It was a pretty hellish trip home, since it was 100+ in Vegas, and my car doesn't have air conditioning. Plus, I had the cats with me.
About an hour and a half out, I noticed that both of the cats were panting very hard, and Clarence was looking pretty wilted and howling at me a fair bit. And I was in the middle of bloody nowhere.
Steve had left Vegas at the same time I did, so I called him and asked him if he could pull off at the next exit and take the cats, then I'd meet up with him in Bakersfield. He agreed, and we crossed paths about five minutes later.
As I got back in the car, I realized that even though I'd been sucking down water like crazy, I didn't feel too good either. I stopped at the next store, a real hole in the wall, and bought a huge bottle of Gatorade and another bottle of water, then sat in the somewhat air-conditioned store while I sucked down the Gatorade and waited 'til I felt better.
I then soaked my shirt in the bathroom, and got back in the car. Once there, I grabbed a pillowcase, soaked it in water, and then wrapped it around the back of my neck. I also poured water on myself every now and then. Both of these things helped tremendously.
Fluids consumed between Vegas and Bakersfield: Two 20oz bottles of Gatorade, a bit over 48 oz of water. I also drenched myself in about another 16 oz of water, I'd guess.
I caught up with Steve in Bakesfield, and it was getting dark enough that it had cooled off, so we stopped and had dinner, then I grabbed the cats from him and drove off into the sunset.
A coupel of hours later, I realized that I was sleepy, and probably not safe to be on the road, so I stopped for the night in some random hotel, a Super 8 I think.
"Do you have rooms available?"
"One bed or two?"
"Smoking or non smoking?"
"Don't really care, but non is better."
"Sorry, we only have smoking." He said it like he expected me to decide that was unacceptable and go elsewhere. All I really wanted was a bathroom and a soft horizontal surface, preferably with sheets and pillows.
"That's fine." I whipped out the credit card.
"62.98 with tax."
"Do you allow pets?"
"Yes, 72.45 with tax."
He soooo missed an opportunity. If he'd said "Three hundred and seventeen dollars" I would have just whipped out the credit card.\
This morning as I was loading the car, I got all the gear in, then carried Tugger out. When I went back to get Clarence, he was nowhere to be found. EEEEKKKK!
I looked everywhere in the room-- under the bed, behind the dresser, behind the curtains, in every corner. He wasn't there.
I figured he'd slipped out the door, so I went looking around outside, calling him. No luck. I searched the room again. Then I started walking toward the office, checking with everybody I saw. "Have you seen a white cat?"
One of the maids asked if I'd looked behind the dresser, since that's where they usually hide. I had, but I looked again... he wasn't there. But he was UNDER the dresser, which I didn't realize was possible.
It's good to be home.