Power Trip

Chillin’ and Pillin’

Travel anxiety affects 25 percent of the U.S. population. Some forms of travel anxiety are fear of flying, crossing over high bridges, going through tunnels, longing for home comfort, thinking about worst case scenarios and worrying about what happens once your trip begins. Whatever the specific reason for this type of disorder, doctors are likely to prescribe benzodiazepines and antidepressants to relieve the stress.

If you have pets, some of them may also have travel anxiety. Such is the case for Jo Snyman’s two cats, Finnick and Peeta, who don’t like to take trips in her car. Snyman had an eight-hour trip planned in which the cats would be joining her for the long ride. That scenario was not something Snyman was looking forward to, so she took action to reduce the chances of having two wild cats tearing up the car and possibly her as well.

Snyman brought her felines to a veterinarian for help. The vet asked each cat a series of questions, some of them very personal, before coming to a diagnosis. After answering in the negative to questions about if they had heart, liver or kidney disease, bleeding, seizures or drug addiction (apparently catnip was not included), each animal was prescribed trazodone, which is an antidepressant.

For humans, trazodone isn’t recommended for anyone under 18, but for cats, anything goes. After their intake of the medication, Finnick and Peeta were put in the car with both looking like they were about to embark on a magical mystery tour. They had transformed from being anxious to a state of chill most people would envy.

As proof of the cats’ transformation, Snyman posted a video on TikTok under her handle, vivienne131313. With appropriate music from Afroman’s “Because I Got High”, Finnick and Peeta didn’t have a care in the world, nor where they aware they were part of it.

Usually when you’re on an eight-hour car trip, you’ll see the road, trees, corn fields, buildings, etc. Finnick and Peeta on the other hand witnessed griffins, unicorns, fields of catnip and their favorite Hindu god, Dawon.

Snyman also came prepared with the cat’s favorite psychedelic songs including “White Rabbit”, “Hallucinations”, and the entire album, Värähtelijä.

So impressed by both the calming aspects of trazodone and the cat’s musical choices, Snyman is thinking about getting a doctor to over-prescribe her the kitty calmer downer.

Our cat Chester, who is anxious about most things on this planet, was curious if he could get paws on some magical trazodone tablets.

“This stuff looks better than synthetic catnip,” our tabby said in awe while watching Finnick and Peeta enter a dimension unknown to the laws of physics.

How cats view the world while on trazodone. Courtesy: Peggy Collins Photo Art.

The only car trip you take is to the vet and that’s too short for you to need that drug,” I said. “Besides, when it’s time to come home, you certainly don’t act anxious since you know you’re heading back to your safe space.”

“But look how peaceful they appear,” Chester observed.

“Yes, but you don’t need to take drugs to get to that state,” I said, sounding more like former first lady Nancy Reagan shouting, “just say no” to drugs. “You might want to try learning meditation.”

“That’s what I want, medication,” Chester said.

“No, meditation,” I corrected my Timothy Leary of a cat.

“Sounds like we’re saying the same thing,” Chester said in a confused tone. “What’s the difference?”

“Meditation is a way to clear your mind naturally to achieve a calm and stable state of being,” I said. ” You should read books by Deepak Chopra or Sri Sri Ravi Shankar,” I suggested.

“Thanks, but no thanks,” Chester retorted. “The only things I read are how my investments are doing, catnip sale circulars and the latest gossip in Cat Fancy, for the articles of course. Why don’t you read those meditation things to me as a bed time story?”

“Thanks, but no thanks,” I fired back. The only things I read are how my investments are doing, sales circulars on the best new door locks to keep you in the basement at night and TheShadeRoom.com, for the articles of course.”

There was no response except the death stare from Chester.

“If you would like to try meditating, how about I put on some appropriate music,” I asked.

“Ok, I’ll give it a try,” Chester said.

So, I called up YouTube and found something with multiple key words for what my cat needed, a live channel called “Sleeping Music for Deep Sleeping – Stress Relief Music, Meditation Music, Study, Calm Music,”

A little bit of meditation music and a lot of sleep for Chester.

In no time Chester was out like a light. I bookmarked the URL since anything that can add to the already heavy sleep time our cat puts in every day is good as gold. And, I didn’t need to set the room up with scented candles, mood lighting or any of that other stuff you might find at a spa.

Then I went downstairs to my computer and started looking for ways to get myself some of that trazodone.

The Right Honourable Cat from Westminster

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker of the House of Commons in Great Britain’s Parliament has formerly recognized the right honourable cat, Clement Attlee, as both his new pet and the official mouser of the Palace of Westminster.

Clement Attlee the cat, a four-month-old Main Coon is named after Clement Attlee, the former post World War II Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Like the human Attlee, Hoyle was a member of the Labour party, but rescinded his affiliation after being named Speaker.

Clement Attlee (the cat). Courtesy: attlee_the_speakers_cat/Instagram.

Clement Attlee the feline, became Hoyle’s latest pet following the death of another of his Maine Coons, 12-year-old Lord Patrick McCormack, named after a Tory party member of Parliament who served for 36 years.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle with his favorite cat, the late great Lord Patrick McCormack. Courtesy: EPA,

If you haven’t guessed, Sir Hoyle likes cats and other animals too including owning dogs, a parrot and a tortoise. These pets are his substitute for needing trazodone.

Attlee the cat brings a calming effect on others as well.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle with his security team, Clement Attlee and Sergeant Lance Chenery of the Metropolitan Police, Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Service. Courtesy: attlee_the_speakers_cat/Instagram.

“He races around my office, much to the amusement of my team, and brings a smile to the face of doorkeepers, police officers, cleaners – and everyone who comes into contact with him,” Sir Hoyle said of his newest political ally.

Clement Attlee doing a security sweep of the Member’s Lobby at Parliament. Courtesy: attlee_the_speakers_cat/Instagram.

But a government mouser isn’t only confined to the British Parliament. Larry, a 15-year-old tabby, is the official protector of the Prime Minister’s residence at 10 Downing Street. Like all well-bred servants, Larry came with strong recommendations for his mousing skills and was brought in by staff members in 2011. Larry has been on the government’s payroll ever since.

Larry, the chief mouser at 10 Downing Street. Courtesy: @Number10cat/Twitter.

According to 10 Downing Street’s official website, “Larry spends his days greeting guests to the house, inspecting security defences and testing antique furniture for napping quality. His day-to-day responsibilities also include contemplating a solution to the mouse occupancy of the house. Larry says this is still ‘in tactical planning stage’.”

Not to be outdone, the U.S. government also has a chief mouser in the White House thanks to President Joe Biden and his wife Jill. Willow was a recent edition to the security of the Commander-In-Chiefs’ residence working in tandem with the Secret Service.

Whereas the President, who’s code name is Celtic, or Jill, who chose Capri, Willow’s Secret Service watchword is a highly guarded secret on par to the nuclear codes.

Willow leaving a Cabinet meeting where he briefed the President on a certain Russian invasion of Ukraine. Courtesy: White House.

Unlike his British counterparts, Willow appears to do more than roam the building looking for rodents. He was photographed earlier this year leaving a closed-door cabinet meeting after giving a briefing on what he said would be a certain invasion of Ukraine by the Russians.

Having said all that, back in the UK, there is a rumor that Larry and or Lord Patrick McCormack may have been the driving force behind Brexit.

So, be nice to every cat you see. They wield more power than you think.

Mistreat one and you may find out it’s working for the IRS. That’s how an eclectic group of people; Al Capone, Leona Helmsley, Martha Stewart and Heidi Fleiss all wound up in prison.

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