If you haven’t already, you should read Bon Voyage – Part 1 to catch up on this amazing voyage …
Part 2 … The sun had just set, so it was starting to get chilly, and I felt a lot of compassion for the real homeless who don’t have awesome friends like H. to pick them up from parking lots.
First Phase: Check-In
My gut knew before I knew that the West Jet check-in attendant was going to be a horrible person.
I was clearly flustered. It had been the craziest day. When she weighed bag #2 it was 8lbs overweight. I asked her if the flight was full, and if there was any way the $50 fee could be waived. She told me that the men downstairs could not lift an extra 10lbs of weight, and asked me if I could remove 9lbs of weight. No offence lady, but are you telling me they can miraculously lift 8 more pounds if I pay the $50 surcharge? She then alluded that if every student moving to go to school was given a break, that West Jet would be broke.
It took all my strength not to 1) cry 2) yell that my Dad was dying and I just wanted to get home to him and 3) tell that woman to F-off. I ended up paying the surly woman $50.
Second Phase: Bathroom Floor
Time for sedative # 2 and 3. Imagine, exhausted me, sitting on the floor in the disabled person stall, trying to force the groggy cat in my lap to eat a pill it doesn’t want. “Oh, it’s really easy.” said the vet. Screw you Mr. Vet.
I ended up feeding her the tiniest bit of wet food with crushed drugs. She then ran into the toilet bowl head-first before I could put her back in her cage. I must’ve spent 20 minutes on that gross floor. Ugh.
Third Phase: Security Check
I had so many carry-on things in my hands that the circulation was being cut off to my fingers. I waddled my way to security and people commented about my cat in her carrier. I chucked my stuff onto the metal table and was abruptly told to take the cat out of the carrier and walk through the security gate with her in my arms.
I’m sorry what?
Gemini wouldn’t come out (and I wouldn’t either if I was higher than a kite at Pearson). I had to take the entire carrier apart to get her out. Then, cradling my cat in my tired arms, I walked through the metal detector with the 10 other security lines (oh, probably 200 people) all staring at me.
Fourth Phase: Poo On The Rules
On my way to the plane I kept dropping one of my three jackets and a kind older gentleman kept putting it back on my shoulder. Eventually, he just offered to carry it for me, and I almost dropped everything to hug him in thanks.
Finally on the plane, I listened to the rules:
1. The cat must stay in the carrier ma’am.
2. At no point can the carrier be on the seat, ma’am.
I put my sweater over her carrier in the hopes of calming her, but she just meowed and meowed. Eventually when we lifted off, she calmed down a bit. About 1.5 hours into the flight, I put my head down and lifted the sweater.
It smelled like shit.
Fack. I asked the flight attendant if I could take the carrier to the bathroom to clean the poo out. She said no. But 5 minutes later, I couldn’t stop thinking about how horrible, scared, and uncomfortable my poor, drugged cat must be, and I told the flight attendant that not only was inhumane to leave an animal in its own shit, but it would soon be uncomfortable for everyone else on the plane.
She told me not to take the cat out of the carrier in the bathroom, but once I was in there it didn’t matter. There was shit everywhere. I felt like a parent with an embarrassed kid who had surrendered to life. I peeled the crap off her section by section with moist airplane toilet paper, threw out her soiled blanket, and felt so, so, so horrible. At one point, I lifted her up to do a final check and she hissed at her own reflection. Then I just held her, and I think we both cried a little.
Fifth Phase: Landing
After having a West Jet flight attendant tell me that I should “pack less next time”, I got to the baggage carousel. I almost took out a small Chinese woman because she REFUSED to move to allow me to get my bag.
As I launched my bag inches from the Chinese woman’s face*, I knew that my Dad was the light at the end of the tunnel, though, and it would soon be worth it.