Cat on a Plane: Tales of a Trip to Austin

My cat’s name is Archikneadies. He is a 16 lb bengal cat. Fairly quiet and very loving. HATES traveling. Archie and I went to Austin today and everything that could go wrong, did. Dallas and I were both pretty worried about it and I’m sad to say everything came true. Dallas stayed behind to close out things in Seattle. Packers were coming today, and we still needed to do the walk through. So I took Archie, Dallas stayed in Seattle. Our morning begins …


To start, we knew he wouldn’t like flying, so we went to the vet and got a prescription for xanax. We tested it on him, he acted drunk, but okay. We sucked at giving him the medicine though. We tried and failed at pilling him this morning. So my coworker, Morgan Chessman, and I took him to the vet for pilling. Success! We then got Archie harnessed and in his soft carrier. So far so good.


Dropping bags was fine, everyone wanted to see him. We got to TSA and was allowed through Pre-Check! Score! They asked that I take Archie out of the bag, which I did, to go through the metal detector so they could scan his carrier. We made it through the metal detector fine. They swabbed my hands and I went to take him back to the carrier.

It all goes wrong …

That’s when it got bad. An agent walked up to say hi to Archie and he bolted. I had a harness on him but it wasn’t working. He was too freaked, but I tried to keep him from running away. That meant his claws and teeth stopped me from stopping him. Archie bolted into Seatac Airport just as I realized I was bleeding profusely from my hands.

My first thought: I lost the cat. I’m never going to make this flight now. I lost the cat! Shit, I’m bleeding.

The agent that came to say hi and freaked Archie out was a paramedic. Thank God. He got my right arm up in the air, applied pressure to the right artery and stopped the bleeding. At the same time, I am apologizing because they shut down the line I was in because my blood was EVERYWHERE. I felt horrible.

And I still felt bad about Archie. Scared. Somewhere in Seatac.

Then they returned him. Just as they told me that paramedics were on the way. I might need stitches. WHAT??? Well shit. BUT Archie was back. That was what was important. Yes, I have messed up priorities (my arm is still in the air mind you).


So the paramedics arrive and get me cleaned up. No stitches needed but they make me promise to get a tetanus shot when I get to Austin. They then tell me more and more … I promise to tell the flight attendants. “No, don’t. They won’t let you fly.”

I cannot do this ever again. Take Archie on a plane. So not making it to Austin was NOT an option. So I hid my injuries. Bought Vitamin Water and Tylenol – and waited.

The Flight

Dallas and I are both worried about infection and a real cat bite at this moment. I don’t know if he bit me, I do know that my hand throbs so much. And my bandage is filling up slowly. I can’t let anyone see this lest they not let me fly. But how do you hide that?

Archie and I get on early and guess what? The carrier doesn’t fit under the seat. Bless the flight attendant that didn’t care and let me have him half hanging out. Damn you carrier maker!!! However, it did save the day as he worked really hard many times to escape the carrier. I thought my heart was going to leap out of my chest.

So not only does he try really hard to get out of the carrier at 30k feet, he meowed loudly the WHOLE time. Dear mothers of small children, I know your pain now. There was NOTHING I could do. He was just so scared the whole time.

And did I mention how little I had eaten? We were in first class, so I got food, but I also wanted to sleep so badly. I did get some sleep in here and there, but most of the 3.5 hours was making sure he didn’t get out.

Oh and GoGo refused to work. I am so done with that service.


My mom was there to greet us with food and drink for me. I broke down when I saw her. So tired, so underfed, so stressed. Nothing is better than having your mom around. We got to the Extended Stay place and got Archie inside with his new toilet, food, water, and then I need to go to the hospital.

From about 7pm-9pm, I was at the St. David’s Round Rock ER getting my wounds cleaned, a tetanus shot, hand XRay’d, and drugged. The team there was awesome. I am now on two antibiotics and two pain killers.

Archie is happily sleeping on my legs as I think of sleeping myself. No, I don’t blame him or anyone else. He was scared and everyone did everything to help me today. Time to let my body start healing.


  1. Oh my! I’m so sorry to hear about all the troubles! I’m with you though – I’d be freaking out more about my cat running around at Seatac than my own wounds, too. So glad you finally got him there and had the comfort of your mom!

  2. Yikes! Archie must’ve really got you good to have caused that much bleeding. Glad you made it okay.

    I’m basically done flying with Space, myself. He’s flown in cargo twice and I know he must’ve hated it because the last time we flew he was squeezed into a carrier and he lost his mind. He tore through the shitty carrier and busted his head out. Thankfully, much like your story, the flight attendant didn’t mind letting him keep his head out. That’s when I snapped this pic:

    He might look happy, but unfortunately his happy face and his scared shitless face are pretty similar.

    From now on Archie and Space = road trip or nothing 🙂

  3. Poor kitty. I can’t even get mine to the vet (in fact he’s banned from the vet unless previously sedated, as one time he bit through the assistant vet’s protective gloves) I can’t even imagine trying to get him on a plane. Glad it worked out for you. Cat bites are scary, but fortunately rarely cause that much complication, and tetanus rarer still.

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