At the end of the night, I got the cat carrier out of my car and handed it to my sister who somehow got the kitten in before I saw what she did. She advised me that it was safer to put the carrier in the back seat in case of accident, but it did not buckle in in any way; but the cat would certainly cry for attention and so if I put it in the front seat I could stick fingers into the cage to comfort it. I compromised, putting the carrier in the back seat with the plan to stop at a Wawa a few minutes down the way so I could see how she took being in the back. With that I confidently set off into the night, started the short drive, found it was longer than I expected, examined the road, and turned around to head back but this time in the correct direction.
The kitten meowed insistently for most of this while, and I meowed back, which seemed to be putting us on good terms. After getting a soda at Wawa I checked that it was relatively content in the carrier, and decided to go for a while with it still in the backseat. When I started the car up the kitten started to meow again, and I meowed back for a few minutes until a complicated cluster of traffic around a small town demanded my attention more and it was time to change the book-on-tape tape.
Eventually I realized I'd been driving a long while without hearing anything from the kitten. Was it resigned to its fate? Was it asleep? Had the stress of being pulled away from home and tossed in a strange and unlit and eternally jostling, relatively noisy place done something unspeakable? I cast a few tentative meows back toward the kitten and got nothing for my trouble. And now, naturally, was a stretch where either I'd get no red lights or where there weren't any lights, so there was no turning around to inspect the carrier. What if the kitten got out? It had to be in the car somewhere, right? What if it escaped at Wawa? Didn't I hear it after starting the car up? Or was that before I started the car and was I remembering wrong? Is the kitten all right?
When I got home, not a little nervous, I took the carrier out and set it on top of the car. The kitten was in there, just curled up tight. It lifted its head up, stared at me a moment with barely opened eyes, yawned, meowed, and went back to sleep. To this point, all was well.
Trivia: In January 1883 Ferdinand de Lessep's Panama Canal company excavated 78,405 cubic meters of soil. Source: The Impossible Dream: The Building of the Panama Canal, Ian Cameron.
Currently Reading: Parting the Desert: The Creation of the Suez Canal, Zachary Karabell. Was every interesting person of the 19th century deeply nuts?