We had a better day today. Nobody pooped in their crates. There was no hail... in fact it was sunny and warm the whole day of driving.
We are safe in Denver now, with a free upgrade to a suite... lovin' La Quinta!
Let me tell you a little bit about what it takes to get 4 cats and a dog into and out of a hotel every day. I'll start with packing the car...
Back of Subaruby: Bottom layer, a baby gate and a fold-able soft crate. Next suitcases and cat litters. 2 crates with cats on top of that, then litter boxes, food bowls, and a scratch post crammed in last.
Back seat: The Ark (food bin with supplies for all the pets), lock box, lap top, blankets, dog bed, dog.
Front seat: miscellaneous essentials... passenger, driver...
When we get to the hotel, we unload the crate and gate, the Ark, litter boxes, litter, scratch post, food bowls, crates with cats, and dog bed onto a hotel cart, and bring the dog with us up to the room. While Noah is unloading the cart, I put up the gate in the bathroom door and set up the litter boxes. We release the cats in the bathroom with the litter box to make sure they know where it is... they can explore from there... we use a gate so that Tag doesn't go digging for buried treasure.
While the cats are exploring, one of us goes back for the rest of our stuff (suitcases/laptop, etc.) and the other begins doling out pet food. Once everyone has eaten, Tag gets a walk and we start thinking about dinner.
In the morning, we do the whole thing in reverse, loading the cats last to make the torture as short as possible.
Today we tried something different. NNK spent the first hour or so wailing in the crate. I think she was protesting being put back in the same crate as Mr. Poopy (Bangs).
After a little while of this, we decided to pull over and let the cats loose from their crates. Bangs was still pretty drugged, so we put him in Noah's lap.
NNK needed to be re-drugged after a while before she calmed down... but then she was out like a light.
The kittens spent a while looking around and then crashed out on the back seat with Tag and we had the calmest, quietest day of travel yet.
Tomorrow we're off to the Iowa side of Omaha... another long day but without the mountains. I'll leave you with some pictures of the drive today.