Who is Chuck and why does he like to travel?

I was born to be a writer and when I wrote my novel Wild Point Island, Chuck, my orange and white recently rescued feral tabby, got it in his head that he wanted to travel to the island and see the place for himself. Well, of course, Wild Point Island, can only be seen by revenants (you'll have to read the book to find out who they are) and Chuck is no revenant so instead, I concocted a plan to take Chuck with me when I travel around the world, which I do frequently. Not an easy task. First, I have to deflate the poor kid of all air, stuff him in my carry-on bag, remember to bring my portable pump, and when I arrive, I pump him back up. Ouch. But he's used to it by now and given the choice to either stay home in his comfy cat bed or get deflated, he pulls out his passport, ready to travel, every time.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Chuck Goes Up, Up, Up - the Eiffel Tower

     After seeing the Mona Lisa, Chuck wanted to go--up, up, up.  He was determined not only to see the Eiffel Tower, he wanted to ascend to the top of the tower.  Staked out in our room at the Montparnasse Hotel in Paris, Chuck meowed and meowed.  He scratched on the hotel room door, as if he were a prisoner.  
     It seems that he had run off a photo of the Eiffel Tower and stuffed it in his own personal carry-on bag that he brought with him wherever he traveled.  There was a photo of his twin sister, Ella, of course, in the bag, and now clutched in his paw--a glossy picture of the Eiffel Tower, grandiose in the early morning mist. 
     Where he’d gotten that photo from--I can’t begin to guess, but the longer we stayed in this magical city, the more obsessed Chuck became. 
     Finally, on the last morning we were in Paris we agreed to take him.     
     From our hotel to the tower, we took the subway.  And I might as well admit up front, there is never a good time to visit the Eiffel Tower.  
     This tower of steel is always crowded.
     Open seven days a week, tourists constantly mill about.  Some decide to walk up the over 300 steps to the first level and then another 300 steps to the second level.  We decided to take the lift.  But we had to stand in line for what seemed like an eternity.  
     I decided that if we were there to see the tower, Chuck may as well learn all about it.  I told him that the total height of the tower was equal to an 81 story building in New York and because of the antennas built on top, it was the tallest manmade structure in the world.  
     Chuck wasn’t impressed.
     I told him that it was built to celebrate the centennial of the French revolution.  He rolled his eyes.
     Did he know that the names of 72 scientists were engraved on the tower?  He didn’t care.
     I told Chuck--and I really thought that this cool fact would pique his interest--that it took between fifty and sixty gallons of paint every year to keep the Eiffel Tower looking spiffy.  
     But by now, Chuck was hungry, and all he wanted to know was when we were going to get a snack.
     Finally, we climbed on the lift and began to ascend to the top.  
     I thought Chuck would be excited.  After all, here we were-going higher and higher.  The view of Paris--once we arrived--was one hundred percent guaranteed to be spectacular.
     I was wrong.
     The one thing we didn’t figure on was that the  “Belly Boy” was afraid of heights.  When the elevator clanged to a stop (metaphorically), and we stepped out to take in the sight, Chuck froze.  He began to shake.  The poor kid was frightened to death.  Immediately, he demanded to go back down.
     “Just shut those peepers,” I said.  
     He buried his face in the crook of my arm.
     The good news was that Bob and I enjoyed the loveliest view of Paris.  
     The bad news - Chuck did nothing but complain the entire way back to the hotel.  He ripped up his photo of the Eiffel Tower and swore he would never meow about it again.  
     The big baby!   


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