Cal’s Page

Welcome to my page! Here, I document my personal experience as a slow traveling cat, as well as, my ever-evolving relationship with my travel companion, the large, bald one (aka Michele). Sometimes I even allow her to contribute.

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A Cat’s Perspective – It started with a box

My name is Cal and I’m a cat. The large, bald one is my best friend. Her name is Michele and she’s a cat too. She’s much larger than me and bald, except for the very top of her head, which is adorned with long, yellow fur.

Like all great journeys, ours started with a box. But this was not just any kind of box, it was a Big, Empty Box. The best kind of box.

Previous Posts:

  • Things are about to change
    I’m so excited that things are finally going to change. We’ve been in quarantine for 6.5 months now and I feel like I’m going crazy. I spend all of my time at home and every day runs into the next. Despite the monotony, I have to admit that I am one of the lucky ones. I am quarantined with my best friend, Cal. 
  • A room with windows on every wall
    When we first arrived, it was pitch dark outside. It was very late on Saturday, well past both of our bedtimes. Despite the terrible timing of our arrival, the large, bald one remained steadfast in her efforts to settle us in. She started unpacking immediately, dealing with my bag first. I am a little cat, but I do not travel light…
  • Hopping cats
    On Friday afternoon the large, bald one left with a medium sized bag. I knew that I was going to be solo for some time, and judging from the size of her bag, I guessed that it would be approximately 2 days.
  • Self reflection
    The large, bald one is on her second weekend trip in a row. I’m starting to get worried that she is trying to do too much. On Friday morning I communicated my concern by fake sleeping on top of her bag all morning. 
  • The cat den
    It’s Sunday afternoon and I am preparing to emerge from underneath the couch, a place that I have recently dubbed the cat den. Ever since last Wednesday, I’ve been spending more time here than usual. Allow me to start from the beginning.  
  • The longest night
    I beg to be let into my favorite cabinet but she will not open it for me. The inside air is thick with anxiety and I can smell the outside air as it sneaks through unknown crevices in the camper and swirls around inside. It’s going to be a long night. 
  • Heaven is in a cabinet in Meadview, AZ
    Our camper is small, but I continue to discover new places to explore. It was Wednesday morning when I caught a whiff of another cat from one of the lower cabinets. As I investigated, I realized that I had never been in this particular cabinet. I sniffed incessantly and knew that I had to get inside at any cost. I tried pulling the door open with my paw, but it was stuck. I tried scratching through the door, but unsurprisingly that did not work either. It was only when I started to verbally express my distress that the large, bald one finally took pity and opened the cabinet for me. 
  • Duty to explore
    As I write to you now, we are relaxing in our new home in Bisbee, AZ. Soon after the Night of the Wind, the large, bald one packed our stuff and gently placed me in my cat carrier for a 7-hour drive south. 
  • A change of pace
    It’s been a full week in Bisbee, AZ now and I’m pretty sure that the large, bald one has not left the apartment yet. She spent most of the week looking into her work computer and the weekend quietly staring out of the window or sitting on the floor. We’ve had weekends like this in the past, but it’s been a while. I have to admit that it was a nice change of pace. 
  • The beast beyond the door
    Well, another week has passed and life at the House of Art and Mirrors remains as interesting as it sounds. Just a few days ago, I was taking my mid-morning nap on the foot of the bed when I heard the most graceless thud just outside of the front door. Awoken from my slumber, I begrudgingly approached the door to investigate.
  • The laptop’s evil grip
    Each day I sit near the window at the back of the house and watch as the sun passes over us. I’ve noticed the days becoming shorter, though, perplexingly, the heat remains the same. 
  • Old habits quell anxiety
    It’s Sunday afternoon and I am lounging on the end of the bed, watching as the large, bald one stares into her laptop. Yesterday she disappeared for the better part of the day but has otherwise acted predictably. This week was difficult for me, I experienced a personal setback when an old habit reared its ugly head.
  • Bye, bye Bisbee
    It’s Monday evening and we have finally left Bisbee, AZ. I can’t say I will miss that place. The lack of windows and cabinets coupled with the presence of other cats made for an uncomfortable stay. Strangely, the large bald one seemed quite happy there. She has no appreciation for the finer things in life. 
