Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler - Winter 2011 travel blog



Cats have been part of our family for 35 years. Our last cat Cinnamon was an aging dowager when we got our motor home and made a few nerve racking trips with us in it. I always had a feeling I enjoyed having her there more than she enjoyed being there. But after we retired and traveled more and more, especially internationally, having a pet made no sense. So when Cinnamon finally called it a day, this irreplaceable creature was not replaced.

Whenever we park the motor home for any length of time, especially in late fall, there are certain things that need to be done so that it will be in good shape when we return. Draining the water and adding antifreeze is an important part of the routine. The first year we forgot to drain the sprayer near the toilet and it cracked and had to be replaced. The next year we had the same problem with the kitchen faucet. I forgot a liter soda bottle one year and luckily noticed it before the broken bottle defrosted. But this year we remembered all the spots where the water can pool and freeze and our plumbing was in perfect shape when we filled the water tank.

The other issue is critter invasions. No matter how airtight an RV is, there are always holes small enough for a cold and hungry rodent to squeeze through. I carefully go through each cabinet, removing anything edible that will attract an animal. Our first sign that we had not exercised due diligence, was a trail of rodent droppings in a drawer where I keep plastic wrap, aluminum foil and zip lock bags. One of the bags there had been washed and was to be reused. The bite marks all over it, told me that we had not washed it thoroughly enough. Then I found that two of those fertilizer packets you get when you buy cut flowers had been opened and eaten. And when I tried to use a spice, I discovered that the labels had been nibbled off of the bottles. Next time I make chili, I may be making it with nutmeg. Then we found a little snack size package of sun flower seeds. All that remained were the shells. And of course each find was surrounded by droppings. Fortunately, mice are small.

But where was the mouse? I searched every corner I could think of, anywhere that food is ever stored. Perhaps it gave up and left since there really was not much here to eat. We should have been so lucky. When I moved a cushion on the couch, there was the little corpse resting peacefully. I don't want to be gross, but bodily fluids drain out of a decomposing body. Now we had a smelly stain on the upholstery. Why couldn't it have taken its final snooze on an easier to clean surface?

A cat would never have allowed us to spend all this time with a dead body.

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