There was a time when we always had animals. Long before we got into RVing, we had at least one dog for most of our lives. But after the last two passed away of old age, I was fairly content to not be a pet owner going forward. Naturally, my wife had other ideas.
We had just gotten our first RV, a small 24-foot coach that we thought we would try out to see if RVing was a good fit for us. As you know, we fell in love with it. Shortly after getting that RV, my wife started bringing up conversations about bringing another pet into our lives.
I have to admit, getting a dog wasn’t too high on my list. We were finally free of that responsibility. Don’t get me wrong — I love animals, and dogs have been a staple in my life as long as I can remember. It’s just that I was enjoying the freedom of our empty nest, and I wasn’t sure the time was right for a dog. Turned out, I didn’t have to worry about that.
One day my wife came home with a new kitten she had rescued from the SPCA. I’d never really had a cat before, and never really wanted one. Needless to say, I was not very happy with that decision, but I voiced my concerns and let it go at that.
I guess I didn’t need to worry about that, either. To make a long story short, Tori the cat and I bonded like I did with all the dogs I’d had in the past. I love her as much as any dog I ever owned. But when it came to her first RV experience — well, that was interesting.
The first challenge was getting her into the RV. She had never even been outside before, so that walk from the front door to the RV must have been terrifying. As we neared the RV, she got skittish. She wanted to jump and run, but I held onto her as Missy opened the door to the coach.
Once inside, it was a whole new and scary world for Tori, but we knew spending some time in there would be the best cure for her fears. We had the air conditioner running, so we felt OK leaving her in there for a little while to get used to being in the RV while it was stationary and stable. That 24-footer swayed some when we rolled down the road.
Tori was content to hang out on the bed among the pillows. She felt safe but could also look out and see the view rolling by. The first few trips she struggled with not wanting to get into the RV, but then she got more acclimated and used to the different surroundings of the RV.
In the bigger 38-foot RV, she is now completely at home. She does not fight me trying to get her out and in the coach. Actually, she seems to kind of enjoy it. The bigger coach offers her more views to look out of the windows from. And with a bigger interior, she can move around freely, much like she would at home.
One nice thing about cats is that they’re fine being left alone for a while. We don’t have to run back a few times a day to take her out. She has everything she needs right in the RV, and if we leave her a little bit of extra food when we plan on being gone through her feeding schedule, she’s good with that.
Now that she’s used to it, Tori is an absolute trooper when it comes to traveling. We bring her along even on quick overnight trips. As long as she’s good with being in the RV, we have no issues taking her along, and yes, it’s fun to have her with us.
If we had one, I’m sure that we would have figured out a way to take a dog along as well. However, Tori is not a huge dog fan, so as long as she’s around I doubt we’ll see any canines in the household. That’s OK — with everything we have going on, managing one pet is good enough for now. And it remains to be seen just who will outlive whom.
It’s been enjoyable traveling with our pet. It appears we will have ourselves a road-tripping pet for some time to come, considering we got Tori when she was a kitten. It’s kind of funny to think that I went from not wanting a pet, and especially not a cat, to now having a cat that likes being on the road with us. If you have interesting stories about being on the road your pets, I’d love to hear them.
Greg Bartz is a tournament bass fisherman based in Lakeland. Greg fishes lakes throughout Florida’s Heartland and enjoys RV travel around the Southeast with his wife and tournament partner, Missy. Contact him at Greg.Bartz@SummitHoldings.com.