We got on the road fairly late in the morning of Saturday September 9. It was a strange feeling to drive away from the house, knowing that is was no longer home and that as yet, we really didn't have a new home established. The two black cats, Allie and Gary, were fairly sedate in their carriers - Allie from drugs and Gary from I think sheer panic. Hazmat, the orange tiger kitty, had been given a sedative but it didn't seem to touch him. He managed to claw a hole in the cheap canvas mesh carrier that had been used for trips to the vet, so we stopped at PetCo and bought a Sherpa brand carrier, rated for airline travel, to put him in. A couple of hours into the trip, he managed to tear a small hole in that and I had to pull over to the side of the road when he decided to jump onto my lap. We closed the flap over that mesh panel and pushed it up against the back of the seat and he settled down and went to sleep.
We stopped at the Divine Mercy Shrine and took turns going in so that one of us was near the car to be sure that the cats were OK. We then proceeded to drive to Albany and checked in to the motel and let the cats out to use the litter box etc. We were able to leave them in the room to go get dinner.
The next morning, we loaded up the cats again and headed to the North American Martyrs shrine to meet up the NY Moss family for Mass and brunch. It was cool and quiet enough that we were comfortable leaving the cats in the cars for mass, but when we got out again, Allie's carrier was empty and the top zipper was partially unzipped. The little critter had figured out how to rub against it and get it to open. I found her under the driver's seat and got her resituated in her carrier, and off we went to brunch. The cats behaved fairly well while we were at brunch - they snoozed in their carriers in the car - and we thought that we were going to be OK.
John had Allie with him in his car, while I had the two boy kitties with me. Somewhere between Auriesville and Syracuse, Haz went ballistic and tore two more holes in the carrier. We pulled off the interstate several times to try to figure out how to deal with the situation. He has a collar and I had a leash but he slipped the collar and wanted to get up to the highest point in the car, which happens to be the dashboard. Not a safe situation at all. At one point, I was driving one handedly with the other one holding the cat and praying like crazy - John eventually called our daughter in Memphis on his cell phone and asked her to get on line and find us the closest PetCo or Petsmart or anything, and I followed John off the road right into the parking lot of a PetCo in Syracuse. I was a bundle of frayed nerves.
Let me tell you, the folks at PetCo were awesome. We went in intending to buy a hard plastic/steel kennel (suitable for a medium doggie) because John had the idea that Haz was freaking out because of claustrophobia. I insisted that we should take in the Sherpa carrier just to show the folks at PetCo what one determined 10 pound runt of a cat could do in less than 24 hours. I could not lay hands on the receipt, but they ran my PetCo P.A.L.S. card and gave us a full refund for the Sherpa carrier - which basically covered the cost of the kennel.
John was right. Haz did much better in a carrier with headroom. He still complained a lot, but he eventually settled down and the rest of the trip went much more smoothly.
Oh, and we quit giving the kitties the tranquilizers, and they were actually calmer. Go fig.