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.
The time is almost here for us to return to our home in West Virginia. We are planning to leave at the end of next month. We had thought that our second trip there would be much easier than the first but we were wrong. The first time we rented a truck and towed my wife’s car. That meant the trip up there had the cats stacked in the front seat between Rose and I. There was barely enough room for them and they not only impeded visibilty, they also encroached on my space which was a bit uncomfortable.
On the way back it was almost as bad. The cats’ crates barely fit into the back seat of my wife’s car and we had to put the top down to get them in and out. That created a dangerous situation if there was an emergency or an accident. Plus, Floki cried for hours back there, worse than he did in the truck.
Rose’s plan for this year was for me to trade in my car for a mini van or SUV. Then we would have plenty of room and also be able to tow a small trailer for all the stuff Rose has accumulated for the other house. I hated that idea because I love my car. The main problem with my car is it is electric and I get less than 100 miles on a charge. I figured I would wait until July to sell it.
When I started looking for a vehicle I discovered that a used vehicle that would be trustworthy enough to get us to West Virginia and back was a minimum of $20,000. Many were only slightly cheaper than a new vehicle. I thought about a new vehicle but I just didn’t want to spend that much for a new, or used, vehicle that we really only needed about four days a year.
I also considered renting a van that would be capable of towing a car but nobody will rent a van like that for anything but local travel. The only vehicles capable of towing a car or anything else are moving trucks and no moving truck has a back seat so we would have the same problem as we did before trying to fit the cats in the front seat.
We then considered putting a hitch on Rose’s car and pulling a small trailer. That would still leave us the problem of having to squeeze the cats in the backseat but at least she would be able to bring the stuff that she wanted to bring. Unfortunately, BMW says we can’t put a hitch on her car. We also can’t put a car top carrier on it because it’s a convertible. Even though it’s a hardtop convertible, that doesn’t matter.
Next we decided that we would just rent a large vehicle like a minivan or SUV. Rose would drive her car and I would follow with the cats in the rental car. Unfortunately, that was not an option either because of the problem that the rental car companies are having right now. Apparently, during the Covid lockdown, the rental car companies sold off a large portion of their inventory in order to pay the bills. Now that there is demand again for rental cars there isn’t enough cars. To make matters worse there are worldwide supply issues which are hampering the car maker’s ability to produce new cars. Because of that, rental car companies will not let you drop off a rental car in another state. It also explains why used car prices are so high.
So now we are putting most of the stuff that needs to go north into boxes for shipping. The larger items will have to wait until next year. I am looking forward to being at our other home but I am not looking forward to this trip.
It is now 6:30 on Saturday morning as I start this post. Ten minutes ago we left our home in West Virginia and ate heading back to our home in Florida. Getting to this point wasn’t easy.
I think what caused me the most stress was worrying about getting Floki in the crate before he ran under the bed. My idea was to feed them in the empty bedroom and then put them all in the crates when we finished everything we had to do.
I woke up at 3:00 this morning and couldn’t get back to sleep because I was worrying about carrying the crates down the stairs, especially the big one with Chris and Floki. I am sure the handle was not designed for that weight and I didn’t want to drop them down the stairs.
I also knew I had litter boxes to clean since we didn’t want to leave with old litter in the box. Actually, Rose didn’t want to do that. I cleaned two of the four boxes last night. I figured I would clean one this morning, which I did, but the last one would have to wait until the cats were in their crates.
Rose couldn’t sleep either so we got up at four and decided not to lock the cats in the bedroom. I fed them and spent the time preparing to close up the house and get stuff ready to go out to the car, including cleaning our giant litter pan.
I then started loading the car. There was way too much stuff for Rose’s little car and didn’t know how I was going to fit everything. I had the car more than half filled when Rose stuck her head out the door and said “We have a big problem.”
Since we had to put the top down to fit the crates in the back set she reminded me the trunk had to be empty to put the top down. Since it is a hard top it takes up room in the trunk when it’s down.
So I had to empty everything that was in the trunk. As I was doing that Rose informed me she caught Floki and put him in the crate. I went inside and helped get Chris, who we put with Floki, and the Frankie, when is flying solo. I then put the last litter box in a big garbage bag.
Rose put the top down and I put the cats in the car. I then loaded the trunk, which is as full as it can be, took out the trash, double checked the house and left.
Forty five minutes has gone by since I started writing and Floki is still crying. Wish us luck.
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.
We were supposed to close on our new home yesterday but at 6 p.m. the evening before, while we were out at dinner with my son and his girlfriend, my wife got a message saying they need paperwork from ten years ago. It is unbelievable how they can tell us everything is good to go and then suddenly need something at the last minute. We went home and looked but we didn’t have it. I thought it was super minor but it was enough for the loan to not go through. Why didn’t they know this before we paid $1000 for a survey and termite treatment? We also now have the power in our name for a house we don’t own,
So now we are starting over with another loan and the closing was pushed back two weeks. Or would that be pushed forward? Our house is upside down right now and our refrigerator is bare but we have to carry on like this for two more weeks. At least the cats don’t mind.
