Our cats were so happy when we got to the hotel yesterday. Well, okay, once Frankie and Floki decided to remove themselves from under the sofa, then they were happy.
We were happy too. Our trip was extremely unpleasant and way longer than Google predicted. I don’t want to do that ever again and yet, here we go for day two.
We went to bed relatively early last night, before 9:00, but because we were not able to shut the bedroom door, Chris spent the night bothering me. He bothered Rose too but his focus was on preventing me from sleeping.
I don’t know how many times I put Chris off the bed or pushed him to the foot of the bed where Frankie and Floki were quietly behaving. Each time he would stay away for some time between ten seconds and then minutes and then he would be back clawing, scratching, biting or lying on my head.
Not long after 3:00 a.m. Rose decided to get up because she couldn’t sleep. I was so tired I didn’t want to get up with her so she fed the cats hoping that would distract Chris. That worked for about two minutes and then he was back bothering me. After ten minutes I couldn’t take it any longer and put him off the bed ad tried to go back to sleep.
I then heard the sound of a cat digging in the litter box and my wife laughing. Of course I had to know what was so funny so she told me what Chris was doing so I had to turn to see for myself.
I should say that I bought a small, disposable litter box for the trip and then decided it was too small and bought a small non disposable litter box with a small bag of litter. Chris was in the bigger of the two boxes pushing all the litter out and the trying to scoop litter into the box from the smaller box.
Now that I am up Chris decided to take a nap next to me. Why couldn’t he do that last night.
We rented a moving truck yesterday and I spent about four hours loading it. When I was mostly done we went back to the U-Haul place and got the car carrier. They quasi helped us but said we had to do it so they couldn’t be sued.
This morning we got up at five but had so much to do that we were not ready to go until 7:45. We put Chris and Floki together on the bottom and Frankie by himself on the top and then strapped them in.
As soon as we started Floki started screaming and Frankie was just wide-eyed and shaking. Chris was the only calm one although he did claw at me occasionally.
It is now 8:35 and Floki just stopped crying and has settled in. Frankie turned around and has calmed down too. The only issue now is that this truck feels like a bounce house but without the fun.
Since I am taking a break from volunteering due to our pending move, I thought I would share some memories from the shelter. Here are three kittens. I do not know if they are siblings. They probably are but sometimes more than one litter is put in the same pod.
These photos were taken six weeks ago so I am sure they have homes by now. If you want to see cute cats and kittens like these on a regular basis, I would recommend volunteering at a shelter. Sometimes all they need is someone to pay attention to the animals there. Bring a coffee with you and it would be like going to a cat café for free.
We were hit by Tropical Storm Eta yesterday evening. I once heard that there is an old Indian legend that says there is something under the ground in the Pinellas County, Florida area that repels hurricanes. Indeed, we have never had a direct hit by a hurricane but maybe a tropical storm doesn’t qualify. I’m not sure where the center of the storm hit but I know it was north of us, perhaps in the next county, preserving the legend. In either case, it was pretty windy for a long time.
We have a a large oak tree next to our house and I think the wind was causing branches to fall on our roof so every couple of minutes we would hear a loud bang. Frankie and Floki were not exactly scared but the noise did seem to cause them concern.
Chris, on the other hand, was sleeping in the Florida room, totally oblivious to the noise. I wanted to get a photo of him napping but I made the mistake of turning the light on and woke him up
We decided to go to bed at around 10 p.m. That is when our power went out. Rose insisted we leave the bedroom door open for air circulation even though Chris is a pain in the butt.
He was actually not too bad at first but then fighting off his attacks became too much and I had to put him down off the bed. He, of course, didn’t stay down and by 1 a.m. I couldn’t take it anymore.
I got up and got the power inverter that I bought for last year’s hurricane season and plugged in one of my Ryobi 40 volt batteries. I then plugged in a fan and brought it into the bedroom and closed the cats out.
That worked good but by 4 a.m. the battery had died and we were both uncomfortably hot so I plugged in my other battery but by then we couldn’t go back to sleep.
We got up and I tried making coffee but it was too much for the battery so I ended up going to Dunkin Donuts for coffee after they opened.
We are now in the car heading to Lakeland where Rose has a property that she oversees. I assume our power will be back by the time we return but just in case I brought my batteries with to charge.
Update: I was wrong and the storm did not make landfall near me. It looks like it moved north along the coast and then made landfall 100 miles away as the state curves to the west.
Everything is progressing in the process of us purchasing a home in West Virginia although I won’t say it’s going smoothly. It seems every other day they want a new piece of paperwork that proves one thing or disproves something else. The most recent request is something we gave them weeks ago but they are too lazy or incompetent to look through what they have. Because of that, they delayed the closing by five days but we are still on schedule to head up there as planned on the first Saturday of November.
