basically wore herself out after several hours and fell asleep. When we got to the airport hotel in LA she pulled the Invisible Kitty act, vanishing for at least an hour before we figured out that she had climbed up inside the box spring. But by morning she had recovered enough to investigate the room.

After that it was just one more short flight to Phoenix and a well-earned rest for all concerned.

Flying Cat Tips:

1. I found putting a puppy training pad in the bottom of the carrier completely pointless. It just got wadded up in a big lump in the corner. Susu was so stressed out I don't think she could have emitted any waste products anyway. In fact, she had a hard time using the litter box even after we settled into the hotel; I think she got pretty dehydrated.

2. Bring something warm to put in or around the carrier (being careful not to block the cat's air supply). Planes are really cold.

3. Get a carrier with a reach-in zipper so you can pet your cat when s/he is anxious. That really seemed to reassure her.


Anonymous said...

Now that she is a seasoned traveler she can come visit her DC cousins Buzz and Squeak!

kopisusu2 said...

Haha! I'm sure Buzz and Squeak would love have a strange cat invade their territory every bit as much as Susu would love traveling again.

Bob said...

Great read, Trish. Glad to have you back -- although you're still hundreds of miles away.

kopisusu2 said...

Thanks, Bob! We have a guest room, so come on out anytime! The non-summer weather is supposed to be great, and the desert landscapes are pretty cool.

Shelley said...

Awww, poor Susu! (I can't stop looking at that second picture-- she looks so miserable.) Hope the culture shock isn't too much for any of the three of you-- make sure to enjoy the perks of the developed world before they lose their charm. Sidewalks! Sandwiches! (Melbourne, being in the middle of winter, has rapidly lost its charm for us. Jackfruit in a can? Just not the same.)

Anonymous said...

Wow, you guys are moving to Phoenix?
Let me just say:
Atas nama Bp Sheriff Joe Arpaio, saya mengucapkan selamat datang ke kota Phoenix. Bersama-sama kita akan sukseskan SB1070 :)Seperti kata pepatah orang Phoenix, sekejam-kejam nya ibu tiri, lebih kejam bapak Joe.
Cuaca di Phoenix saat ini sedang lumayan lembab, mirip-mirip seperti kota Jakarta. Restoran Indo terdekat? LA.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice to hear how Susu has settled in Phoenix :)

Erin C. said...

Wow, Susu the traveling cat! I still check in on you guys every once and a while - so glad to see that you look well. Susu is huge! I still remember seeing her wandering around the parliament grounds and stuffing her in that tote bag...

Welcome back to the States! Definitely give me a shout if you're ever in NYC.

kopisusu2 said...

Thanks all! Grad school has pretty much blown my blogging routine out of the water, but I will try to update with some news about Susu and Phoenix soon.

Anonymous said...

Waiting for your update :)

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this post. I'm moving to Ukraine and am really worried about flying with my cat. I think our cats are roughly the same size. What brand carrier did you use? Was Susu able to move around in her carrier? How long was your flight? Did she have opportunities for stretching - say in airport bathrooms? I couldn't imagine being unable to move around for 10 hours. I'd love your advice!

Melinda said...

Just found your blog and love it. Lovely photos, too. I used to live in Indonesia, just returned for a visit a month ago, kept a blog about long past and more recent travels.

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