By Karen Flickinger, F282141
Motorhoming has become a way of life for Zandr, our 3-year-old Siberian cat, and his brother, Kazmr, a Maine coon cat.
In 2000 my husband, Ron, and I purchased a 36-foot Winnebago Journey DL that could accommodate our cats easily. We wanted to place the cats' litter box in the cupboard, but that space was occupied by the washer-dryer. So, we decided to place the litter box beneath the bench-type seats. These seats had long drawers underneath to hold all the cat food, leashes, toys, etc.
The "boys" enjoyed getting acquainted with the motorhome, which had one slideout. We left a few upper cupboards open for cat inspection. Within an hour the cats were trained not to bother the driver or to jump onto the dashboard. (I would spring from my seat to grab them and soon they no longer tried.)
Zandr and Kazmr are wonderful travelers. One cat sleeps behind the recliner and the other sits on the passenger's lap, noticing everything along the way!
In 2001 we traded our 36-foot motorhome for a better-equipped Winnebago Journey. This one does not have a washer-dryer, though, so now we can use that area for the litter box. We keep one cupboard door removed and one door shut so the box stays in place while traveling.
Next to the litter box, we keep zip-top bags for waste collection. Behind the passenger seat stands a sisal-wrapped post with two hammocks for cat beds.
The cats have the most fun at fuel stops, when they can watch the truckers washing their trucks. Of course, when we stop for lunch, they enjoy a treat and being on the dash.
Zandr and Kazmr don't need many toys — a few catnip mice and a couple of small balls. Their main attraction is a large paper cup with plastic lid and straw for chewing. One cup placed in the cup holder entertains them for quite awhile.
At the end of a long day of traveling, our cats are eager to take a walk on their harnesses and leashes. They search for things that cats love, sniffing everything. We always try to stay at wooded campgrounds because the twigs and leaves blowing against the windows and screens provide hours of entertainment for them.
When darkness hovers, two very contented cats sit on the dash with curtains drawn and watch the night happenings. They listen to night sounds and seem thankful to have a space all their own.
By morning they have sized-up other motorhomes, the pets within them, and have memorized all habits. They know it will be time to move on soon, and look forward to more nights when animals roam and the window action is always new!
Do you travel with pets? Send your tips, ideas, memories or stories to [email protected].