I called the Transportation Security Administration today. The fellow asked for my name and phone number so he could add me to his permanent list of "interesting people"
so he could call back if we got disconnected, and revealed that I might have to take Harley out of his travel cage in the airport so that the cage could go through the security scanner. You know, so they can make sure I'm not hiding explosives or small children in there.
This seems like a really bad idea. You get an airline-approved cage, you put the animal safely inside, and then you have to take it out in the middle of a crowd? In an enormous, open building? You could probably sneak a leash onto a dog, but cats have sharp claws and could easily get away from you — and lost in the airport forever! Harley's wing feathers are clipped, but if he got really scared he could get himself into trouble, or bite somebody, or something like that.
But I am trying my best to remain calm. Harley is good at stepping up, he is good with people and traveling, and I know the "hold the toes" trick so he can't get away so easily. Plus, the TSA fellow said I could ask for a "private screening." I don't know what that means, exactly, but at least if it's really crowded, I'll have the option to go someplace quieter.
And the calmer I am, the calmer Harley will be.
Visualize whirled peas.