Thursday, June 28, 2012


The last day of a trip has got to be the longest, Rudy thought.  She and LT had taken turns sitting in the front passenger seat all day, hoping to be the one to be up front when David turned in to their driveway.  He narrated as he went; letting them where they were and how many more miles it was until they reached home.  When they crossed the state line into New Jersey, he’d cheered, and then said that it wasn’t even his home state, but what the heck. 

They’d left Salt Fork State Park at about 8 am.  David had slept in.  He’d been exhausted from the past two days and needed a little extra sleep.  They’d done a little fishing last night; David said he needed something to relax him or he’d toss and turn even though he was so tired.  Fishing obviously did the trick, as he’d been asleep within two minutes of his head hitting the pillow.  As a bonus, there were fresh fish to bring to the Daddy.  LT and Rudy had roamed the campground for a good part of the night.  Too much time in the RV left both of them crabby.  LT had spent an hour or two stalking sleeping frogs (they all woke up and jumped in the water, and LT wasn’t going to repeat the pond slime incident) while Rudy checked out the other campers.  She left a trail of barking dogs in her wake.  Hopefully those campers weren’t as exhausted as David was.  She met a local cat and spent an enjoyable hour hearing her stories of the campers who passed through the park.

Both cats returned to the RV before dawn, just in case David wanted to head out early.  They were sound asleep by the time David was up and ready to go.  At the sound of the motor starting, LT and Rudy were instantly awake and vying for the passenger seat.  David had resolved the matter by telling Rudy that LT had been there first, and she could have a turn later.  Rudy grumbled, but headed back to the bedroom to sleep a little longer. 

Finally, David announced they were on Route 195, and when they got off it would be less than five minutes to home.  He named each landmark as they passed it.  Allentown, Horse Park of New Jersey, Great Adventure…that one got the attention of both cats.  They knew it was close to home.  He took the exit off of 195 and LT jumped up on the seat with Rudy.  She’d just have to share right now.  David smiled at the cats.  “Yep, we’ll be there in just a few minutes.”  He made one turn and drove slowly down the street.  LT saw Snoogum’s house and nudged Rudy, and then David was making the turn into their driveway.  The Daddy’s truck was parked out of the way and his work truck was in the back.  He was here, waiting for them.  David smiled at the cats – they were practically vibrating with excitement.  He got up and opened the door and they were out like a shot.  LT headed for the back yard – his guess was that the Daddy would be in his workshop.  Rudy streaked up onto the deck and in through the cat door.  She wanted to see if everything was the way she had left it. 

Neither had seen Peep in her lookout post on the roof.  What cat looks up when they’re looking for friends?  She made her way down, and ran into the house where she found Rudy looking suspiciously at the office.  “Rudy, it’s sooo good to see you.  I missed you.”  Peep tried to nuzzle Rudy, who pushed her aside.

“What is he doing in here?  All the books are gone.  It smells funny.  Why is there a ladder in here?”  Rudy’s tail lashed.  The house wasn’t right.  It shouldn’t be like this.  Peep explained that the Daddy was painting the office.  He’d put the books away so they didn’t get paint all over them, and so he could move the bookcases. 

Rudy moved into the kitchen, sampled the food and jumped up on her favorite table.  The Daddy came inside, followed by David and the first thing he did was take Rudy’s head in his hands and ruffle her fur.  He had a huge grin on his face.  He kissed Rudy (yuck, thought Rudy) and told her that she looked like a seasoned traveler now. 

LT meanwhile was perched on top of his summer house.  He’d said his hello to the Daddy, who’d picked him up and given him a good snuggle while whispering into his fur how glad he was to see him.  Now it was time to relax in his own place where everything smelled, looked and sounded like home.  

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