“The cat has too much spirit to have no heart.” -Ernest Menaul
For years, I‘d always thought dogs were a trucker‘s best friend - a view borne out by the many different canines I‘ve met over the years riding shotgun with drivers. Yet this year at the Mid America Trucking Show, I got an eye-opener of sorts as I stumbled upon quite a few trucks that were homes away from home for plenty of cats.
(Pee Wee, perched high in the cab for a great view of the road.)
Shaun Flowers, a driver for Roady Trucking of Marysville, Kansas, introduced me to his feline highway companion, sporting the handle “Pee Wee” and resting comfortably on the dashboard. “He‘s been with me for three years and goes everywhere I go,” Shaun told me. “Best thing is, I don‘t have to stop and take him for a walk.”
(Pee Wee is ALWAYS ready for a close up.)
But it‘s more than that, of course. Cats are very different from dogs psychologically as well as physically, content to seek out affection from humans when they need it, then quick to saunter off for a nap or ritual fur cleaning without so much as a backward glance. I know this for a fact, having spent the last 12 years in the company Woody, our resident grey tabby feline.
(The indefatigable Woodrow Wilson Kilcarr the First.)
This isn‘t to denigrate the stalwart canine companion in any way, shape or form, I stress! In all honesty, I was a dog person my whole life, growing up with a wide variety of breeds, from cocker spaniels and a Collie-German Shepard mix to outright mutts. (We had three dogs at one point - meaning I probably qualify as a “Redneck” according to some of the rules laid down by the great Jeff Foxworthy). I spent countless hours in their fine company and at some point still plan to bring a Chocolate Labrador into my home
Yet cats - especially those that like to display their social skills - are more than great companions at home and on the road. They provide to us humans comfort, unquestioning friendship, and probably best of all a calming influence. After many a long day, I can tell you, there‘s nothing like sitting down with a cup of hot chocolate and Sir Woody by my side, his rhythmic purrs leaching away the stress in large chunks.
(A whole gaggle of cats finds this trucker's dashboard a fine place to keep warm.)
That soothing presence is a great boon to me, as well as to truckers plying the long highways day after countless day.