  • A breakthrough
    It’s Tuesday evening and I am writing to you from another temporary location. The large bald one has only unloaded some of our stuff and now she is sitting silently at a small desk, typing away on her laptop. Today we drove nearly 6 hours. This was my third long car ride and I experienced a breakthrough. After what felt like years of research, I finally learned how to open my cat carrier from the inside. 
  • Tiny house, enormous cat tree
    It’s Sunday and we’ve been at our new home for 5 days now. It’s much smaller than our last place, in fact, I would even call it “tiny”. I appreciate the compact size as I can see the entire space from my perch on the couch. There are windows on three of the 4 walls, all of which are cat-accessible. There is one feature of our new home that remains perplexing to me, however.
  • Uncharted territory
    Almost 2 full weeks have passed in the tiny house in Austin, TX and I am really starting to settle in. This week I discovered a new feature, by which I am absolutely delighted. 
  • Special Edition: Bring your cat to work day
    As a cat, I am a naturally curious creature. Each day I observe my best friend and roommate, Michele. Over our years of association, I have learned many things. For example, she has seemingly no fear of the water from the kitchen faucet, yet she will shy away from even the smallest bug. She is a strange animal indeed. Lately, though, one thing has perplexed me more than usual. It’s the thing that she calls “work”. It’s how she spends most of her time when she is not paying attention to me. I’m in luck though, because this morning Michele announced that today is Bring Your Cat to Work Day. I can hardly believe my good fortune. 
  • New toys, new cat, new year
    It’s Sunday afternoon and the large, bald one and I are lounging on the couch. This week started out like any other week; Michele worked on her laptop most of the day, while I naped and occasionally patrolled the windows for invading cats. So far, I have only encountered one invader, which was easily scared off with a few low-pitched meows. Later in the week, however, things took a strange turn. The large, bald one started to leave the house for unusually long periods of time; in fact, on Thursday and Friday, she was gone for most of the day. At first, I took it personally. I wondered what I had done wrong, but then, as time progressed, I started to learn to enjoy my own company. After all, I am a pretty cool cat.
  • The Night of Explosions
    Another week has passed, and it was a wild ride. Things started off as normal, but then on Wednesday, the large, bald one began to act strangely. She spent the whole day in silence and barely moved at all. Thursday was mostly a repeat of Wednesday, but then at night, the loud noises started. At first, the explosions came every 30 minutes or so, but as the night proceeded they increased in frequency. I estimated they reached their peak around midnight, with some of them literally shaking our tiny house.
  • 3 large windows
    It’s Sunday evening and I am relaxing in Michele’s office chair after a busy week of exploration. The large, bald one lounges close by on the couch. We’ve been living in our new apartment in Winona, MN for one week now. The first thing I noticed about our new home is the size. We could easily fit 4 tiny houses in this singular apartment. At first, I felt overwhelmed and hid under the bed, but after only a few hours I felt the need to explore tugging at my heart. I’ve spent most of this week surveying the new space.
  • How to be an indoor cat
    This week has been one of quiet contemplation. I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on the concept of “Quarantine”. Michele has attempted to explain it to me several times, but I still just don’t quite understand why the large, bald ones don’t want to spend all day indoors. The more I think about it, however, the more I start to realize that Michele needs to be taught how to become an indoor cat. Yes, that will be my new mission for 2021. 
  • A new addition
    It’s Sunday afternoon and the entire week has been consumed by intense observation of the newest addition to our apartment. Allow me to start at the beginning. On Monday, the large, bald one arrived with a new device. My curiosity was immediately peaked.
  • The living room window
    Another week of winter has passed and I’ve started to seriously contemplate the futility of everything. Each day we wake up in the bedroom and then move to the living room. Periodically, the large, bald one goes into the kitchen and I follow her. We eat and then when nighttime falls; we go back into the bedroom; we wake up again. What’s the point of all?
  • A silent intruder
    As the weeks on the road continue to progress, I start to worry that my stories from the road will run dry. But do not fear dear reader, this is not that week. This week I have Big News to report. 
  • Home alone
    Another week has passed, but this time the large, bald one left me alone for nearly 24 hours. It’s been so long since I’ve had full, uninterrupted access to the kitchen countertops that I had almost forgotten how much enjoy walking all over them. 
