....after a message from Bertha's Kitty Boutique.

Summertime is coming, when the family will be making its vacation trip ----- perhaps to Maine or Vermont, Nova Scotia, maybe Yellowstone or Yosemite ---- and once again, there's the old question:

SS: What do we do with the cat? (MEOW)

What do you do with the cat? Do you turn her over to a cat babysitting service?

TR (PETER LORRE): I love cats. I love them very much.

Do you give the cat some horrible tranquilizer that turns it to jelly? (POP OF NEEDLE, CAT MEOW AS IT GETS DRUNK AND RUBBERY)

Do you lock it up in a cage as if it were a criminal? (BIG IRON DOOR SLAMS SHUT, PITIFUL MEOW) No, not when you use Bertha's Travel Cat plan----- the humane way to travel with cats----

SS: Number One! Make Kitty a participant in the trip, not just a piece of luggage with hair.

That's right ---- let your cat have a voice in where you want to go. (MEOW)

TR: Well....it sounds like we go to Maui then.

SS: Number Two! Discuss with Kitty in advance what the trip will be like.

TR: We're going to drive to the airport, Kitty, and wait there for a couple hours until our flight is cancelled (MEOW), and then we'll run as fast as we can to another gate about four miles away and try to get on that plane (MEOW), and meanwhile, you'll be shipped to Taiwan and then to Stockholm (MEOW), and then to Maui. About the time we're ready to leave. (MEOW)

SS: Number Three! Departure day can be stressful for a cat, so try to stick with Kitty's schedule----

TR: We're going to have to wait, guys! Kitty hasn't pooped yet! (MEOW)

TK (TEEN): But Dad---- we'll miss the flight!

TR: C'mon, Kitty----- can you do it? (MEOW)

TK (TEEN): Jeeze, Dad ---- we're gonna miss the flight!!!

SS: Number Four! Be patient ---- go with Kitty's rhythms and count on things to turn out for the best---- (BRIDGE)

TK (TEEN, BREATHING HARD): We made it, Dad---- but what're we gonna do with Kitty?

SS: Hello---- tickets please---- thank you ----- Oh---- Okay----- Sir, unfortunately, the plane has been oversold and is completely full----

TR: Yes????

SS: And therefore we'll have to put you into first class----


TR: And Kitty?

SS: She'll be in first class too, of course. (MEOW)

GK: The Travel Cat Plan from Bertha's ----- things work out for the best when you trust your cat-----

SS: Can I bring you something to drink before takeoff?

TK (TEEN): How about a Coke?

TR: Nothing for me.


SS: A Muscatel?


SS: You have your choice of three entrees----- a Caesar salad, fettucine and shrimp, or salmon---- (CAT DEEP-THROATED MEOW)---

I see, and would you like your salmon well-done or rare? (CAT THROATY MEOW)----

GK: Bertha's Kitty Boutique --- making your cat a normal part of your family.

© 1998 by Garrison Keillor