I’m pleased to welcome Kate Lutter as my first guest blogger! Hope you enjoy her description of a fun trip to Washington, DC–with Chuck.
Hi, my name is Kate and I blog about my exotic travel experiences with my hunky husband. The blog is called Hot Blogging with Chuck. But . . .
I haven’t been completely honest with you. Chuck isn’t my husband, he’s my cat.
Not many people take their cat with them when they travel. I know this. And Bob, my husband, does not jump with joy to know that Chuck is coming with us, stuffed in my carry-on, all the air deflated out of him, only to be pumped up upon arrival and raring to go.
But it is a reality born of necessity.
You see, Chuck was bored at home, and he was developing into a “over groomer.”
Feral and homeless, we adopted him, expecting some problems, but we did not expect that this cute and very adorable orange and white tabby would turn into an obsessively clean cat or that he would begin to groom the fur right off his body. In spots, of course.
The vet said Chuck was bored. He needed stimulation. Travel. Fun. That’s how it all began.
And when Chuck discovered that I had written a novel called Wild Point Island . . . well, that clinched it. Chuck wanted to go see the island, which was a bit difficult. So we began to take Chuck with us as we traveled around the U.S. and the world.
Our trip to Washington, D.C. is a perfect example of Chuck in action. We arrive by train from New Jersey, and Chuck immediately announces that he wants to go to the Smithsonian Institute to see the space capsule. You know, the one that landed on the moon. A secret wish he’s had ever since he’s been a kitten and saw some program on TV about the capsule.
So off we go on a beautiful February day, a Friday, to be exact, in the later afternoon, when luckily the tourist traffic is at a minimum. Because, frankly, cats are not allowed inside the Smithsonian Museum, and it will take quite a bit of fancy maneuvering to get Chuck out of my backpack without being seen so he can sniff around the capsule and get an eyeful to his heart’s content.
When we arrive at the Smithsonian, we make a beeline for the capsule which is on the first floor, but unfortunately, it is right in the middle of everything, in clear view of about four guides who man the front desk. We strategize. Bob volunteers to go to the desk and act as a distraction while I wander innocently over to the capsule. My plan is simple. I’ll stand on the back side of the capsule, wait until I am relatively alone, and then let Chuck sneak out and get a peak of the capsule.
Of course, complications arise immediately because Chuck announces that he doesn’t just want to see the capsule, he wants to climb inside of it and pretend he is an astronaut flying in space. The first cat astronaut, which would make Chuck a “castronaut.” New word, new concept.
More complications. Oh, yes, we get Chuck inside the capsule. Don’t ask me how many laws I break to do that, but . . . we discover almost immediately that Chuck is claustrophobic. That capsule is tiny inside. I mean really tiny. It is hard to imagine how a human man fit inside there. And Chuck, well, we call him Chucky Cheese behind his back.
He used to be a cute, adorable kitten. Now he’s a cute, adorable cat.
But, still, Chuck is tough. He insists on rolling around inside the capsule as if he is weightless.
Some imagination that cat has!
Then catastrophe strikes. I am standing there, my eyes glued to the interior of the capsule watching Chuck roll around when I hear, “Pss.” I whirl around in time to see Bob signaling towards a guide who is walking towards us. With a frown on his face. Trouble.
At the same time, I can hear Chuck “meowing” from inside, totally lost in the moment, enjoying his fantasy inside the capsule.
I knock furiously on the capsule window. “Niksay. Niksay.”
This is our code word for “Cease and Desist.”
Immediately the meowing stops.
And then it happens.
The guide is intercepted. By another guide. There is a problem with the lunar module display case.
I whisk around, open the capsule, pull out Chuck and shove the startled “castronaut” into my backpack.
The next day we return to the Smithsonian Institute, but we’ve decided it is best that Chuck remain at the hotel. We ordered in breakfast. There is a balcony. It is a beautiful sunny day. Chuck is resting comfortably. Dreaming, no doubt, of becoming famous.
Chuck Glenn. Or Chuck Armstrong. Or Chuck Lovell . . .
If you’d like to read more about Chuck, you can find my weekly blog at: www.katelutter.blogspot.com
I love to blog about my almost famous cat Chuck, but my real calling is writing paranormal romance novels. My first novel, Wild Point Island, is due to be released winter of 2012. Read more about it: www.katelutter.com