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Kitty Litter Smugglers

Updated on September 7, 2012
Kitty Litter
Kitty Litter | Source

Crossing the Canadian / American border in the past was an easy thing. You didn't need a passport where you had to have a pile of other IDs, birth certificate, paperwork supporting your current residence, etc. just to cross. I remember crossing less than a decade ago even after 9/11 and all I needed was my birth certificate. Along with the strict adherence to having the correct documentation they have also began cracking down on anything crossing the border and here I thought we signed a free trade agreement long, long ago.

My most recent border crossing was no less ridiculous than the last. After having crossed my wife and I went shopping in a rather large strip mall I went to one store and she to another. After I had completed my shopping I met her back at the car and we headed to Wal-mart. At the time I didn't know it but my wife had purchased a kitty litter box for our cat which she had put in the back seat, directly behind me. After we had completed shopping for our groceries at Walmart we recrossed the border and stopped at the checkpoint as always to show our ID/Passports.

When I pulled up to the window the lady asked me what we had purchased and I told her groceries at Wal-mart and I had purchased a small storage card for my camera all of which was about $100. She asked for a receipt so I handed her both. She apparently saw the kitty litter box in the back seat and asked me, "What is that sir? That's not groceries, what is that?" I looked back behind the seat and saw the litter box. My wife was sleeping and had begun to wake up but was a tad groggy. I assumed it must have come from wal-mart so I told the lady I thought we had purchased it at Wal-mart. Well that was a mistake apparently.

Immediately she began interogatling me as though I was a criminal. "So you were going to smuggle in a kitty litter box sir!"

What? Smuggling in a kitty litter box? Are you kidding me? The whole situation was simply silly. Either way my wife didn't have a receipt for it and so we were given a yellow slip of paper and directed to a car stall where border guards could search our vehicle. They ordered us to get out of the vehicle and looked thorough it from top to bottom. Went through our personal belongings and kept asking us if we had purchased any of it over the border.

After awhile of interrogation and searching everything in our car they gave us stern warnings and let us go. Apparently I was not going to get arrested for smuggling in a kitty litter box.

Only really a few things I need to outline in this case.

1) We live just over the Canadian / American Border, probably the safest most friendly neighboring country border in the world.

2) The amount even with the kitty litter box wasn't enough that they charged me any tax.

3) No smuggler is interested in smuggling kitty litter boxes across the border. That is just silly.

Overall I have to say that I think the border patrol needs to settle down. This isn't the middle east. The dangers that exist there or at another dangerous border crossing don't exist here. There are no suicide bombings or desperate people escaping an oppressive regime to achieve freedom. I just don't think all of what happened needed to be over a kitty litter box. I will be crossing the border less now however as I don't feel more safe but less at the mercy of border guards more concerned with harassing travelers than truly keeping the border safe.

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    • terrektwo profile image
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      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      catgypsy - It was was annoying and in retrospect pretty funny I didn't think so at the time though.

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

      While a bad experience, it is also a little funny!

    • terrektwo profile image
      Author

      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      Movie Master - yes will be going across less maybe just when we really need groceries or something

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      What an amazing story, frustrating for you and so ridiculous!! They must have time on their hands.....

      thank you for sharing

    • terrektwo profile image
      Author

      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      he he yeah your right it is pretty sad and funny. I do dabble in claymation, maybe I could make a border crossing cartoon.

    • profile image

      ChuckG 5 years ago

      Kitty litter? That's sad and funny at the same time. Make a short film.

    • terrektwo profile image
      Author

      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      lol, maybe it was a bad hairday Rosemay50, and your right could be a lot of much worse things coming through than a kitty litter box. It did give me a little anxiety but your probably right one day I'll look back and laugh. thanks for commenting.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      This must have been pretty scary and frustrating at the time, but it is so ridiculous you will look back in your old age and laugh about it.

      The thing is while they are interigating you and concentrating on your case over something silly, what elase is happening and maybe being smuggled through in another lane undetected.

      Maybe she was just having a bad hairday

    • terrektwo profile image
      Author

      Candle Hour 5 years ago from North America

      sam-eg I know, thanks for that, I'm all for keeping the country safe but it sure gets a little crazy sometimes.

    • sam-eg profile image

      sam-eg 5 years ago from Happy Land

      Hi Terrektwo, nice hub, what an annoying experience for nothing and the lady really over reacted.