Phil came to the house bright and early to escort me to the airport for my next adventure. However, I was not quick enough to answer the door, and my human pet answered instead.
"Hello,...Phil," she said.
"Hello, Marina!" Phil replied.
"Coming to take my cat again?"
"Well, yes. The show isn't over yet, and there's still a lot more for Zeus to see and do," responded Phil.
The human pet nodded slowly, and then looked down to notice I was sitting at her feet. "Fine, fine, get out of here then. Hurry home though. Isis is getting a bit comfortable not having you here."
As Phil was taking me out of The House, I saw Isis wave methodically from the den's window. She had an evil smile on her face as she held up a can of delicious sardines.
'I'll get you, Isis. So help me, I'll get you...' I thought to myself as I sneered back at her.
My flight to Colorado Springs was very pleasant. This was my first trip across the Rocky Mountains, and as I was flying in, I could see them from my window seat. They towered across the skies, and the clouds would wisp around their tops. It was just incredible to see so much grandeur, and I could hardly believe this was all found right here in America. It was almost like traveling to another country!
The production crew had secured me a taxi upon arrival, and I rode out to meet with Meeko and Kiara of The Lone Star Purrs. I was wondering what all we would do in Colorado Springs, and I speculated about all of the things they had mentioned on their postcard. Would there be mountains in our journey? Airplanes? Gardens?
We approached the house, and when the taxi stopped, I hopped out of the backseat and walked up to the front door. I knocked and waited, but not for long as a very nice human lady pet opened the door.
"You're finally here! Oh the girls are going to be so excited!" She turned her head to the back of the house and yelled, "Meeko! Kiara! Zeus is here!"
The human lady pet let me into the house where I was met by Meeko, a diluted calico with the longest hair, and her sister, Kiara, a tortoiseshell feline with equally long hair. I almost thought I was looking at Isis' long-haired twin sister when I saw Meeko that I did a double-take!
"We have been waiting forever for you to come, Zeus!" screamed Meeko.
"Well, not forever. I counted 5,903 naps worth of waiting to be honest," said Kiara.
"Wow. That's a long time to be waiting if it was 5,903 naps worth," I said. I immediately felt bad that it had taken me so long to get there, but the girls assured me it was alright.
"We know that you had a lot of other places to see, but we're really happy you're here now!" said Meeko.
"You know, we used to live in Texas too, Zeus," said Kiara. "We didn't live in Houston, but in a city called Fort Worth. Do you know where that is?"
I shook my head, and Kiara sighed. "Aww, well you're missing out! It's a rather nice place I have to say. Guess there's no point, though, in asking you how things are going there."
Right then, the familiar knocking occurred, and the two girls cheered. "It's Phil! It's Phil!" they cried. And they were right! The human lady pet opened the door, and there stood Phil in all of his Amazing Race glory!
"Meeko, Kiara, and Zeus. You have $200.00 for this leg of the race. Here is your first clue. Make sure to read it carefully, and be safe on your travels."
We opened the clue and read it together:
Make your way to the Garden of the Gods. Once there, hike along the Siamese Twins Trail to find your next clue.
"I don't know about this," said Kiara. "These paws weren't made for walking!"
"Oh suck it up, Kiara! This is gonna be fun!" said Meeko.
As we were getting ready to leave, Meeko and Kiara's human lady pet smiled and said, "I hope you enjoy rugged terrain, Zeus. I felt it was only right that you get to experience that from the passenger seat of an SUV."
An SUV? Is that like a BMW? A SAAB? What was it with homo sapiens and these silly acronyms for their four-wheeled toys?
When we walked outside, though, we saw what she was talking about. She had rented for us a really shiny, orange Hummer. The wheels on it were at least three times my height! It looked a lot like the big, long one The Meezers' human lady pet had gotten for Miles, Sammy, Trixie, and myself when I visited Rochester, but it was much shorter.
We hopped inside and began our drive to the Garden of the Gods, and it took us about 18-20 minutes to arrive there from the Lone Star Purrs' house. Once there, the nice driver let us all out, and we took in the beautiful scenery. The mountains shimmered in shades of fiery red and crisp orange against the backdrop of big, blue sky. I had never seen anything like it before in my whole five years, and I was simply spellbound!
However, there was one peak that stood above all the rest, and my eyes kept coming back to it.
"Does that mountain have a special name?" I asked the girls.
"Oh! That's Pike's Peak!" said Meeko. "It's the tallest mountain around here."
"Who's Pike, and why is that his mountain?" I asked, but the girls laughed at me.
"To be honest, Zeus, we really don't know, but we can find out while we're here if you want!" said Kiara.
We made our way into the entrance of the park and looked for signs that would lead us to the Siamese Twins Trail. After having found the trail, we hiked an entire mile (yes, an entire mile!) while looking out across the landscape. This picture is of the Siamese Twins which is actually two similar rock formations. You can look through the two rock formations and see Pike's Peak framed in between. Meeko, Kiara, and I all agreed that the view was simply spectacular!
