Overpacking

 

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Overpacking

Where is it that a cat belongs? She’ll be the judge of that.
Wherever I am going, I am sure to need a cat.
She’ll help me with my packing and be my memory
so I don’t forget to take her when I set out to sea.

She can’t see how her company could go against my wishes.
A cat goes well with boats and anywhere where there are fishes.
Each morning she repacks herself and each night in the dark
she asks herself once more just when we’ll finally embark.

After a week of packing, my case is finally full.
I shut the lid, secure the lock, pick up the strap and pull.
I’m off to catch the red eye that will fly me off to Rome
to catch the boat that for one week will make do as my home.

I have packed so carefully, checking off my list
that I’m sure there’s nothing that I could have missed.
But I know that Annie, sleeping curled up on her mat,
when she wakes up and finds me gone, will not agree with that.

In spite of her best efforts, alas, she’s left behind.
It seems that human planning isn’t always kind
to cats who have spun fantasies of travel and romance.
Did human plans concur with hers? Poor Annie. Not a chance.

It’s a wonderful coincidence that the dVerse Poets prompt today is “Felines,” since just this morning I found this photo taken three weeks ago as I packed for my Mediterranean cruise with my sister. I meant to publish it back then but forgot and was wondering when it would be appropriate to use it as an illustration. I didn’t have to wait long to find out.

 

44 thoughts on “Overpacking

    1. lifelessons Post author

      I know. I am such a manic packer. I have to start a week ahead. So she spent a lot of time in that suitcase. At this stage I’d just thrown in things I didn’t want to forget.. like my passport, jewelry, power strip. Her bed got softer as I started to pack clothing.

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      I took her to the beach with me for the last two years and she did really well, although she never strayed further than the porch except for one night after all the dogs went home. Then she crept out onto the sand but stayed closed to the foundation of the house.

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  1. robtkistner

    This is a wonderful poem Judy! Full of love, joy, wit, and cat smiles. Its rhyme lilts gracefully along, wraps sweetly ‘round your Annie. What a great picture of your beloved pet! BTW, our cat never seemed to give a damn where we were. In the house, in the yard, another state, Taja didn’t care — as long as there was food, and clean litter. But Taja was loving, and you can tell from ANNIE’s picture, she is a lover too.

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      What a generous comment, Rob. So glad you enjoyed Annie’s story! Cats just love to lie on the newest thing in the room. Annie has even been known to lie in my toolbox when I leave the closet open. But, I loved that she seemed to be wanting me to pack her up with the rest and take her along. And every day, she’d climb in the suitcase as it slowly filled up, until I finally had to start closing the lid.

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      I always wonder when I leave if animals think I’m not coming back. I always leave them in the care of folks who probably spend even more time with them than I do, but stil the dogs, at least, are crazily ecstatic when i get home and then I feel guilty. Poor babies. What must they think?

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      1. slmret

        I once visited friends who had been away from home for 2-3 days, leaving the cat at home. I arrived before they did — as arranged, I let myself in and was warmly welcomed by the cat who would not leave me alone while I was there. I think the poor kitty thought I was rescuing her from loneliness, and punished her family by not paying attention to them!

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        1. lifelessons Post author

          It was my idea that we get away and take a cruise together and we had many highlights but both agree that cruising, at least on a ship as big as the one we were on, is not what it used to be. Just too too much and lacking the charm that being on a ship once had. Much the same has happened with air travel, I guess. Just more hassles. More relaxing to see fewer places more intimately and at a more leisurely pace. I think it is hard to beat a road trip with no set pace predetermined, so you can stay as long a you wish to in each spot. My ideal is with someone else driving and me writing as we go along. Luckily, my last two lovers have felt the same way and both wanted to do the driving! I wrote half of an entire book primarily sitting in the passenger seat.. Heaven.

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      She’s 17 1/2 years old and getting really demanding but age should have its rewards. I usually mind her..so long as it doesn’t involve smuggling her aboard in a suitcase.

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  2. koolkosherkitchen

    Poor Annie! My Beba also plonks herself into a suitcase and cusses anyone who tries to cajole her to vacate premises (this girl can curse!). I now shut the bedroom door when I pack, but I pack very quickly, so it doesn’t cause a major struggle.

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      It takes me a week to pack. I have to account for every possibility, then don’t use half the stuff. Comes from traveling to third world countries. I think I have to take every possible medication. This time I packed twice as many clothes as I needed. Too many shoes. Too many scarves and too much jewelry.. thought I needed a way to dress up every outfit but only had two formal nights..I just over-plan.

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