This story was originally published on wavepets.ca
Charles’ homo sapiens, Maria and Ricardo, had decided to move to the distant land: Canada. The bustle and excitement of the house hung in the air. For weeks, suitcases were packed, boxes sealed, and passports checked. The only one who was oblivious to the change was Charles, who basked in his usual space of sunshine with majestic indifference.
The fateful day arrived, and the house was abuzz with activity. Suitcases and boxes that would be shipped to Canada were closed and stacked like a tower, waiting for the taxi to the airport. Just as Maria and Ricardo were about to lock the transport box containing Charles, the driver honked impatiently outside. Charles, seeing that there was a sole opportunity to escape, and with his penchant for exploring dark corners, quickly got out of his box and slipped into the last suitcase that was still open, stealthily disappearing from sight.
Already to go, in the eyes of Maria and Ricardo. The driver loaded the suitcases and luggage into the taxi, Charles’s box in sight, passport and documents checked. All very well. Heading to the airport, heading to Canada.
But at the airport check-in area, panic ensued when they realized that Charles was not in his crate, and that he must have embarked on an inadvertent adventure at the airport. Maria left nervously to look for Charles, while Ricardo, also nervous about the cat escaping, took care of the boarding arrangements.
The commotion sounded exciting to Charles. The suitcase he was hiding in was placed on the baggage claim by the attendant, and as the conveyor belt came to life, he found himself on an irregular journey through the labyrinthine corridors of the airport’s underground. Charles was an easygoing cat, but this was a roller coaster ride he had not planned on.
In the hidden corners of the airport, the conveyor belt broke and stopped suddenly. The trunk opened with a theatrical flourish, revealing Charles and launching him into the wild unknown of the airport’s international service area.
A cleaner passing by could not believe his eyes. Charles regarded the janitor with a mischievous, haughty look that said, “I’m not lost, I’m just temporarily out of place.” The janitor, amused by Charles’s bravery, picked him up and carried him like a king.
As the janitor walked away, Charles surveyed his new realm: the duty-free shops, the bustling cafes and the endlessly fascinating escalators. In the mind of Charles, an inexperienced traveler, this certainly was not Brazil anymore. He had arrived at his destination, Canada.
Maria and Ricardo alerted staff at São Paulo airport about their lost cat. The announcement echoed over the public address system: “Attention Airport Personnel, please look out for Charles! He is an orange and black tabby cat, furry and chubby. Please report any sightings to the nearest personnel.”
Charles managed to get rid of the cleaner and, not realizing the commotion he had caused, he was now sitting on top of a luggage trolley, calmly looking at the airport from a new point of view. The wind ruffled its fur in a way that felt oddly exciting. He was beginning to understand why birds loved to fly… he was loving Canada!
As the hours passed and Charles enjoyed his unconventional tour of the airport in the “new country,” Maria and Ricardo’s despair grew. Just when they were about to give up all hope, an airport employee spotted Charles lounging by the windows, his majestic tail slowly moving in the sun.
“Charles!” Maria’s voice shook with a mixture of relief and rebuke. Charles turned to her, his eyes gleaming with a mischievous glint that said, “I wanted to do this and I’m loving Canada.”
With the cat lost, found, and an international crisis averted, Maria and Ricardo cautiously approached Charles. But Charles, who was not one to hold a grudge, walked towards them as if he were doing them a favor. As Maria picked him up, she gently scolded him, “You are something, Charles.”
Before being placed back in his shipping crate, Charles looked back at the airport with a mixture of curiosity and fondness. And remembering the roller coaster of the luggage claim, I had to admit that the adventure in a foreign country had been quite exciting. Little did he know that he had not yet left Brazil.
And so, with Charles safe in Maria’s arms and under Ricardo’s gaze, the family of three moved on to a new life in Canada.
Story submitted by reader Maria Buarque, Mississauga
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