Moving from a Cat’s Perspective

My recent experience in moving my cats and me nearly 900 miles from Montana to Nebraska for my new job has given me an idea for a (perhaps) rather unorthodox post: moving from a house cat’s perspective.

During the first week of my new job where I was working on curriculum preparation from home and preparing to move my cats were probably wondering why I was home during the day.

Toby may have thought something like this:  “So he hasn’t gone to work for about a week which is kind of weird.  But, it is nice to have him around to pet me instead of being gone all day.  Besides, I like sitting in his lap, leaning on his arm while he types away at his computer.”

Jasper cat may have entertained this thought while chirping near my feet: “You are usually gone at this time of day.  What are you doing home?  Are you sick?  I’m going to jump up into your lap and check it out for myself.  I may even stay a while (which I never do) because it seems that you are a little stressed.  Perhaps if I purr in your lap for a while it will help you relax.”  It did.

By the next Tuesday, their thought processes had likely changed as I packed up the entertainment center and all of its components.

Jasper’s thoughts were most likely: “Hey!  What the heck did you do?  Under the entertainment center was my favorite place to nap and now it’s gone!  Why is my stuff all lined up over in the corner?  What is going on here?!?!” as he paced nervously up and down the hall checking out everything in the house to make sure it was not disturbed.

Toby was more chill.  He was probably thinking: “I think I’ll go outside and take a nice nap in a shady spot somewhere.  It’s too noisy in here for me and he keeps pacing around and moving boxes from here to there and back and forth.  I was out all night catting around and can’t even get a decent cat nap in…”  Pardon the puns.  I couldn’t resist!

On Wednesday morning when the movers showed up, it was a completely different story.

Toby was thinking: “Hey who are these guys?  I’ve never seen them before.  And they reek like cigarette smoke!  Oh, well, I can rub their legs and see if I can get some attention.  Besides, there are a lot of boxes to inspect.  Alright, well, that was fun.  I think I’ll exit and take a nice siesta” while Jasper cat was melting down pacing up and down the hallway, thinking:  “Who the heck are these guys and what are they doing in my house?!?  Wait!  Those are my things!  Why are you putting them in boxes?  Get out of my house!  Wait.  Let me see if I can trip this guy.  Ouch!  It worked for a second, but mostly I got booted across the floor.  Oh, good, they’re finally gone.  These boxes are kind of cool.  I think I’ll jump on top of some of them and see what’s shakin’.  I’m so glad that they left my favorite sofa.  It’s way past time for my nap.”

Then Thursday when the truck driver arrived to load things Jasper probably thought:  “More strange men!  What the heck?  Hey, put that loveseat down!  Don’t you dare take my scratching post!  Put that bed back down.  Where am I supposed to sleep when I return from my nightly stroll?  Guys?  Hey, why are you letting these strangers take all of my stuff? Hey…  Come on, please.”

Toby was outside somewhere.  I was worried that he might be checking out the semi truck.  The guys that came yesterday to pack my boxes told me a couple horror stories about cats getting packed up in moving trucks.  He probably wondered what was up with all the racket and why we were making so much noise and making so many trips in and out of the house, thinking “How am I supposed to catch a bird when you keep scaring them away? Hello!?!  Fine.  Ignore me.  Forget it.  I’ll be taking a nap if you need me.”

That night they were both thinking:  “This twin-size air mattress stinks!  Every time he moves, he knocks me off the bed.  How am I supposed to get any sleep at all? Eventually Jasper says, “I give up!  I’ll sleep on the clothes bag in the corner.”

On Saturday morning, Jasper was nowhere to be found.  He probably thought that since all of his things were gone and his whole world had been turned upside down that he’d rather not be home in case something worse was going to happen.  Toby got suspicious when I closed all of the windows tight enough that he couldn’t get out and locked the cat door.  He kept rubbing around my legs saying: “What’s going on?  Why are you locking me up?  I wanna go outside.  Please.  Pretty please.  Hey!  Why are you putting boxes in the car?  Are we going to Grandma’s house again?  Last time we went to Grandma’s house, you didn’t pack this much crap…  Besides all those little kids really freaked me out!  Come on, please let me outside.  Please…  Maybe if I’m sneaky I can get out the door while he is trying to get through with those boxes.  Rats!  Foiled again!  Fine, I give up.  I’ll be on the couch.”

When Jasper cat finally came home he jumped up on the couch to see why Toby was so blue.  “Hey? Tobes?  What’s going on?  You’re usually outside somewhere right about now.  Everything ok?”

“No, that jerk locked us in the house!  I think he’s dragging us off to Grandma’s house again.  Last time all of those little kids were so annoying.  They kept chasing me around and made so much noise.  Alright!  What the heck is up with this harness thing?!?  Get it off of me!  It’s so heavy and weird-feeling.  I can’t stand the weight…  Ah, that’s better” he said as he flopped down on his side on the carpet.

Jasper cat was completely freaked out.  “What the heck is this thing?  Get it off of me now!  Well, if you won’t, I will.  I’ll kangaroo kick it off or bite it off or something…  Oh, thank you.  That thing was freaky.  You’re not getting anywhere near me for quite a while now” he said as he raced down the hallway.  Toby waited patiently, but was also relieved when I took his harness off.  I just wanted to adjust them so that I didn’t have to do that while trying to prevent them from escaping at the hotel.  Besides, they are always in a hurry to get out of their carrier and it is hard enough just to deal with that!

