1. I don't want him to get sick.
2. If he gets eaten by a lynx or bobcat in the backcountry, I don't want to be responsible for having introduced feline leukemia or distemper into the wild.
Pan lost a bit of dignity in the event, because his feline leukemia shot required him to get a blood test first, which meant that they had to do a blood draw, which meant that they had to shave some fur off his inner thigh. Poor kitty. But the test came back negative and he got all his shots, so we're good.
But the secret third reason we went to the vet was:
You're apparently not supposed to give tranquilizers to pets when they're traveling in normal passenger jets because the effect of the medication changes in a pressurized cabin at altitude (sort of like how you get drunker up there). But we're going to be flying in a very small, non-pressurized plane at relatively low altitudes, and that plane is LOUD. I didn't want Pan to freak out in his carrier and hurt himself, and the vet agreed that a mild tranquilizer might not be a bad idea.
So he gave us a few tablets to try. One half-tablet to be given at least 30 minutes before flight, to last 3-4 hours. We tested one today, just to make sure that Pan didn't have a bad reaction to it. I expected that it would make him drowsy and that he'd sleep most of the morning.
I did NOT expect that he would get utterly stoned off his little furry ass.
Basically, he acted normal all day, only with no coordination whatsoever. He would fall over when he scratched himself. He would try to jump on the bed and fail miserably. He purred and purred and was affectionate X 10, but his usual paw pats on our faces were replaced by clumsy swipes and eye jabs. I tossed him off the bed when I was packing earlier and he rolled a few times when he hit the ground.
So, I think it'll be fine to use the tablets to take the edge off any panic, but it's a good thing he's not driving. I don't even want to leave him unsupervised while he's under the influence. He's in his little chair now, sleeping it off.
So, it was an incredibly amusing day. I would never get an animal drunk on purpose (like giving him beer or something), but as a side effect of really trying to do something good for him, it was funny.
Packing continues. I finished packing my clothes and gear, and got my desktop computer disassembled. Tyler packed up a good portion of the kitchen and our remaining food. I finished cleaning the stove (but not the oven) and started dealing with the infinite odds and ends. The move is at its messiest stage now, when everything that was previously stored (under the beds, in closets, in drawers, in cupboards, under the sink) is now OUT, packed in boxes or in plain sight. Our boxes (including all my books) now occupy a central location in the living room that is generating a slight gravity well.
Pan was alert enough to engage in our usual midnight ritual. Around midnight, I get up from the computer and go to the kitchen for a snack or drink of something. Pan will wake up, stretch, and follow me in with little purrs and meows, and I give him a treat and pet him while he eats. Last night he enjoyed it so much that he ignored the treat for a moment and just flopped over while I petted him. It was great. I'll miss this.