...I so wanted to pick it up and take it with me.
We're in the same boat, Richie. A part of me just does not feel complete without a pet (of the dog or cat variety, anyway; all animals are nice once you get to know them). The trouble is, it has been around 9 years since RKitty passed away, and I'm still not over it. Miss him everyday. And, he set such a high standard, it would be hard for another to measure up. Friends in The Netherlands also had a Norwegian Forest Cat when I visited in 2008, and it was plain she was of the same tribe as RKitty. Not the same, of course, but there were so many similar (doglike) behavioral characteristics.
The trouble is, the rational side of me projects 16-18 years ahead, and I know it is most fair if one has an animal, to "be there". There is a mutual bond that is important, and that goes away to the animal's detriment if you're not present. By some astonishing quirk of fate and a small tear in the space-time continuum, I'm now 52. 18 more years (a likely lifespan for a dogcat in my care) puts me at 70. While I still can't quite wrap my mind around that, it does tell me it is a fair amount of time devoted to a pet-centric lifestyle that I'm not sure present circumstances will allow.
I was mightily tempted last week by the latest batch of kittens to be born in the woodshed. The neighbors on both sides hoard cats, and the one is convinced multi-colored cats are all males. I call these "plaid cats", and can say for a fact that whatever their gender, they readily produce kittens. Unfortunately, those kittens are also really, really cute. I uh, had to go out periodically to see them, just to make sure they were okay, you understand. They were uh, really soft, too. And warm. And felt good to hold, like I remembered. Fortunately, MamaKitty decided to move them to the Neighbor's boat house last weekend so they could be nearer to the food supply. The Neighbor works as a baker and in his off-hours, smokes meat and slices it thinly on a meat saw in the garage before making it available for catered events and weddings. The kitties have all discovered the meat saw and lick the blade clean as soon as the Neighbor's back is turned. Something to think about next time you have an event catered.
I have to say, nearly everything that has four legs and doesn't actively bite gets petted on my bike rides. Cows, horses, dogs and cats are usually good for a brief stop, a good chat, and some gentle petting and pats on the head.
possible to adopt a pet while on-tour, no doubt about it. It isn't much of a problem if you're touring domestically, but it gets soon gets sticky at border crossings unless you can produce certificated proof of vaccines and such, and even then it can be tricky. I can't imagine being denied entry because of an animal companion. Dunno what I would do...go back...and then run into the same thing at another border? As I mentioned in an earlier thread, this person found a way to do it: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?doc_id=6195
The trailer is a great way to have an animal with you with fewer concerns about them getting hurt or lost along the way and gives them a nice place to rest and even sleep while riding along. If I could do that with another Norwegian Forest cat, well...
Dan. (who's waiting for the computers to chug through another simulation and keeping an eye on high-mountain weather reports. Looking more like Tuesday or Wednesday for the snow-camping adventure with Sherpa).