  • The mystery of the disappearing hair ties
    This week things got interesting. After what felt like years of searching, I finally found Michele’s secret stash of hair ties. My heart soared with joy. Oh, glorious stretchy, rubbery, bouncy hair ties! They are my all-time favorite snack. 
  • Nature comes back to life
    This was a wonderful week indeed! The ground has finely turned from the unnatural color of white back to a more recognizable muddy brown. Nature is alive again with the sounds of Spring! As I sat, perched next to my favorite window, I pondered what could have possibly gone wrong for the past 8 weeks.
  • The days lengthen
    Another week has passed and while my surroundings have remained stationary, the energy in the air has shifted. The sun seems to shine more than usual and the large, bald one is leaving the apartment increasingly often. I continue to welcome her home with persistent purrs and leg rubs, but, if I’m honest, it’s great to see her get out more. I was starting to get worried. 
  • An unfounded shift in time
    I couldn’t help but notice something was off this week. While the natural world around me stayed completely predictable, the large bald one shifted her entire daily routine for what seemed to be no reason whatsoever. She no longer rose with the sun, instead the sun followed her. The same thing happened later in the day when she stopped working ahead of the sunset. 
  • An empowering moment somewhere in South Dakota
    The day finally came. I was lounging on the living room rug after finishing my breakfast when suddenly the large, bald one swooped me up and before I could even formulate my full complaint, I was in my cat carrier with the lid shut tight. Well, damn, how did this happen again? 
  • A new kind of chair
    We’ve arrived! It’s been one full week in Rapid City, South Dakota. Our new accommodations only have windows on one of the four available walls, but the water that flows from the kitchen sink remains as sweet as ever. 
  • Winter returns
    I spent most of the week moving back and forth between my new favorite chair and the living room window sill. The large, bald one seemed to hardly move at all. Each day she sits quietly, on the couch, typing away on her laptop from dawn until way past dusk. 
  • On the road again
    The large, bald one moved us again over the weekend. This time we ended up in a tiny apartment in Great Falls, MT. The drive here was typical, with one slight difference. Now that I know our travel carriage contains a fresh litterbox, I waited patiently for Michele to place me in the car before partaking in my morning defecation. I could tell this brought her happiness as she pulled over immediately to clean the box. She never acts this quickly when we are indoors!
  • Attack from outside
    It was the middle of the day, I was asleep on the extra tall chair while the large, bald one stared into her laptop. Suddenly I heard footsteps outside. I am normally alarmed by bipedal movement, but this time the sound did not simply pass us by. Instead, it stopped abruptly, right outside of the door! 
  • Origin story
    Last Thursday marked our 3rd Anniversary. I met my large, bald one later in life than most cats. I spent my childhood and teenage years bouncing between homes and by my 5th year of life I had landed in foster care, for the third time. I shared my foster home with countless other cats but managed to quickly secure my own room by pretending like I could not get along with them.
  • Nomading is the teacher and the school is everywhere
    As I lay on the living room rug, watching the afternoon sun slowly creep past the window, I realize that we’ve been on the road for nearly 8 months now. I know that I am not the same cat that left Marina Del Rey, CA back in September, but I can not really articulate why. I wonder how Michele feels about our time on the road.
  • The kitchen counter
    It took me a while, but I finally found the kitchen counter in our new place! Due to the extra small living space, the kitchen is actually located in the living room, so you can see how this was confusing for me. Upon discovery of the hard, cool surface, I immediately fell in love. Perched on this lovely, cat-sized space I can stay cool during the hottest part of the day while also maintaining a viewpoint just slightly above the large, bald one as she sits at her desk across the room.
  • The incident
    When we woke up this morning, I had an inkling that we would be leaving town soon, however, Michele went right to work as usual. I watched suspiciously from underneath the couch for hours. Eventually, I let my guard down and settled in for a mid-morning nap. 
  • A rough road
    Today I am writing to you from the back of the large, bald one’s car. She is not here, yet somehow the car is moving. Allow me to start from the beginning.
  • The moving parking lot
    This week definitely takes the cake for Strangest Accommodations, so far. If I’m being honest, I did not even know such a place even existed. Believe it or not dear reader, I spent the last week on a Moving Parking Lot. 
