Things seemed pretty bad when the cab driver who was waiting to take me to the airport started helping put boxes on to the truck. After the movers were mostly done, I got in the car and headed off to Newark. By this time it was starting to be rush hour, so we got held up by a long line going in to the Holland Tunnel but we managed to make it to the airport a little after 5:00 for a flight that left at 6:00.
Usually 45 minutes would have been just enough time, but traveling with a cat adds a few layers to the regular process. For instance, you can’t check-in at the curbside with a cat (I found this out after going through most of the check-in process). You also have to take the cat out of the carrier and have that go through the metal detector.
I made it on to the plane, but it involved running at full tilt with a cat carrier in one hand, my belt in the other (since I didn’t think I had time to put it back on), a video camera on one shoulder and an overstuffed backpack on. Fortunately when I got to the gate there was a bit of a delay since they had run out of room in the overhead bins and were taking some carry-ons off. Even so, I was about 10 minutes away from missing my flight and doing who knows what next.
I see now that it was silly to schedule things so closely. If the movers hadn’t been an hour and a half late my plans would have been fine, but stuff happens and you need some margin. It would have probably made the most sense to leave the next morning after staying on a friend’s couch for the night and leaving the cat in our empty apartment (even if that would have freaked her out a bit).
When we set things up a few weeks ago we thought we had to leave the same day that the movers came since we couldn’t figure out what else to do with the cat. Jimmie, the cat, is traumatized by any sort of change but there has been so much change recently getting ready for our move that a little more probably wouldn’t have done much extra damage.
Moving across country is going to be a crazy experience anyway, so this doesn’t seem to have been as crazy as it could have been. There were a few other things that we might have done another way and there were definitely some things we could have done better, but we all made it to California in one piece though so I’m happy.
Oh, did I forget to mention that my wife and daughter missed all this since they caught a plane earlier in the morning? Apparently, there was no traffic on the way to the airport and they had a lovely flight.