Monty’s Great Adventure

author Linda Druck


I was asked to do a blog about my move with my boys.  I struggled with what to say, as I am not sure I did the correct things or not.  I guess the fact that we all survived the journey is a testament to the fact that I must have done something correct.


After a lifetime of living in New Jersey, I decide to move to Florida. This was a huge undertaking, as I have never made such a big long-distance move.  I am also handicapped, so everything was a lot harder to do.  Besides all the stress of selling a home and buying another one, I had to figure out how to get my cats down with me.  I looked into the Auto Train and was told that unless they were true service animals, that they were not allowed.  My friend ended up talking the journey with me to help with the cats and hauling all of their paraphernalia as well as mine.  Traveling with cats is like traveling with babies. You have to take a lot of stuff such as food, crates and litter.  You have to make prior arrangements for pet friendly hotels and make sure they are safe and kept cool during rest stops.  My friend helped me by taking turns staying with them for rest and lunch stops.  RagaMuffin Monty was traveling with his sibling Reggie and although Monty was my most seasoned traveler, due to going to cat shows, he was the worst for being the most vocal.  He has never liked staying at hotels but was better on this trip because Reggie had to be confined at all times. Reggie is extremely anxious and would be too hard to catch if loose.  Monty is extremely friendly and comes when called.  However, I still did not want to take any chances of him escaping if something were to frighten him.  I had, of course, taken them both to the vet for shots to be sure they were in good health to deal with the trip.  I had asked for sedatives in case they were needed and also medication for diarrhea, should it become an issue from to stress.  I was lucky and never needed either medication.  Monty who was loose in the hotel room in the evenings, was a good brother and often slept close to Reggie’s play pen to comfort and help relax him.


I had asked for advice on how to transport them, since originally, I was going to use Monty’s show crate for the both of them to be together.  But my concern was Reggie, who is always so anxious, would dart out and I knew that I would never get him back. I was also worried Monty could dart out, while I was grabbing for Reggie and get lost or hit in a parking lot.  So, I ended up just using their individual crates keeping them confined at all times and planning shorter distances to get from one hotel to another.  Sometimes I was anxious myself because times took longer, due to traffic or other holdups. However, they seemed to manage ok.  They were also better each new day of traveling, as they got used to the ride.  I also played relaxing music to keep them calm in the car.  I had their favorite toys in with them and sprayed their crates with a cat travel calming spray.


I had researched pet friendly hotels. However, I still ran across one that had charged me their regular fee upon the reservation and did not tell me that I had another fee upon registration, which was astronomical but too late to change.  I would advise anyone to double check any extra fees that can be added before traveling so there are no surprises in transit.  I Used AAA to map out my route and distances from one location to another which worked out perfectly.   My friend also made life so much easier by always having someone with the boys at all times to reduce their stress and mine.  I did have issues with requesting pet friendly rooms as well as Disabled and had to opt for the Pet Friendly over my own safety.  I would research that better next time.


Due to complications of losing my original home in Florida, after already having a closing date in New Jersey, I ended up having to get a long-term pet friendly place in addition to finding a permanent home situation.  Therefore, the cat’s lives were disrupted for a longer period of time than anticipated.  Finally, everything worked out and the boys adapted very quickly to their new home.  They love Florida, enjoy the lizards and all the low windows to look outside.  They have a huge screened in porch, that lets them enjoy the greater outdoors safely now, and they are no worse for the wear.  I was nervous about that as I had been told they can develop all kinds of bad behaviors when their environment changes. But I lucked out big time and we are all finally happy with the move and survived the “Great