Our cats are practicing social distancing while napping. I’m not sure what brought this on. Perhaps they are watching too much news.
The weather has been pretty nice here lately so I opened one of the windows in the cats’ room. They can see fine with shut windows but having one open, even a crack, lets all the smells in. Opening it further would only risk someone pushing out the screen.
I missed a good picture of Frankie standing on the edge of the litter box so he could stick his nose out the window. Chris was napping in the living room and never noticed it.
Frankie was being quite the pest yesterday and Rose asked me to put some food down for the cats, but I knew it wasn’t food he was looking for. I put my shoes on and announced that I was going to take Frankie for a walk. As I was heading into the bedroom, Rose was hyping Frankie up by loudly saying, “Are you gonna go outside, Frankie? Are you gonna go outside?” This, of course, got Frankie all excited and he followed me into the bedroom, meowing up a storm. When I pulled the harness out of my drawer, he really got excited.
As soon as Frankie gets outside the excitement goes away and he becomes very focused. After taking time to smell the air we walked across the street and stopped to eat some grass, or whatever this is.
We then found a nice patch of ground to stretch out and get some sun.
Then a little shade was in order.
I stood there for a long time waiting for Frankie to decide what he wanted to do. To my surprise, he fell asleep.
I hated to wake him up but I couldn’t just stand there in the sun and wait for his nap to be over. I knelt down and very gently petted him. That woke him up and he hissed at me and scratched my hand, making it bleed in three places.
I then picked him up and brought him home. He had been out for about forty-five minutes and Chris was home waiting for his turn. Surprisingly, Frankie let me carry him home without giving me a hard time.
When we got home, I let Chris out and stayed with him. He decided to eat some grass as soon as he got outside.
He then spent some time in the sun.
After fifteen minutes I decided that I should go in and wash the cut on my hand. I picked Chris up and he decided to turn around as I was lifting him up. I think he planned on climbing onto my shoulders but he just ended up putting a gash in my stomach. Well, at least I was going in to clean one wound so what’s one more?
Someone bought my power tower yesterday which freed up space in our Florida room to really make it a cat room.
About the only things in the room now that is not for cats is my desk and Rose’s rocking chair, which Chris loves, so I guess it is it for cats too.
I took Frankie out for a walk on Wednesday because it was a beautiful day and because he was bothering me to go outside. It’s hard to resist Frankie when he follows me around the house meowing at me.
Shortly after we got outside the community housing salesperson stopped his golf cart to talk to me. I tried to hold Frankie back but he wanted to go, and you can’t hold a cat back like you can a dog. At least not Frankie, anyway. The harness I have has a flaw in the design that allows a cat to escape if he pulls backwards hard enough. Since the harness is so easy to put on, I don’t want to get rid of it so I just try to avoid those situations.
My plan was to pick up Frankie and hold him but that didn’t work so I thought if I put him on the golf cart seat he might stay for at least a minute or two but that made him even more nervous. It occurred to me later that maybe he thought I was giving him away. Since I couldn’t stand around and talk, I told him I would just talk to him later.
We continued on and when we got up near the pool Frankie decided to do some sunbathing. Perhaps he saw people at the pool doing this.
After a while I had to pick him up and bring him home. As usual, he was not happy about this, but it was Chris’s turn to go out.
Chris spent some time enjoying the sun and then, of course, he had to eat a little grass too. When it was time to go in, he got under my truck again but this time far enough to where I couldn’t reach him to pick him up.
This may seem like a Frankie trick but actually Chris invented this years ago.
Here is a photo from November 11, 2005, of Tigger, Alex, and Abbey looking out the front door. I do not remember what was going on at this time but I like to imagine someone is coming to the door and they are there to greet them.
During the two months that we were in West Virginia, I did not take Frankie for a walk one time, although he did escape once. Frankie was generally content with hanging out on the catio and didn’t bother me to go outside so I didn’t bother offering. I thought when we got back to Florida he might forget about going for a walk, but not so.
We spent a good part of Sunday unpacking. We started shortly after waking up that day and by about 10:30 that morning Frankie was following me around the house desperately meowing at me. I don’t exactly speak cat but I think I can understand Frankie pretty well. He acts like that when he wants to go outside and thinks there is a real chance it is going to happen. It is like when you say to your dog in an excited voice, “Do you want to go outside?” Of course, the dog will get excited and go around in circles. That is almost the same reaction I get from Frankie but sometimes I get it without saying anything. That’s when I know it’s time to drop what I’m doing and take him out.
He stayed relitively close for a while. He was busy smelling all the plants in the area.
After a while, he started gradually moving away from the house. When we got about eight houses away I decided that was far enough and picked him up and carried him about halfway back before he struggled his way out of my hands. I didn’t care as long as he was walking in the right direction. He spent a lot of time smelling a plant in front of someone’s house that I worried the owner would look out the window and see me standing there. They would probably assume I had a dog and was letting him poop in their yard so I dropped Frankie’s leash and backed away a little.
When Frankie finally did resume moving he walked behind the houses. When we approached our house I picked him up and put him inside. As per tradition, when Frankie comes in, Chris goes out.
I hung around with Chris for a while, watching him eat grass and relax on the cool concrete. After about ten minutes he was done and asked me to open the door for him.
It was a nice break but then I went back to unpacking for the next four hours.
We went to bed early on Friday night at the hotel. I looked at the clock when I turned out the light and it said 8:40. Rose fell asleep right away but it must have been too early for me because I just lied there trying to sleep but failing.
