Driving home from the lake

A COUPLE days ago we were driving home from the lake. Koda and Simon along as always. It is a long drive, almost five hours. In the two years since Koda came out of the woods to live with us I have always taken the same route. Koda does not like the car ride, one of the few things that bothers him. But he has grown used to it—mostly—and spends most of his time in my lap. Not really looking out the window. This time I decided to take a different route. Said route requires a turn about 40 miles into the drive, where a turn is not normally taken (the regular second turn being about the 80 mile point.)
Immediately Koda was up, and meowing, and climbing around the car, even onto the dashboard (from which he was quickly removed). You could just see it. And hear it. “Dad! This is NOT the right way. This is NOT the way home. Don’t you know where you are? You’re going to get us lost, I’ll never get back home. Fix it! Dad!”
This lasted some minutes. And each time another unexpected turn was made, or hill was climbed, the same thing happened. Until finally Koda accepted his fate, wherever Dad was taking him. Along the way, while climbing around the car, Koda noticed that Simon, an older and calmer traveler, was still in his cat carrier with the door latched. More desperate meowing. Standing on the carrier. Pleading. ‘Mom! Dad! Simon is still in his cage. He’s trapped in there! You’re supposed to let him out. Stop! Stop and let Simon out!”
So we did. And Koda found my lap again. And settled in. And we made it home, somehow, even with the wrong route taken. But it was traumatic. And a little scary. And Koda was VERY glad to be home.

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