As mentioned in a previous post, I bought two cat crates, put the big crate together, and several days later I assembled the smaller crate. I left them in the house with the hopes that the cats would get used to them. It worked. I put the small crate on top of the big crate and I have seen Chris napping in both.
He especially likes the smaller one for some reason.
Frankie and Floki are more likely to be seen near or on top of the crates.
We also wanted them to have water during the trip but a water bowl is not possible so I bought a couple of water bottles like you would have for a gerbil. I have read that cats will drink from a water bottle but, of course, they probably have to learn what a water bottle is first. I put water in one of them and put it in the smaller crate. I turned the nozzle forward so that nobody will lose an eye during a hard brake. I don’t think anyone has noticed it is there yet.
We have been packing for the move but are only taking some things because we plan on coming back to Florida. Even so, it seems like a full move. Wednesday I took the bed apart in our spare bedroom because we are taking that bed and because we needed room for boxes. When I did, Frankie jumped on top of the mattress and Chris was clawing at it like he wanted to get up there with Frankie but couldn’t.
I felt bad because when Chris was young and slim he could get onto places that our other cats wouldn’t attempt (I will post some examples at the end of this post). Rose suggested I build him “stairs” and I thought that was a great idea so I did.
Once Chris realized he had a way up he wasted no time getting on top of the mattress. I think he even took a nap up there.
Of course, Floki also discovered that laying on a flipped up mattress was pretty cool.
I am not looking forward to a two-day drive in a moving truck with cats between us while towing a car. We then have to inspect the house when we get there before letting the cats out because we have never seen it in person and need to make sure there isn’t anywhere a cat might get stuck or get out. I think we could use all the luck we can get.
Here are some posts from Chris’s prime when he could jump.
I took Frankie for a walk Thursday but this time he took me on a different route. He doesn’t always go the same way but he usually heads out away from the front of the house. This time we walked around the corner and went behind the house.
By the time we reached the second street I noticed a cat just past the house on the corner. He was looking at Frankie and Frankie, I thought, was looking at him. I was expecting trouble but nothing happened. Frankie just continued on. Perhaps Frankie’s eyesight isn’t so good. I don’t know.
So we continued another block or so and when it became clear that Frankie was just going to continue to walk in a straight line away from home I decided to turn him around. I have tested him in the past to see how far he will go and it never ends well. I always end up carrying him home way farther than I want to.
I picked Frankie up and started walking back toward home. I knew he would struggle but that was okay because I just wanted to turn him around, not end his time outside. By the time we got back to the street that the cat was on Frankie started struggling so I put him down. That is when he really noticed the cat and started walking toward him. There was no growling or hissing so I thought maybe It would be a friendly encounter but that was like thinking I might win the lottery without buying a ticket.
When Frankie got closer both cats started making a loud yowling sound. This cat had a collar so he wasn’t a stray. I quickly snapped a photo and then picked Frankie up and carried him home.
He fought me all the way but I thought he was too agitated to continue a walk so I held on until we got home. I will have to see on our next walk if he remembers and heads that way again.
I did a DNA test recently and I was almost certain it would come back 100% Nomad but apparently they don’t test for that. I counted all the homes I have lived in throughout my 57 years and ran out of fingers and toes. 22 was the number I came up with and that is assuming I didn’t miss one or two. Well, soon that number will be 23.
We currently live in a 55+ mobile home community in Florida where we own our home but pay lot rent. That rent goes up every year faster than inflation. Our original plan was to buy a motor home when we retire and travel in the summer but we needed a home base that wouldn’t cost so much while we were away. We spent a lot of time looking around here but it is almost impossible to find anything but a fixer upper or a tiny home with one bathroom for less than $200,000. Condos are an option too but with their high maintenance fees they are not much better than what we are paying now.
Enter option number two. A couple of years ago I went with Rose on one of her business trips to West Virginia and Virginia. At the time she was managing an apartment complex in each of those states. I was most impressed with the town that the West Virginia property was in. It is a small town on the Ohio River of about 3500 people or so and it just seemed like a nice change of pace. We currently live in the most densely populated county in Florida and driving places can be a real drag sometimes.
We stayed at a bed and breakfast and the owners there mentioned that the house across the street was for sale. They said it would probably sell for about $40,000. The place was about as big as the bed and breakfast and Rose and I figured it would probably take another $40,000 to restore it, still an excellent deal. While the idea of buying a home there intriged us, we were not ready for that commitment.
