How My Cat Turned Me Into a Bag Lady

(Originally published September 26, 2013)


Symons and I made it to Twin Falls, Idaho, tonight! We WOO-HOOed at


and then again at


and we high-fived at


Tomorrow we’ll arrive at our destination of Walla Walla, Washington—the home of Whitman College—to relish the friendships that began forming 19 years ago.

What does that have to do with me being a BAG LADY?


Well…this picture snapped by a laughing Symons tells you all you need to know: I have a bag problem. (Though those who know me well will appreciate that I have upgraded from Earth-harming plastic to Earth-friendlier paper—and from lowly grocery stores to the la-la sheik Whole Foods brand!)

While most people travel with the aid of suitcases or backpacks, I’ve always preferred bags. I’m sure it has something to do with being the child of divorced parents and getting used to going from house to house with all my required possessions tucked neatly into my conveniently handled friends.

My excuse for being a bag lady on this trip is quite different, though. Today as I started packing, I opened my closet to retrieve my suitcase and it was being occupied by Chester, my handsome and rugged cat.

(not my actual cat or suitcase)

(not my actual cat or suitcase)

I keep my suitcase covered with a blanket so it won’t get hairy (only took me 10 years to figure out a solution to the hairy-suitcase problem!) and in so doing I inadvertently turned my closet into the world’s best Feline Man Cave! This morning it looked like he was recovering from a long night of slinking around outside defending the neighborhood from vicious crime. I couldn’t possibly disturb his sleep just to procure the item that I’ve gotten along for so long without!

And so…for the rest of the trip, for the love of my man, I will proceed to heft my possessions from one location to the next…in grocery bags. I will go on record now, however, and say that if you ever see me requiring the use of a grocery cart to lug around said possessions, please call someone on my behalf to do an intervention (Symons would be a good choice).


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