  • New accommodations
    After only a few days, I was already starting to get the hang of life in Alaska. Our first home was a single room with one, extra-large window. I particularly enjoy single room housing as it means I can lay on the bed all day while I stare at Michele as she works on her computer. In fact, the bed here is so well placed that I can see both Michele and the large tree outside of the window at the same time. I can conduct my daily surveillance without even lifting a paw!
  • Time marches forward
    Now that we are more settled in, I can finally start to appreciate our newest accommodations. It’s been one week since our arrival at the Extended Stay America. The large, bald one has been complaining more than usual, but I am taking it all in stride. In fact, I kind of like it here. 
  • You can never have too many beds
    This week in the Room of Beds, the large, bald one and I enjoyed our regular routines for nearly 5 days in a row. Each morning Michele begrudgingly arose from one of the two beds, pushed open the curtains, and started her day. I spend most of my days on bed #1, where I creepily hover in the background of video calls while staring right into the web camera. Once I get bored, I move to bed #2 where I watch the most fascinating activities through our 3rd story window. I am starting to arrive at the conclusion that a room can never really have too many beds.
  • The monster
    This week was an eventful week, indeed. I slew a monster. Let me start at the beginning. I was pushing my head underneath the curtains to see out of the window, as I have done many times before.
  • The inanimate beast
    Life continued as expected in beautiful Anchorage, Alaska this weekend. The large, bald one even managed to come home each evening over the weekend. In fact, she was home so much that she did the most unexpected thing. A thing I have not seen her do since we left our long-term home in Marina Del Rey. It made me feel both afraid and at ease, a very disorienting experience. 
  • The secret lives of the large, bald ones
    This week I am happy to report that the large, bald one spent another weekend outside of our room of heaven in beautiful Anchorage, Alaska. Up until we arrived here, she spent so much time inside that I was starting to get worried. I am happy that she is out and about, undoubtedly engaging in the secretive world of the large, bald ones. 
  • Living to eat
    As a cat, I “eat to live”. The idea of “living to eat” has always perplexed me. The very idea that someone could love food for the sake of food seems so incomprehensible when there are so many other aspects of life to focus on. Well, all of that changed this weekend. On Saturday evening, Michele shared with me a piece of food that was so delectable that both my mouth and my nose were changed forever. 
  • Goodbye Alaska
    That time has come again. I knew it was coming when the large, bald one started cleaning our room in the middle of the week. She tried to act like nothing was going on, but I knew that meant it was moving time. On Friday morning, Michele loaded the car as usual: all of our stuff, then me, and finally my litter box. Having spent so much time in the car on our way up to Alaska I had developed a newfound comfort in traveling in it.
  • New windows, new outlook
    Oh, how life has changed for me this week! After spending what felt like an eternity on yet another Moving Parking Lot, we finally settled down in the Best House Ever. 
  • A new discovery, near Michele’s litter box
    Another week has passed us by in our lovely home, surrounded by trees, flowers, and hopping cats. As with most accommodations, I expected the outside to be the most interesting part of living on Whidbey Island, however, this week a new development proved me wrong. 
  • Cat meditation
    After nearly two weeks of constant company from the large, bald one, I was finally given a break this weekend. Around nightfall, on Friday she left the house without so much as a goodbye. Judging from the size of her bag, I estimated that she would return on Monday morning.
  • The invaders
    For the last 3 weeks, we’ve been living in our largest house yet. During this time, I tried my best to protect our territory, but it was inevitable that we would eventually be invaded. The whole debacle started earlier this week. The large, bald one uncharacteristically left for several hours in the middle of the day. When she returned she was accompanied by not one, but two additional large, bald cats!
  • The invaders, part 2
    Well, the invading bald ones have finally left the premises. The time spent with them has been a roller coaster of emotions. On the first evening, I took plenty of time to observe. Both of the invaders were roughly the same size as my large, bald one and they moved in a similar manner. The smells from their bags and shoes had already brought me great pleasure, but I still felt a deep-seated fear brewing in my gut and chose not to approach them.