Then I loaded the cats into their carrier which they never really appreciate.  When I headed east into town, they were probably wondering:  “Where the heck is he going?  I thought Grandma’s house was the other way.  Wait a minute…   Grandma’s house is the other way.  Where are we going?”

After a while, they were resigned to the fact that they were stuck in the car for a while and fell asleep.  But, when we arrived in Casper, WY Toby let me know that he was sick and tired of being in the car.  “Meow.”  “Meow,” which could be translated as “Help, Help!  Get me out of this thing.  I’m so tired of being cooped up!  Where the heck are we anyway?  This is DEFINITELY NOT Grandma’s house.  Where have you taken us?”

After checking into the hotel, I returned to the car to fetch the cats.  Oh my gosh!  Good thing I had the car door shut.  They were out of the carrier like lighting.  I put their harnesses on them—believe me, they were THRILLED!  Jasper was moaning and digging his claws into my shoulder.  Toby was only slightly mellower.  A nice woman in the lobby petted Jasper cat and said nice things to him, but he’s kind of a particular cat and I don’t think that she helped calm him down any.   He was probably thinking, “Who does this freaky lady think she is?  And why is she petting me and talking to me like I’m some kind of baby?”  Toby was like “whatever dude…”  But, she tried and that was all that mattered.

Meanwhile back in the hotel room, the cats got locked in the bathroom so that they wouldn’t escape while I was hauling in all of the stuff.  I thought that this was the best place for them in case they had an accident while I was still hauling in the litter box.  They have never messed on the floor at home or at Grandma’s house, but their entire world had been turned upside down and I wasn’t completely sure that they wouldn’t show their disappointment with what I would call inappropriate behavior!

Being the curious cat that he is Toby searched every corner of the room and checked everything out including my Taco John’s take-out.  He did as he usually does—gave it a good sniff and moved on.  Jasper cat on the other hand was completely freaked out and hid under the bed for most of the evening.  It seemed that they had gone on a voluntary hunger and thirst strike to show me that they were not at all happy about the current direction our lives were taking; but, eventually, both at least drank some water.  I’m not gonna lie…  Jasper’s a toilet drinker.  I had no idea and don’t know when it got started, but I discovered it when I was home at the 4th of July.  I kept shutting them downstairs so that they could escape from my nieces and nephews, but every time I opened the door Jasper cat would sneak out and head straight for the commode to get a drink!  Kind of gross, but he is a cat and the water was clear so I guess…  ANYWAY big tangent!

They were even more excited the next morning when they got locked in the bathroom again while I was loading the car.  However, I think they assumed that it was like all of our previous trips and that we were heading back home.  About two hours into the trip, Toby started to voice his objections by meowing repeatedly.  It wasn’t loud, but was still very annoying!  I’m sure he was thinking:  “What?  We’re going further from home?  Where are you taking us?  Why do I have to stay in this ridiculous cage?  Let me out.  Let me out!  Let me out!!!   No?  Ok, I give up… Sigh…”  Jasper completely hates traveling and endures by lying down and practicing controlled breathing the entire time, thinking something like: “You can do this.  Just breathe and it will be over soon.  Look Toby’s right here with me it’ll be ok.  Besides, I like Grandma and her house is pretty cool, too.  Maybe we’ll end up there or back home eventually.”

Toby woke up every couple of hours and protested until he tired of it and returned to sleeping.  When I stopped in North Platte to re-fuel and grab some lunch, Toby had had all he could take.  It was only 40 more miles to our new house, so I thought after I gassed up I’d let them out of the cage in hopes Tobes would stop yowling.  I’d let him out of the cage once before and, after exploring the car, he went to sleep on my lap.  Jasper is too petrified to exit the cage—or too stupefied by the anxiety to find the door—I don’t know which.  At any rate, we made it about a mile before pulling over and returning Toby to his place in the cage.  He was wandering rapidly around the car and yowling very loudly.  I had hoped the yowling would subside if I set him free, but now he was yowling AND he was pacing around the car.  And Jasper was looking more freaked out by the minute in the absence of his traveling companion and best bud.  I was afraid he might mess himself…  So, since letting Toby out of the cage had just complicated matters while not reducing his yowling, he got stuffed back into the carrier and eventually gave up and went back to sleep.

It was hotter than Hades when we arrived in Curtis and all three of us were thinking: “What the heck did this guy get us into?”  Toby and Jasper set about exploring the house and wanted absolutely nothing to do with me whatsoever!  I guess I shouldn’t blame them, but I was incredibly unsure about things and could’ve used a friend at the time and the only two I had—a black cat and a black and white cat—were mad at me!  So, I cranked the window AC and laid down in front of it and told myself that it would all look better in the morning…  It didn’t help much, but I was here and was dealing with it.  The cats were probably thinking that this whole nightmare would be over soon and that they would return to their beloved home in King Arthur Court by the little stream.  But, when all of the boxes and their things arrived the next day, I think they figured out that we weren’t going back any time soon.  They didn’t sleep on the bed with me like as was customary for several nights, but have since seemed to forgive me. 

Anyway, that is moving from a cat’s perspective.  Hope you enjoyed it more than I did while living the story…

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One Response to “Moving from a Cat’s Perspective”

  1. bluesuit12 Says:

    That’s quite the story! Glad you all survived the move and each other. This morning on the radio they were reading a day’s perspective from a cat and a dog. It was pretty funny and I’ll bet you would really like the cat’s perspective. http://www.lisashea.com/lisabase/fun/diarydog.html

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