Cruising with a cat in an RV

Bucky has visited 45 of the 48 contiguous states, cruising down the highway with the rest of the "asphalt nomads" who live the RV lifestyle.

Living the RV lifestyle with a cat

The "loving gray lap fungus" cat and his people, Dave and Sandy Baleria, have only Arkansas, Wisconsin, and Washington left on their "to-do" list of states. Dave and Sandy, who list their places of "residence" as Gila Bend, Arizona, and Rapid City, South Dakota, are full-time RVers. They met and adopted Bucky during a visit to Best Friends in 2002.

"When we walked into the enclosure," Dave recalls, "Bucky came over almost immediately and crawled into my lap for some loving."

Laid-back Bucky adapted quickly to the RV lifestyle and Dave and Sandy's safety precautions. "We crate him in a show cage and he rides with us," says Dave. "He has his water, food, potty box, and bed, and he's safe and comfortable. We keep it inside the RV after setting up in an RV park. It's his home inside his larger home." And Bucky is always on a harness and leash if he is taken outside the RV, but he is not keen on walks.

RVing with a pet

Sandy even teaches a seminar called "RVing with Your Pet" for the Life on Wheels RV Conferences. She stresses the importance of shots, records, vet visits, and other aspects of safety regarding traveling with a pet.

"We firmly recommend seatbelt harnesses for dogs, just as with kids, and crates for cats. We were at one rally when the tornado siren went off. We went out of the building, got Bucky, who was in his crate, and took him inside to the basement shelter.

"No other pet owner had a crate, although a couple had the typical small carriers. Our Bucky had his potty box, food, water and bed with him, in the show cage crate, and was set for a several-hour stay if necessary. Others there saw the definite benefit of crating."

All Bucky really cares about, of course, is that once they stop the RV, he can lean on the windowsill and enjoy the view, or find a sunny spot on the couch for a good snooze, probably purring to the tune of "It’s the Traveling Life for Me," until he zonks out.

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