Two years later Rose comes across a Five-bedroom, three-bath, 3000 square foot home for $159,000. The home is not only in good condition but it has a separate two-car garage that has an apartment above it that we can rent. It is also 120 years old and is on the National Historic Registry.
I always assumed we would downsize when we retire. We even talked about living on a boat in the winter and then living in a motorhome in the summer. This house is the exact opposite of what I imagined but I think we will really like it there. The photos below were taken from the Realtor.com website. We have not seen the house in person.
I think the cats will have a great time exploring this house but I may have a hard time getting an accurate cat count.
I was hoping to get a home with a fenced yard where we could let the cats out but this fence probably is too short to be useful. Still, I could probably figure something out so that they can enjoy the outside. Maybe we could screen in this patio for starters.
Of course, this won’t be a done deal for a couple of weeks and anything can happen before then but so far, everything seems good. For now we will be going back and forth between our two homes and eventually we will sell the Florida home.
My biggest problem has been figuring out how to best transport the cats. My original plan was to rent a cargo van and put a cat playpen in the back. (Note: I am using Amazon links so you can see what I am talking about. I am not recommending anything but I will get a small commission if you buy something). I thought I could put the three cats in the pen with a small litter box and some water and maybe food. Then we could pack the rest of the van with supplies. I didn’t think we needed to bring anything big since it would be easier to buy everything there. I also thought we could rent a car carrier and tow Rose’s car. That idea was shot down when I could barely find van rentals that were one-way and none had a towing option. In addition, the vans that were one-way had a $350 drop off fee that doubled the price.
My second option was to buy a hitch for Rose’s car and rent a trailer. I would then have to put the cats in the back seat of her two-door car which wouldn’t be easy. I thought I could find one big carrier that covered the entire back seat but no such luck. Then I found out that her sister was giving her a sofa and loveseat which meant we had to rent a truck and since we were renting a truck Rose decided to bring the bed in the spare bedroom and she also bought the mermaid dresser from the last post.
I dreaded the idea of renting the truck because we would then have to put the cats in the front seat between us for the fourteen-hour drive which would probably be sixteen hours in a truck. We decided it was too long and will split the trip in two and stay at a hotel in South Carolina.
I went to a local U-Haul location and measured the space in between the seats. I then ordered two pet crates. One crate is 18×24 inches and the other is 13 x 22 inches. I could have ordered two of the larger crates but then I would have a problem getting them both in Rose’s car on the way home. My plan is to seatbelt the larger crate between the seats and then attach the smaller crate above it. I will put Chris with Floki and Frankie by himself to minimize fighting.
The larger crate arrived last week and the cats, or at least Frankie and Floki, were very curious about it. Chris must have been napping.
I wish I could give them a bigger space but we just don’t have the room. It is the trip with the cats that I dread the most. I think, perhaps, it is because I fear the unknown. What happens if there is an accident or we break down? What if one of them escapes the hotel? I’ve never been a Boyscout but I like to be prepared.
I wrote their names on the front and my phone number on the back. The Tile has a range of about 200 feet and you can find it using an app on your phone. There is one that has twice the range but it is also twice as heavy. The nice thing is if anyone else with a Tile app comes within range of your tile the location will be recorded for you. It is not perfect but it is an added piece of mind. We also have all the cats microchipped as well so that will help too.
So I think I am as prepared as I can be but I would welcome any suggestions and a little luck too.
My wife is into mermaids and saw a dresser on Offer Up that she had to have. We went by the store after my grandson’s first birthday party on Saturday but we were too late. Someone had bought it but had not yet picked it up. After a phone call or two, the buyer agreed to take a different dresser so we were free to buy the mermaid one. Rose paid for it but we had to go home and get my car to pick it up.
I went back without Rose and the store clerk removed the drawers and we carried it outside. I would have put the drawers back in before putting it in my car but she seemed not to want to do that. I assumed that she felt it would be too heavy with the extra weight so I respected that and we put it through the hatchback without the drawers. I had enough room for two drawers in the front seat so I brought it home three drawers shy.
Of course everyone had to investigate. Frankie went high and Chris went low. I put the center drawer in but Chris was lying where the bottom drawer went so I left that out and went to get the other drawers. While I was gone Rose took a photo of all three of the cats on, or in, the dresser.
Here is what it looks like put together. I guess the middle drawer was not the middle drawer. You can also see I wasn’t lying about Rose being into mermaids.
On another note, I have a vet appointment for Frankie this morning to get him microchipped. I suppose, just like with Floki, I will be forced to pay for an examination too since he has never been to that vet and because they can’t make a decent profit on a microchip.
There is a reason Rose bought this dresser and I want all the cats microchipped. I will talk about that soon on another post.