A GOURMET GUIDE FOR THE TRAVELING CAT
A feline perspective of on-the-road dining.
What, you might ask, are my credentials to offer advice on dining out? For the past year I have traveled over 15,000 miles accompanying my person to numerous cat shows. My intent and purpose has been to sample various cuisine while having a brief getaway from my everyday life. Of course to sample dining room cuisine one has to have room service if one happens to be a cat. Which leads to some comments for felines on the various hotels which are gracious enough to accommodate cats. My secondary intent has been to accompany my person who seems to have a continuous desire to attend cat shows. She adorns the cages with fancy curtains and all sorts of decorations, then sits in front of the cages as people mill by and talk to her. She seems to enjoy all this attention. All I have to do is sit in a cage, be amiable when being judged, and wait until it is time for room service.
Here are just a few of my experiences on the road.
Hyatt Regency, Long Beach, CA. This was my first experience with room service and one of the best. I knew the stay was going to be good when the bellhops insisted on transporting each cat to its room, making every cat feel very special. My person had gotten a room with a view of the harbor, and we watched a spectacular sunset over the harbor lights and the Queen Mary. Room service brought a salmon fillet dinner, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The show hall was conveniently close to the hotel room, so we could get back promptly after the show for more food.
Holiday Inn, Reno, Nevada. Everything was okay at the hotel. The best thing I can say about it was that there were two rolls of toilet paper side by side that could be unrolled with synchronicity. The most memorable thing about this trip was the enthusiasm and hospitality expressed by the people in the show hall.
La Quinta Inn, Fresno, CA. Watch out for this one. There was no hotel dining room, so my person had to walk nearby to an IHOP and order a take-out serving of bacon for me each evening. I was somewhat irritated, so during the night I decided to express a few meows. Not only were the walls pretty thin, but it turns out the hotel management had not put all the cat show people in one area, so there were people next door who were not entirely understanding of hearing a few meows. The phone was ringing off the hook and made a lot more noise than I ever did.
Ramada Inn, Tyler, Texas. I thought I would be disappointed when it turned out that the hotel dining room was almost never open. All I got from the hotel was bacon and eggs for breakfast. Then some people named Joy and Alynn invited my person to go with them to an all-you-can-eat seafood restaurant in a nearby town called Coffee City. The selection there was incredible, and my person brought back some samples for me of shrimp and crab and fish, all wonderfully prepared, and alligator, which was a little too tough for my taste, but interesting. I had a real feast, and this meal made the trip worthwhile. I felt sorry for the cats in the next room because their owners brought back pudding for them instead of seafood.
American Airlines Flight, Dallas to LAX. You never thought you'd see an airline listed in a gourmet guide, but this was one of the best. I had boarded a jumbo jet in Dallas (I was traveling in a large carrier with my companion, Robocat, so needless to say we were in cargo), when the plane was held for an hour before take-off due to the fact that there was fog at LAX. A stewardess named Nancy and the First Officer had already been down to check on me at my person's insistence. I was doing fine, the accommodations were comfortable, but my person still worried. During the flight Nancy stopped to chat with my person and ended up hearing the story of my salmon fillet dinner at the Hyatt in Long Beach. Toward the end of the flight the most wonderful package was delivered to my person. A note on top said "To Bravo and Robocat," and inside was a delicious piece of poached salmon, the best I have ever tasted, a personal gift from the Pilot and First Officer.
Radison Hotel, Sacramento. Another top of the list, this hotel had great room service with a wide selection of foods that would appeal to any cat. The hotel surrounds a spectacular lake with a fountain, and my person wheeled my carrier around by the lake so that I could enjoy the view. Although Sacramento is warm, the hotel and show hall were nicely air conditioned. A waiter came into the show hall and took orders for lunch each day, so my person was able to get me a turkey sandwich. The hotel management was very understanding and didn't complain when Robocat unrolled 4 rolls of toilet paper over the weekend, and Havoc, my other companion, dismantled a door stop.
All in all, we had a wonderful time, enjoyed many meals, and appreciated the many cat-friends and people-friends we met along the way.
©Dawnstar Bengals 1996
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