Sunday, September 9, 2012

Aim Low, Reach Your Goals, Avoid Disappointment.

I saw the title of this post on a t-shirt. It seems appropriate for me and my bike travel planning this year.

Normally I have our cool weather bike travel plans finished all neat and tidy by the end of July. This year? Not even close. It's September and the only definite items are event rides. Ones we go to every year, at that. But, OK, I have an excuse. A hint: it purrs.

We adopted Lucy, an attractive tortoiseshell catfrom a no-kill shelter. She'd been dumped by her first family and had languished at the shelter for a good while. (Her stay in the shelter included weathering a hurricane in the metal building they use as the adult cat area.) She's a great cat, but she has serious abandonment issues. She totally freaks out when she is boarded. We have neighbors who would willingly drop by the house to feed her and tend to the litter box. But those neighbors are quite elderly, and I don't like burdening them with cat sitting chores. The sensible thing would be to board the dumb cat and let her get over it. But (if you have a pet you'll probably understand) I don't want to traumatize the cat if there is a reasonable work-around.
The dumb cat with abandonment issues, a.k.a. Lucy.
My solution is to set up the October through December calendar with short trips that require only 2 nights away from home. That is Step 1 for the dumb cat. She stays at home, lonely and bored but not traumatized. One of the problems she is having (I think) is that we don't work. Being retired we are around the house 24/7. She needs to adjust to us going away and leaving her alone. In Step 2 (January through April) she gets boarded for short periods.

Al is not only fine with this, he is very, very happy. Short trips mean that I will put us up in pleasant hotels with Internet and (most important) good TV. (Translation: no bed and breakfasts, no historic hotels, and no tiny motels in the boondocks.) I think it is fair to say that Al's hotel star rating system is based primarily on the type and quality of the TV in the room. A while back I put us up in an older motel with quaintly ratty 80s decor, but there was a large flat screen TV in the room. He was one happy bicycle guy.

This plan also means that we will be using only our road bikes during October through December. Our touring bikes will get tuned up and tended to but will sit unused until January.

Lucy is blissfully unaware of the inconvenience she is causing. It is always funny to know what we will put ourselves through for our pets. She may be a dumb cat, but she's our dumb cat.