After days of wishing and washing, we elected to subject ourselves to great risk…and added our cat to the mix of travelers to Germany.
We have never traveled to Europe with 4 children. We’ve never moved to Europe with anyone. So doing it with a cat – a mostly outdoor cat – brings some trepidation on top of the not insignificant amount of stress we’re already feeling.
Tonight I write this from our two-room hotel in SeaTac, WA within sight of the airport radar control tower. The hotel is grungy and small and we’re all tired. And we haven’t even left the ground yet.
For his part, the cat (name’s Mr. Elma, after the location where we was “rescued” by yours truly) has done rather well…so far. He protested his soft cat-carrier on most of the drive up here from Olympia. The carrier already looks a bit different after a solid hour of claws and teeth.
But once out of the carrier and hunting around the hotel, he settled down and if anything wants a bit more affection than normal. We all love him because he is so mellow and self-sufficient. He so far appears to be holding that course. I do think that arriving here with cat in tow has, maybe, helped the kids maintain some sense of normalcy.
Tomorrow, however, is a new day. He could freak, bust out of the carrier and maim an eyeball. At least, this is the scenario that continually plays in my head.
All of the kids have handled this massive transition gracefully. The two oldest had some tears tonight as things become real. Really real. We’re not going back to our beloved home. Maybe ever. One of the reasons we decided to go for this now was because while the kids do have some real friends…they aren’t the same kind of friendships people make in high school or college. If you’re going to take kids away from their friends, now is the time to do it. That said, they do have some sweet little friendships and the leaving is still hard.
Everybody (except, perhaps, for Mr. Elma) wants to see Germany, however. Even El Nino, at 3, asks repeatedly when we will finally see “Doominee”.
Assuming no mishaps with the cat, the plane, the luggage (I’m checking my shorter surfboard…a little iffy) or the transportation, the answer to our youngest’s question should be, ‘tomorrow.’
Hard to believe.