Strangely enough, when we got closer to the twin rocks, we saw a clue laying on the ground. Kiara picked it up, and we all read it together:
Make your way back to the Garden of the Gods' Visitor Center. Discover why the Peak is Pike's Peak. If you correctly identify the person responsible for the mountain's name, you will receive your next clue.
"Since when does Phil do trivia?!" stomped Meeko. "On none of the other travels did he have questions!"
"Maybe he thought we were smart cats?" commented Kiara.
"Well," I said bashfully, "I did kinda want to know why the mountain was named that."
We made our way back down the trail to the visitors' center. Once inside, we toured around the center, looking inside all of the gift shops and attempting to speak to all of the homo sapiens we could, but no one would listen to us. Sure, we got a lot of points, snickers, and stares, but that was about all of the information we received.
Finally, we entered into an American Indian jewelry store where we found a very nice lady who had three pictures on the front of her counter. She also had the Amazing Zeus flag so we knew we had located the right place! She peered down at us with a chagrin and just began talking as if on cue:
"In 1803, Pike's Peak was obtained in the Louisana Purchase. In 1806, President Jefferson sent Zebulon Montgomery Pike to figure out the borders of the Louisana Purchase, and as a result, Pike decided to try climbing the peak of the mountain. He never did get to accomplish this, though, due to a blizzard in November of that year. However, the mountain earned his surname nonetheless. This is documented according to military maps dating from 1835."
I whispered to Kiara and Meeko, "It just goes to show you that you don't necessarily need to succeed when you attempt things. You just need to try." They both nodded. Our attention, however, was drawn to the three pictures.
"Which of these is Zebulon Montgomery Pike?"
We stared and stared at the pictures. They looked a lot alike, but the one on the right sort of stood out from the rest. He looked like he might be an adventurer, and so after some discussion, the three of us pointed at the man in the golden uniform.
"You are......CORRECT!" the human lady said.
We cheered! The nice human lady handed us our next clue which we ripped open and read immediately:
Make your way to the United States Air Force Academy.
"Oh wow! That's where our Daddy works! He goes there a lot!" said Meeko.
"We're finally going to get to see where he goes everyday!" said Kiara. "YES!"
We made our way back to the Hummer and rode for about 10 minutes. When we arrived at the Air Force Academy, I was taken aback by all of the huge metal birds. They were flying in and out of the Academy, and they zipped and zoomed through the sky. I even saw the Cadet Chapel which the Lone Star Purrs had posted pictures of on their blog!
We didn't need to walk around by ourselves for long because a very tall human gentlemen approached us. "Umm...yes, are you Meeko, Kiara, and Zeus?" he asked. He appeared a bit nervous, confused, or even embarassed, I'd say.
We nodded. "You are to come with me at once," he said in a crisp tone.
Intrigued, we followed the man through a series of buildings and then back outside again onto some runways for the metal birds. He turned to look down at us as he said, "Today, you will get the honor of flying in one of our F-16s. No feline has
ever done this before, but we heard you were coming so we wanted to give you a real treat."
"Oh my goodness! You have GOT to be joking!" screamed Meeko with excitement. Kiara nearly fainted, but I still wasn't sure what the big deal was. After all, I had flown in plenty of airplanes, and what was so special about one called an F-16?
Oh, how wrong I was! The first thing was how super F-A-S-T it went! We were literally thrown into the pilot when he took off! The clouds and sky went whizzing by so fast that I felt as if I was going to throw up. Meeko and Kiara, however, were having the time of their lives.
"Wheeeee!" screamed Kiara.
"Woohoo!" cheered Meeko.
"I'm going to puke," I choked.
When we landed, I thought I was going to have to use the litter box immediately. I was shaking all over as that had been nothing like any airplane flight I had ever taken. Meeko and Kiara thanked the pilot for taking us along on his plane, but I was too busy trying to stand upright to talk.
The girls helped me back to the Hummer, and we rode back to their house to drop them off for the evening. By the time we arrived, I was feeling much better, but I was still grateful that I would never see an F-16 again!
"Thank you for having me visit you in Colorado Springs, Meeko and Kiara. This was really fun!" I said.
"Are you sure? You looked like you were becoming green in the face on the plane," said Kiara.
"Yes, even the plane was...fun," I hesistated, but continued to say, "but I don't think I will be doing that again anytime soon!"
Thank you once again, Lone Star Purrs, for inviting me to Colorado Springs, Colorado. I really enjoyed my time with you! You are welcome to come to Houston, Texas, any time you want. I would also like to thank your human lady pet for providing us with such a pretty orange Hummer. The driver was fabulous, and he made sure to hit all of the bumps so I knew the meaning of the word "rugged" by the time I came home!