The clock said 9:40 the last time I looked before finally falling asleep. Not long after that Chris was on the bed making sure I was awake. He must have thought I had a concussion and spent the rest of the night making sure I didn’t get any sleep. Since it was a hotel room, I couldn’t put him out and close the door.
When I got up at 4:15, Chris decided his work was done and went to sleep. Rose commented on how great her sleep was that night. Grrrrrrrrrr.
We got on the road at about quarter after six and the gps on Rose’s iPhone put us on the highway going in the wrong direction. After about five minutes it figured out we were going in the wrong direction and told us to get off. I’ve had plenty of experience getting erroneous directions from the gps, especially in Germany where the navigation system seemed to delight in sending us in the wrong direction, that I just didn’t trust it.
It was still dark and I couldn’t tell east from west so I opened Google Maps on my phone but it could not get a gps signal so, after intense discussion, we decided to trust it and turned around. Fortunately, it was the right choice.
The rest of the trip went well. I called U-Haul when we were in Tampa to try to change the drop off location for our trailer. There is a gas station that deals in U-Hauls at the end of our neighborhood but when I picked it up that place wasn’t on his map. It took about thirty minutes to get through to someone but then they had to transfer me and hung up instead. Before that call, dealing with U-Haul had been a frustrating experience, except for when I picked it up, which was okay. After that call I felt like I would never rent from them again but they are pretty much a monopoly so what choice would I have?
We got home just before 3 p.m. I shut the cats in the Florida room with food, water and litter and opened their crates.
I then unloaded the truck and trailer in about one hour and forty five minutes. When I finished, Rose and I went to our designated drop off location. When we got there we could find no place to put the trailer and the office was closed. It was a used car lot that also handled U-Hauls and the small parking lot was jammed full of used cars and U-Hauls.
We ended up bringing the trailer back home and took Rose’s car out for mediteranian food for dinner. On the way I called U-Haul and requested a call back, which I got when I was in the restaurant. The guy on the phone said the location printed on my paperwork was not the location in his system. Big surprise there. He gave me the address of a major U-Haul location in Clearwater that was open until seven, so we raced home, got the truck, and made it there with five minutes to spare.
When we pulled in there was a sign that said “Drop Offs” so we pulled through and stopped. I got out and was met by a friendly man who immediately unhooked the trailer and said, “Ok, you’re all set.”
‘That’s it?” I said. “You don’t need my paperwork?”
“Nope,” he said. I just need to take a picture of the number and you’ll get a confirmation in your email.”
Okay, so maybe I will rent a U-Haul again, but only from that location.
Everyone seems happy to be home. The house is full of boxes now but they still seem perfectly comfortable, like we never left. They did, however, do a little exploring before settling down.
As I write this Saturday night, Frankie is napping in the dining room by the window and Chris is napping next to me on the bed. Floki was here next to Chris but he left.
Now we have to figure out what to do with all the stuff we brought back. Once we do, things should get back to normal pretty quickly.
We got up early Friday morning and did all the last minute things that needed to be done before we could leave. After feeding the cats and giving them enough time to use the litter boxes, I actually threw out two of our four litter boxes. The other two I cleaned the night before and put litter in one for the trip.
We brought the crates downstairs the night before and Chris and Floki actually got inside of one of them.
Chris was also lying in the crate the next morning while I was packing the truck and trailer. This time he was in the correct crate and Floki was nearby, which made Rose want to grab him and put him in with Chris before it was too late and he disappeared. I disagreed because I still had a lot to do and wanted them to have access to the litter box as long as possible.
When we decided to rent our house we had to bring a lot of stuff with us so we booked a 5×8 Uhaul trailer on Monday. By Wednesday it was clear that no Uhaul location within 45 minutes would have a 5×8 trailer so we had to go with a 6×12. Apparently, it is not just rental cars that are scarce.
I picked up the trailer on Wednesday and packed most of our stuff on Thursday. I think if I had two of everything I would have had room to spare.
While I was finishing loading the trailer Friday morning, Floki got nervous and went upstairs. I chose not to worry about it until I was finished but Rose went upstairs for something and saw Floki on the bed and grabbed him by the scruff and carried him down and put him in with Chris. She actually did this without getting all cut up.
We got the cats in the truck and were ready to go at around 6:45.
The cats were relatively quiet, at least compared to the trip last year. It took longer than expected but we got there around 2:40, which left us plenty of time to unwind.
The first thing the cats did when we got to the hotel room was explore and use the litter box.
Frankie was most interested in exploring.
Chris was more interested in relaxing next to me on the bed.
Although Frankie did settle down after a while.
Floki spent a lot of time out of my view. I don’t know what he was doing but I would see him briefly from time to time so he wasn’t napping.
We are now on the road again. It will certainly be nice when it is over and we are home.
By this time Friday morning, we will be preparing to get on the road back to Florida so the cats are enjoying the catio as much as possible while it lasts.
We made a major decision on Saturday morning. I was lucky enough to be allowed to take two months off of work but it did not go well for my boss. They guy that was supposed to replace me got Covid and never came to work. Then my boss got Covid too. It was a mess. Needless to say taking another two months off next year seems like too much to ask so we concluded we would not come back next year.
Since we are not coming back we decided to rent the house. Rose listed it Saturday morning and by that afternoon we had a potential tenant. We listed it as four bedrooms instead of five so we could use one room to store personal stuff we can’t bring home. We then bought a bunch of boxes and have been separating our stuff between going and not going. I scheduled a Uhaul trailer but it seems our going pile has become quite large. I hope it fits in the trailer and I also hope it fits in our house.
I think our boys are really going to miss this big house and especially the catio but I know they will not miss the back and fourth car trips.