Molly knew her owners were up to something; Mr and Mrs Miller seemed to be having a lot of serious discussions and the three children were more hyped up and overexcited than usual. Molly kept hearing the shouts of “We’re moving to America!” from the youngest family members, but being a domesticated cat without a care in the world other than where to take her next nap, this meant absolutely nothing to her. Max, her canine companion, also seemed excitable, though this wasn’t out of the ordinary as far as Molly was concerned; it only took the high-pitched cry of “Walkies!” to work him into near hysteria – and that happened twice a day.
Molly and Max both had to have their claws trimmed, which neither of them appreciated; whilst Molly wasn’t really the tree-climbing type, she thought it would be nice to still have the option. However, at least she was no longer making that tapping noise (like a mouse, wearing stilettos) when she walked across the kitchen lino, which made it easy to steal Max’s food when he wasn’t looking. Also, on the plus side for Molly, she didn’t have to have a haircut – Max looked like an oversized rat after Mrs Miller gave him the clipper treatment.
Molly started to get suspicious, one evening, when she saw the cat carrier. Knowing that this usually meant a car journey, followed by a visit to somewhere that smelled of other animals and disinfectant (involving an intrusive procedure with a lubricated thermometer), she hid underneath one of the children’s beds. After the family had all gone to sleep that night, she realised it wasn’t likely she’d be going anywhere soon, so she went to investigate the carrier. Unfortunately, the following day she was locked in the carrier after being lured in with treats (never trust an eight-year-old human). She was taken into the conservatory along with Max, who, to Molly’s disgust, wasn’t locked in plastic box.
An unfamiliar-but-cheerful man came into the conservatory with Mrs Miller – he was carrying a wooden cage that was large enough to hold a medium-sized Spinone Italiano dog; Molly was pleased to see the smug look disappear from Max’s face as he was secured inside. The children waved goodbye as Molly and Max were loaded into a stranger’s vehicle; they weren’t usually this anxious when their beloved pets went anywhere. The journey was followed by an overnight stay in what appeared to some sort of pet boarding house – cats and dogs were in separate wings. Molly had her own pen, with a heat lamp and scratching log. There were other cats in the pens either side; a ginger tom seemed to be taking a bit of a fancy to her.
The following day, Molly and Max went on another road journey; they were unloaded outside where there were lots of loud noises that seemed to be coming from overhead. However, they were soon taken into a large building where the only sounds where from lots of people who all seemed to be in a hurry to get places. Molly and Max, still in their carriers, were eventually loaded into an area that was quiet, dark, and had lots of other animals in carriers which were all held in place by netting. Some time later, there was a lot of movement – not all that different to being in a car – then everything was calm. Molly and Max, with not much else to do, both settled down and went to sleep.
Soon enough, they were reunited with their family, but something was different – not the parents or the children, but the house. There were different smells, the air didn’t feel the same, and the furniture and even the rooms themselves were all in the wrong place. Max was excitable as ever, but Molly was more reluctant to explore, and spent most of the day hiding under a bed. She was comforted, however, by the children, who each took it in turns to come into the bedroom to check on her.
Max seemed to be settling in well; Molly started to wonder if he even noticed that they were in the wrong house. A few days after their arrival, Molly noticed that a door had been left open . . .
Outside was a lot warmer than where they lived before, and the garden was nothing like the one Molly was used to – it was bigger, with less grass and fewer bushes. Molly was eager to find some of the plants she always liked to sniff at, and started to wander too far. Soon, she was lost in an unfamiliar neighbourhood. After having settled for the night in another strange garden, a lady tried to approach her; she seemed interested in the tag on Molly’s collar. Later that day, the Miller family came looking for Molly, eventually enticing her back into the carrier and taking her back to their new home. The children, who had been frantic with worry, were delighted to have their friend back. Even Max was pleased to see her; Molly (though she wouldn’t dare to admit it) had secretly missed him too.