  • Awakening a dormant super power
    Well, that went fast! Almost as soon as we arrived at lovely Whidbey Island, Michele was whisking me away to a new home, with new windows. It happened on a Friday afternoon. She was sitting at her desk on her computer as usual, when she suddenly turned around, grabbed me, and placed me in my carrier before I could utter a word. As we drove away from one home and towards another, I briefly wondered if we were coming or going. I quickly decided that it doesn’t matter though. After all, I’m just a cat, what do I care?
  • How the days pass us by
    After the initial chaos of unpacking, we started to settle in. I carefully watched the large, bald one as she became accustomed to the new space. I noted that each morning she would sit down at a large, round table by the window. She would remain there for most of the day, sometimes until the sun started to set. I quickly deduced that she must get some value from sitting at the large, round table for most of the day. Naturally, I wanted to learn more. 
  • Entrapped by the great outdoors
    What a great week! The sun is shining, the yard is full of birds and chipmunks, and the large, bald one is acting more predictably than ever. I would even go as far as to say this was one of the best weeks ever, except for one small incident. 
  • A new apparatus
    Let me tell you, the large, bald one has gone and done it now! This week she introduced the most offensive apparatus yet. If I’m being honest, I am still reeling, 3 days after the fact. Allow me to start at the beginning. 
  • Inside cat, outside cat
    As I lay, half-asleep on our shared bed, I can not help but gaze out of the window. Lately, I have started to wonder what lies beyond my clean, comfortable, temperature-controlled environment. On one paw, I am comfortable. I have been an inside cat my entire life. I am accustomed to the soft blankets which drape the foot of the bed. I am consistently provided food and the large, bald one even handles the removal of inside bugs, a task that I would certainly not wish on anyone. My needs are surely met, no one could argue against that. 
  • Halloween Night
    Last week progressed as expected in our humble home in Napa, California. As late as this afternoon, I thought the week would pass us by with no notable to report. However, this evening, something truly strange happened. For most of the week, inclement weather had forced the large, bald ones into a slow retreat indoors, but this evening they all seemed to suddenly flood the street in unison. And, get this, they were wearing costumes! 
  • Winter creeps into Napa
    It’s been an interesting 2 weeks, here in Napa, California. The weather continues to shift, as does the behavior of the large, bald ones. The distant sounds of music and voices are becoming less frequent and the large, bald cats seem to have collectively become indoor cats.
  • Home Alone
    It’s been quite a while since the large, bald one left for an extended period of time, but this week it finally happened. I could tell that she was prepared for an extended trip due to the size of her bag and the mountain of food in my eating area. Earlier in our travels I tried hiding under the bed to prevent her from leaving, but quickly recognized it’s an ineffective tactic. Additionally, I have realized some time apart can be healthy for our relationship. 
  • Special Edition: Reflections on a year of work and diversity annual reports 
    I ignore this morning’s alarm as I lay stretched out in the center of the bed. Michele, my best friend, and roommate lays next to me. She stirs quietly, as she reaches for the snooze button. I creep up to my favorite spot as my whiskers tickle her face and I start to purr. ThisContinue reading “Special Edition: Reflections on a year of work and diversity annual reports “
  • The Best Christmas Ever, a special musical edition
    I can’t believe it’s that time of year again. It seems like only yesterday that the large, bald one and I were snuggled up in our tiny house in Austin. We were just at the beginning of our journey and had no idea what lay ahead. At the time I could have never imagined that this year we’d spend the holiday season in an extra-large condo overlooking the great town of Oakland, California. While our location continues to change, Christmas traditions stay the same. This year I was extra good and was rewarded appropriately.
  • Reflections on the past, new adventures await
    All good things must come to an end and so goes this holiday season. While I’ve enjoyed the extra time with my favorite large, bald one, I know that time must move us forward. As Michele slowly resumes her daily routine, I can not help but reflect on our ever-evolving relationship.
  • 487 days and counting
    Having been on the road for 487 days now, I am starting to feel a distinct tension between the constant restlessness that is part of my very nature and the desire to hold on to something more constant. Our home in Oakland is one of the most lovely of the entire trip, however, I can not stop thinking about the uncertainty and joy of our time on the road.
  • Reconciling uncatlike behaviors
    I’ve been living with the large, bald one for quite some time now. Granted, she was always unusual for a cat, but all this time I’ve been sure that she was, in fact, a cat. I have turned a blind eye to instance after instance of uncatlike behavior.