Two months into our trip it was bound to happen. The age-old problem that dog lovers face on a regular basis, what to do when you have to run errands, have the pet with you and it is 29 degrees outside.
It was like the perfect storm, Al had to get new tires for Merci (that honkin big bus of ours) and I had to do laundry. Neko couldn’t be in the bus during the tire fit out which is why I was elected to hang out with her.
I loaded Neko, a book and said laundry into Pradi (our Prado) and set off for Cessnock. She has become such a good traveller now that we have her cage set up like a palace on a hill overlooking all the goings on in the world. A quick stop to pick some wide bladed grass on the side of the road settled her vocal chords. She is a weird one. When travelling in Pradi, she only meows for a reason. The problem is that I don’t understand her language so it can sometimes take a few tries to figure out what she is trying to say. We seem to get there in the end, but it can be trial and error to make it to peacefulness with Her Highness.
Back to the laundry, I figured I would sit in the parking lot in Pradi with Neko and read while the laundry was being done. Turns out the laundromat was busy therefore it would be two hours before I could pick it up. I didn’t relish the thought of sitting in their winky (looked like a used Prado car lot, so they must have good taste) parking lot for two hours so I decided to drop off our excess to goodwill. Yes, we are still getting rid of “stuff”. Oh, this downsizing is never ending, but that is another story.
The goodwill in on the main street so of course I could not park close by. I was about two blocks away. I did find parking in the shade, which was a bonus, but I turned the car off and waited. After a couple of minutes Pradi was warming substantially. I determined that it would take me at least five minutes to get to the goodwill and of course I have no idea how long I would be inside. This means at least ten minutes in the car. Too long. I woke Neko (never a popular thing to do) and poured her into her backpack. Poured because she is not a small cat, so it is never easy. Also, when she has been sleeping and its warm, she is like jelly. Put the pack on my back, gathered up the “stuff” and waddled my way down the street. Yes, waddled! She is too heavy for me, but don’t tell her she would be very very pissed to hear that.
Comments swirled as I waited for the light to cross the street. “See that lady? Ooooh, she has a cat.” Sometimes it’s a simple “Mmmmp.”
Apparently not everyone is a cat lover. After dropping the “stuff”, I spotted a hair salon and decided to try the walk-in approach to get my fringe (bangs) cut. It was a non-cat lover’s salon with a swift, “sorry, no cats allowed. Some people have allergies.”
Fair enough. It was a shot in the dark. Now on a mission, I decided to waddle (yes, still heavy) back and try another salon I had spotted on a previous trip. It turned out to be cat heaven. Neko doesn’t exactly like being the centre of attention but took all the ooohs and ahhh’s with a grain. She doesn’t like to make a big deal out of her natural beauty (that was a joke). I was happy to have my fringe cut and was even offered a lesson on how to cut it while on the road. Not sure I am game to give that a try but the entire experience (including being able to get Neko off my back for a bit) was amazing. Big shout out to the awesome girls at Fuse Gallery in Cessnock.
I was parked right outside a café so I put Neko back in her palace on the hill, ran the air con for a few minutes, jumped out, ran into the café, waited in line, order and paid for a coffee, ran back out to the car, jumped in, ran the air con for a few minutes, back into the café to grab my coffee and back to the car. Success!
By then it was time to pick up the laundry and head over to Cessnock Showground (a good place to stay) and meet Al who had just parked. Timing was great. Neko was back in her home, and me, exhausted, I had to have a rest. How do these dog people do it?
All in all it was a success. The laundry was done, my fringe was cut and Neko and I spent quality time together. Not one page turned, the book is for another day.