My husband, Richard, said he'd take our dogs and cats in the RV to Joshua Tree, CA, while I was gone and spend some time with our other son. I suggested we leave a week early and drive in tandem so that we could spend a week there together before I traveled north. My plan was to leave there a few days before the festival and spend those days with my daughter-in-law, Cyndie, who lives near Davis, CA, while she attends veterinary graduate school. It sounded like a good plan. Off we went.
The first week was fine. We didn't see a lot of Scott, as he worked long hours, but what time we had together was nice. During that week, though, one of our cats, Rigel, developed a worsening of an allergic reaction he'd had (to what, we don't know). His nose and ears developed itchy scabs that made him very uncomfortable. I spoke to Cyndie, who suggested I bring Rigel with me so she could look him over.
Our guess is that something scared him and he ran off. When I checked on his whereabouts inside—no cat. We spent the rest of the evening searching, and I was up again at first light. The day passed. No Rigel. I contacted the rescue site associated with his microchip, and they alerted local vets, hospitals, and rescues. I put up posters. About halfway through the day, my phone alerted me that I'd met my fitness goal of 10,000 steps. Great for my health, but still no Rigel.
After part of the next day at Cyndie's, I left Rigel with her as planned and drove to to Oakland, where I would stay with my son, Morgan, and his family during and after the Book Festival. I didn't want to leave the cat behind, but Morgan is allergic, and it wouldn't have been right to inflict that on him. Besides, Rigel was well cared for where he was.
Berkeley is as crazy as I remembered it—perhaps even more so. Our booth was located in the old People's Park, now renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park. I missed most of the large goings-on when I attended Berkeley in the early 70s. The worst event during my time was a garbage strike and one small riot, cause unknown. Peace and love were still very much in fashion then, and that seems to have come full circle today, so I felt both in and out of place at the same time.
I hobbled into the motel, purchased three bags of peanut M&Ms from the vending machine for "dinner," and limped with the cat and his litter pan to my room. Turns out, rice worked pretty well. Staying off my foot also made it feel much better in the morning, and with cruise control, getting to Joshua Tree was an easy drive. Driving home the following morning was also easy, and getting home felt wonderful, although I miss Charlie and Malcolm more now than ever.
I know I promised some of you that I'd try to visit while I was in northern California, and I didn't. Next time, we'll arrange the visits in advance, and I'll try to avoid losing a cat along the way. The good news is that we're all home safely and I've finally caught up on my sleep. Thanks for all the prayers. Now back to writing, and more on that in an upcoming post.