Monday, February 4, 2013


I guess everyone has to learn to say good bye at some point in their lives.  Judy and I arrived on Galveston Island by ferry boat. Our first ferry ride!. But the time has come to say goodbye to the Gulf.

I've prowled and stalked the campgrounds from California to Florida but saying farewell to the Gulf in Galveston Texas made me hang my head with sadness. I live in the moment yet I’m aware that leaving the Gulf means Judy and I are heading west. My cat radar tells me we are nearing home, back to responsibilities.
 No more stealing through tall grasses and sniffing wild scents that make my hair stand on end. I’ve tested my hunting skills in the bayous and swamps, and though I’ve caught nothing, I was close so many times.

Heading home means saying good bye to my travel routine. Travel days begin in the morning, outside, surveying the campsite one last time while Judy stows away my food and water dishes with the fishes painted on the bottom. When it’s time to roll I take my perch on the dash and watch the scenery pass from the rear view mirror and disappear. After about fifty miles, when the campground is only a memory, I seek out my napping spot where I will occupy the rest of my day until we stop for the night. I have many places but this basket is my favorite at the moment.

When we are settled at the next campsite, the rest of my day is spent hunting, stalking, rolling in the dirt and contemplating nature until sundown. While Judy packs her day with sightseeing, I sleep. When she returns she fills me in with the details of the places she’s visited and the folks she’ met.

Flamingos at Homosassi Preserve in Bushnell, Florida
The remains of  hurricane damaged Oak trees  which may have said good bye but are now everlasting eagles.
Key West, Florida

Did Judy really ride an alligator?

On her return from touring, Judy presents me with a souvenir mouse stuffed with catnip. I have mice which have scurried on the boardwalk of Tombstone Arizona, through the saw grasses of the Everglades in Florida, across the white sands of the Gulf and a special one that Judy told me rode in the Apollo 13.
Traveling is better than any of my catnap dreams. My paws twitch just thinking about traveling. When I gazed out on the waves of the Gulf, the power of the surf churned my insides with a yearning to climb the tallest tree and fly like the gulls across the water. The sand pipers dancing in the sand, poking for food, egrets poising on spindle legs like alabaster statues, and Camerons spreading  their wings like a Buddhist worshipping the sun …these scenes  ground me,.. This journey exposed me to adventures no cat could ever imagine. These escapades are not fantasies dancing in my mind. They are real. I have experienced them to the level that they have stirred my wanderlust and made me yearn for even more. 

How am I going to be satisfied when I return home? Will I be like Tony the tiger at the Tiger Truck Stop on I-10 who paces back and forth? 

But good byes are exits to new roads. I’ll pace, but with expectations. The “Hello Ma’am’s,” the “Howdy’s,” and the Hi y’alls are greetings as Judy and I pass through doors, or ferry across water ways to new adventures. But first we have to say goodbye.

Galveston, oh Galveston, I still hear your sea winds blowin'