We've spent the last week trying to prepare ourselves for the circus that is preparing pets to move across the country with us. I have had two cats for as long as I can remember. I adopted Abby from an old farm in Lee, New Hampshire during my senior year of undergrad, and I rescued Penny from the Manchester, New Hampshire Humane Society my first year out of graduate school. So, basically, they're old as dirt as far as cats go. Being somewhat nomadic in nature myself, I have lived in....fourteen apartments or homes since my senior year of college. That means poor Abby has been shlepped to fourteen different homes and Penny is close behind, at eleven. When Husband and I moved into this house just a few months shy of our wedding, I made a silent promise to the kitties that this would be their last move and they could live out their cranky old lady-kitty days in peace.
Which makes me a BIG FAT LIAR.
Because now, in their twilight years, I am not only making them move again, but it will be the most traumatic move ever. They were truly not thrilled by the 8-hour drive they had to take eight years ago in the back of my Honda Civic, crammed between and air conditioner and a TV. I cannot wait to see how they're going to LOVE being crammed into tiny cat carriers and shoved under the seat in an airplane. That should be a wicked good time for them, right?
And it's not just the plane ride. It's a myriad of cat-friendly fun leading up to and following the actual aviation adventure as well.
The packers and movers are coming on Monday and Tuesday of next week. We don't leave until Friday, therefore the human-types in the family will be staying at a hotel. The cats? They'll be biding their time in a big empty house. Think that'll freak them out? I'm going to go with "hell, yes!" on that one. They know what moving is--they're far too well acquainted with boxes and bubble-wrap. That alone is going to give them nightmares and I'm likely to find little puddles of pee about the house. What they don't know is being left behind. I'll be coming back to feed them during those few days, obviously, but that's probably it. Poor girls are going to wonder...."hey, where did everyone go?!" That should be awesome for them.
Then as if that weren't enough, when we get off the plane (assuming they survive that thrill ride intact), they get to go live in our new house....alone. While we wait for our lives to catch up to us in big moving vans, the human-types will again be set up in relative luxury at a hotel. The cats? Not so much.
Right now? Penny is at the vet's. Getting her teeth cleaned. Last week when I took them to the vets to get their shots and exams to make sure they were "air worthy", the vet let me know Penny's mouth was a hot mess and she needed a good cleaning. Now, what self-respecting cat owner would take her kitty to the land of the beautiful people (and thereby beautiful pets) without making sure her teeth were at their shiniest and most fabulous? Considering her age, a few extractions are most likely in the cards for her. I can't wait for all the "purr...purr...thank you for throwing a surgical procedure into the mix right now. Purr...purr."
I'd be subjecting Abby to the same procedure, but the vet detected a heart murmur at her last exam, so she has to have a full cardiac work-up prior to having her teeth cleaned (I'm thinking that plane ride should be super good for her heart, right?). So my first order of business upon getting to LA (aside from dropping my cats off in an empty house) will be to find a feline cardiologist. Seriously.
Let's see...lying, abandoning, torturing...what a good kitty mommy I am. I'm grateful cats' brains are the size of cheerios because if they truly had the capability of existential musings, they'd need serious therapy.