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.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Chuck Is Mesmerized by Paris Streets

Just one of the many bridges that cross the Seine in Paris

Chuck, my very rascally cat, is a big Woody Allen fan. He especially loved Sleeper, Play It Again, Sam, Annie Hall and the recent Midnight in Paris. In fact, his obsessive watching of Midnight in Paris just recently explains, I think, why he suddenly wanted to go to Paris.

Now Paris, the capital of France, has thirty million visitors per year and is the most visited city in the world so who wouldn’t want to hop on a plane or ride through the tunnel and see such a magical place? 

I suspected Chuck wanted to walk the streets, just like Owen Wilson who plays the nostalgic screenwriter, did. Perhaps, he was hoping that mysterious car from a previous century would pick him up and transport him to another time where cats led a simpler life. Perhaps, he was hoping he would meet, then fall in love with a beautiful Parisian kitty . . . 

So with that hidden dream in tow, we hightailed it to Paris, booked a room at the Montparness, and decided to take in the sights of Paris. Of course, we paid homage to the usual big name places that always rightfully attract the tourists--the Eiffel Tower, The Arc of Triomphe, the Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre. We even paid a quick visit to Les Invalides (the museums and monuments devoted to French military history). But even though Chuck got the usual thrill from seeing such exciting places, something was missing. I could see it in his eyes.

The Eiffel Tower from afar

The Arc of Triomphe

I then dragged my furry rascal to one of my favorite places--the second largest park in Paris--the Luxembourg Gardens, the home of the Luxembourg Palace, where many Parisians come to relax during the weekend or where they come to walk or sunbathe. Chuck, who loves to be outside, walking around, sniffing the grass and the trees, still didn’t seem to be completely satisfied.

Luxembourg Palace

Luxembourg Gardens - the second largest park in Paris

It seems he wanted the streets of Paris--not the monuments and statues, not the museums and churches. He wanted the tree lined streets. 

Statue of Winston Churchill

So we moved at our own pace. No one bothered us. And, no, even though it got a bit late and the sun went down and we were still outside at dusk, the magical car never arrived to take us to another century. Even so, by the time we arrived back at the hotel, Chuck was happy. 

Paris street

One of the many tree lined streets in Paris--this one near the Luxembourg Gardens

He even discovered that he enjoyed the French cat food that I bought at a local store. Although he did a double-take when he saw the label--very artsy-fartsy for a cat food label. After all, Chuck sees himself as just as an ordinary down to earth, run of the mill kind of cat, even if he is a world traveler, hiking around in "Paree".
I just loved the art deco on this can of cat food--I wonder do French people display their cat food as art around their house??


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