The one where our cat tagged along (and we didn’t know it)


Our third camping trip was over MLK weekend. We left our house Friday evening and drove to Athens to set up shop at Pine Lake RV Campground for the night. We had a birthday celebration to attend. We woke up the next morning and headed south to Milledgeville.

As we were settling into our campsite in Milledgeville, we heard a cat meowing loudly, and it sounded for all the world like the cat was at our campsite. We looked around, but found no sign of a cat. We finished setting up, and drove into town to Wal Mart and Lowe’s. When we got out of the truck at Lowe’s, we heard the same distressed meow. We looked closer at the truck, and I noticed a fluffy grey tail was visible in the back driver’s side wheel well. As I watched, the tail disappeared and the face of a kitten appeared… our kitten, Skata!

I looked over the truck bed at Justin and said “There’s a CAT in your TRUCK!”

Dumbfounded, we picked her up, exchanged “What in the world??” a couple of times, and realized she’d ridden in a cavity under the truck bed all the way from the house – 18 hours had elapsed, and we’d stopped and started at least a half dozen times. We couldn’t believe she hadn’t fallen out, or jumped out at one of our earlier stops.

Fortunately, Justin’s brother lives in Milledgeville and has a cat. He had an extra pet carrier and an extra litter box that he greeted us with when we pulled up to his house a few hours later.

And, even more fortunately, Skata is the best cat we’ve ever met. She showed up on our front stoop as a tiny kitten in last October (2016), and took up residence in our woodpile shortly thereafter. She was elusive as a kitten, but I spent as much time as I could sitting nearby and getting her used to our presence. By Thanksgiving, she let my mother-in-law pick her up. And in January, this trip, she finally spent the night inside with us – though not necessarily by choice!

We dropped her in the litter box as soon as we got back to the camper, and she knew exactly what to do. She was so exhausted that first day (I’m sure I would be, too, after using one of nine lives) she slept the day and night away tucked up in the corner of our dinette. Mid-way through the night, she decided to jump on the bed. She landed with all four feet on a sleeping, unsuspecting Justin, and the chaos that ensued on that side of the bed had me laughing for days. Arms, legs, fur, and covers flew everywhere. Poor Justin had a year taken off of his life.

We finished up the weekend, stowed her in the pet carrier in the front of the truck, and headed home. We’ve not taken her on another camping trip, nor has she stowed away again, but this one made for quite an adventure and a memory!

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