So, it was time for me to move from Long Beach, CA to Renton, WA. I had the U-Haul all packed up, the plants were loaded, and away I went. I made pretty good time getting out of L.A. It only took about 2 hours to go 70 miles (hey, I left at 5:30 P.M., so actually, I made great time). Since I hit the road rather late, I didn't get very far that first day before pulling over to catch some zzzzz's at a Holiday Inn Express (from what I could tell, the "express" part of the name is the fashion in which they separate you from your hard earned cash, but they had an internet connection, so I guess it was worth it). I got up the next day, and got everything loaded back into the truck. I noticed that where was some movement in the back of the truck, but I thought that it was just the wind blowing the plants, so I headed on over to the gas station to fill up before I headed out. I had just finished topping off the tank when I once again saw some movement in the back of the truck, in among the plants. With my curiosity piqued, I decided to investigate further. I poked around a bit, and lo and behold, I found a Tiger! This was no ordinary Tiger though. For one thing, he was only about 9 inches long. He was a cute little thing though, so I thought that I would try to make friends.

After a few "Here kitty kitty's" the tiger gave me a totally disgusted look, set back on his furry little tail, and said "What the hell do I look like, Mac? Some kind of common Felis catus?"
Well, needles to say, this was rather odd. A small talking tiger (not a Felis catus, though). After a few seconds thought, I reached out my hand and introduced myself. "Hello there Mr. Tiger, my name is Jim. What are you doing in my truck?"

He (I think) stared at my hand for a minute, then reached out a paw and we shook extremities."Well Jim, what do most people do in trucks? I'm catching a ride to anywhere South, North, East or West of here. And, by the way, my name is Squareroot."

Something must have showed on my face when he told me his name, as he looked at me and growled. "Listen bub, the name isn't all that odd. My daddy was a and my mamma liked to root, so I got hung with the moniker Squareroot. Deal with it, right?"

I chuckled and asked him "You from Australia by chance?"

He cocked his little head to one side and stared at me for a few minutes. "Well no, but my mam was. Any special reason you want to know?"

By this time, I was starting to get the impression that this might be one touchy tiger. I shook my head and said "Nope, no reason at all. Nice to meet you, Squareroot. I'm heading to the Seattle area, want to ride in front?"

Squareroot cocked his head this way, then that, then scratched himself a bit before replying. "O. K. Mac, I suppose I can put up with you for a bit."

I reached out my hand and he consented to be held long enough for me to open the door, then he jumped in, crawled up on the dash , and we were off.

The next few hours passed quietly, with neither me nor Squareroot talking much. He seemed content to lay in the sun and sleep. As we were passing through Sacramento, I was feeling kind of warm, and turned the air conditioner on. I must have set it too high, cause it wasn't long before it about froze my nipples off. Squareroot got a kick out of that, and chuckled for several miles. We passed some nice looking country as we went on our way and up around the Mount Shasta area, decided to pull over and stretch our legs abit. Squareroot crawled up on top of the truck to get a better view . From where we were, we could just barely see the top of the mountain so we walked up the road to take a better picture . When Squareroot saw all snow, he chuckled and asked me "How does that make your nipples feel bub?" and went off in gales of laughter. Ha ha. I was beginning to think this tiger wasn't quite all there.

After I got him calmed down and loaded back in the truck, we were once again on our way. We drove and drove, and after awhile, started passing some farm country. Everything was nice and green, and soon pastures filled with critters were passing by the window. I saw one field that had several llamas in it, and glanced over at Squareroot just in time to see him make a jump for the window! I managed to grab him by the tail (I must say, I did this all without thinking, as the window was up, he was never in any danger). If you have ever heard the saying "To catch a tiger by the tail" well, I have to say, it wasn't near as bad as I thought it would be. The only thing it appeared to do was piss him off, and for the next several miles, I was treated to a nice view of a tiger's butt . That didn't last for very long though, and soon he had crawled up on my lap for some scratches and cuddles and all was well.

We drove on down the road, and pretty soon the sun went down so I took off my sunglasses and hung them off the mirror. Squareroot started to howl and twitch and sputter and finally let me know that he wanted to wear them. I told him "Dude, chill out, the sun is down." To which he replied "Not everywhere dumb ass!" Hmmmm, kind of hard to argue with logic like that, so I let him wear them for awhile .

We drove on through the night, and around midnight pulled over to get some sleep. I rented a room with two beds (Squareroot was very specific about that) and we went on up to our rooms. Squareroot wasted no time in making himself comfortable . We passed the night quietly, and the next day, got up and were back on the road.

The rest of the trip passed quietly, with the only odd thing is, as soon as I passed into Washington, it started to rain. And I mean like 20 seconds after I went over the state line. Makes me think that people were really telling me the truth when they told me that it always rains in Washington. It wasn't too long after that that I made it to my new home. After I introduced Squareroot to my other cats (two Felis catus) Tuk and Cotton things settled down, and we all lived happily every after.