By Lindsey Rothering —

Lindsey Tries documents the misadventures of a 22-year-old who always considered herself a cat person until her family actually got a cat.

Over the summer, I decided to head back to my home state of Illinois for a week, which meant taking the family cat with, since she’d never forgive me for leaving her alone for that long.

Full disclosure: I like cats. I just don’t like this cat.

I figured putting her in the backseat in a cardboard box with some air holes would be the safest option for the four-hour drive. She’d have some room to move around and I wouldn’t have to worry about her distracting me while I’m driving. I cut a bunch of holes in an old air mattress box, threw a towel in the bottom, and began the near-impossible task of getting her into the box.

After I realized the box wasn’t secure and spent the next twenty minutes chasing her around the apartment complex, I buckled the now taped-shut box into the back-seat and started to drive. Before I had even left town, I hear the box rustling around in the backseat. Turns out the air holes I had made were big enough for her to gradually chew on, until they were big enough for her to escape the box completely.

She climbed over the armrest to the passenger seat. I was in the middle of the highway with nowhere to stop, and even if there was, I had nowhere to put her where she’d be contained. The box was history, chewed to bits with holes now big enough for a golden retriever to stick its head through. I had no choice but to let her roam around the car, and eventually fall asleep on the dashboard (sidenote: typical cat, not abiding by the laws of nature.)

Approximately an hour into the drive, there were several stoplights and every time I had to stop, she would roll off the dash roaring MEAOWWWWWWWWWW. I slowed as gradually as I could and would stick my hand out to save her, only to hear MEAOWWWWWWWWWW and have my arm scratched to bits.

The last three hours were more of the same, with some added scratches when I wouldn’t share my drive-thru food with her. She fixed that by shoving her face into the bag, getting her cat hair all over my French fries. I fixed that by throwing the whole fry container in the backseat, entertaining her for the remainder of the drive.

That’s going to be the last time I drive four and a half hours with a cat.

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