Sunday, May 29, 2011

Return of the Kitten Cab

During my junior year in vet school, I decided to commute by riding my bike to campus. It was about a twenty-three mile round trip and I quickly got in great shape. When Spring (aka "kitten season") rolled around, I wanted to keep riding but I needed some way to bring my bottle-feeding foster kittens along so I could take care of them during the day.

A bike trailer worked perfectly -- in cold weather a couple of heating packs kept the kittens warm during the ride, and in warm weather I could open the vents and keep a nice breeze flowing. The only problem was that riding on the narrow county roads, with no bike lane and cars going 70 mph, I got a lot of nasty looks from people who thought I shouldn't be endangering a child that way.

Then my friend Charlotte personalized the trailer and the kitten cab was born:

I still got some odd looks, but at least drivers didn't seem quite so angry. Puzzled, yes. Incredulous, yes. But not angry.

Anyhow, I can't really commute by bike anymore since it would be a 130 mile round trip on the freeways and I'll never be in that kind of shape, but I find myself reluctant to drive around Woodland on my days at home, so I dragged the bike and the trailer out of the garage today.

I was assuming I'd have to do a major overhaul on the bike since I haven't ridden it in five years, and it spent one year outside in Baton Rouge, but a little bit of oil and some air seem to have worked miracles. Sure, the chain would probably move even more freely if I finished getting the pine needles, dirt clods, and leaves out of it, but really, it's not that bad.

I may try riding it to the grocery store tomorrow -- it's technically within walking distance if something goes terribly wrong.

I wonder if the dogs will be too embarrassed to be seen in it...


jeff said...

a litter is, um, 4 cups, right?

Anyways, cycling your dog to Nugget is so, um, davis or berkeley, I'm sure they'll give you a bag of quinoa and a medal.

PS, google spell check doesn't know about quinoa? That's not gonna jive with my cream of asparagus. Hmm. Fusion, anyone?

Theresa B (of Nebulopathy) said...

The closest approximation I've seen in a long time.

I wasn't going to take the dogs to Nugget; I was going to take them to the dog park. I'm just not sure they'll be able to handle the shame of pulling up at the dog park in the kitten cab.

JJ said...

You'll have to remodify the kitten cab into something appropriate for dogs. I don't think I'm creative enough to come up with something. I don't remember the kitten cab, but I think we arrived your senior year.

Theresa B (of Nebulopathy) said...

If I roll up the back flap, the "kitten cab" wording can't be seen. I think that's about all I need to do.

Training the dogs to get in will be the hard part. Molly gets stuck sometimes if I'm on one side of a shrub and she's on the other.

I rode to the grocery store today and survived. I'm pretty sure I can pull the dogs the same distance if I can get them to stay inside.