We have friends in Virginia that are planning to give us their dining room set. It is something they got from us many moves ago and now it is coming full circle. They had planned on coming to visit us on the 21st which puts us in a time crunch. We now have to rent the truck on closing day and be on the road on Thursday the 19th. If the house doesn’t close I will have a truck loaded with stuff and nowhere to go. Wish us luck.
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 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.
We made it through another move and we still have three cats. The bad news is that they are stuck inside without a catio.
The time leading up to the move went well for the cats. I thought they would be more stressed but they seemed to enjoy investigating all the changes.
Floki was not as bold but he was less nervous than I expected. I did feel bad for Frankie’s new favorite spot because I brought boxes to the new house during the week before the move and Frankie’s basket had to be lowered until there was nowhere to put it.
The movers were here at 8:00 a.m a week ago on Saturday. We moved most everything out of the catio and then put the cats out there while the movers emptied the house.
When they finished Rose took Floki in her car and I took Chris and Frankie in my car. I put Chris in front because his carrier was the biggest and put Frankie in the back seat.
Frankie was good but Chris was much more of a whiney baby than I expected. He cried practically the entire twenty-minute car ride. I posted a video below but Youtube rotated my video sideways with no option to rotate it back so it is what it is.
When we got to the house we had to keep them in one of the bedrooms until the movers finished and then we let them out to explore the house. Chris and Frankie were excited and explored everywhere while Floki hung out under the bed. You can see a brief glimpse of Floki at around the four-minute mark.
The new home has a Florida room with big windows that let in more sunlight than our last home, which had awnings that kept much of the sun out. As you probably know, cats love lying in the sunbeam.
Of course, it not always sunny in the Sunshine State.
My wife thought it would be a good idea to put curtains up but I thought it would ruin the view. She said they were sheer curtains and they were transparent so it would be no different than looking through the window without curtains. I said, “of course there is a difference.” If there was no difference than why are we wasting time and money putting them up? I didn’t actually say the last part.
I did open the curtains in the corner just to be a rebel.
That’s it for now. I’m sure I will have more stories to tell as we continue to unpack and settle in.
I think I inherited a nomadic gene. We are moving again and this will be my twenty-first home in my lifetime. Since 2007 it will be our seventh home and since adopting Chris late in 2009 it will be our sixth home. Chris is an old pro at moving but Frankie has only moved once and Floki has not yet gone through a move.
So far, everyone is fine. I think Frankie is actually enjoying the disruption.
Floki is also enjoying the moving boxes.
Chris is happy when I open a drawer to pack its contents.
Frankie is the most excited by the growing pile of boxes. Rose set a basket down temporarily until Frankie found it.
Now it is his favorite spot. We removed the uncomfortable pieces and now have it as a “crow’s nest” for Frankie to oversee the operation.
The reason we are moving is that we need a bigger place. We have been downsizing for several moves and now it is time to upsize. Unknown to me at the time, we bought a house that wasn’t prewashed and it has shrunk. It is no longer able to house all my wife’s clothes.
In addition to having more room, we are moving to a better location. My wife and I spend a lot of time at the beach, either at the beach itself or at one of the many great restaurants on the barrier islands. This home will put us closer to our favorite activities.
The bad news is that we are losing the catio. This will not be welcome news to the cats. Worse, the pet restrictions at the new place are more strict than here so taking Frankie for a walk and letting Chris out to eat grass could be difficult. We will try to figure out a way to add a catio to the new place but the side door is too close to the front so enclosing it will cause our driveway to be too small for two cars. Hopefully, we will figure something out.
Last Saturday we moved to a new home… again. I am really starting to feel like a Nomad with as many times as we have moved lately. We’ve moved six times in less than eight years and Chris has now lived in five homes in the five and a half years that he has been with us.
I loved the last place we lived. It had a great screened patio for the cats, a nice big back yard for the cat’s weekly outing, great neighbors and a nice view of the marina. It also came with a hefty price tag and now that we have a car payment we decided to find a place that would free up money for things like vacations and cat food.
Since Rose is turning 55 this year, she decided she wanted to check out 55+ communities. I had noticed in the past that the best deals seemed to be in those neighborhoods so I included those in my search. We ended up finding an incredible deal on a partially renovated mobile home in a well-kept 55+ community that is about six miles from our old home and is also closer to work for both of us. We paid cash for it and the lot rent is about 40% of what we were paying. That means I won’t have to feel guilty every time I fork over $39 for twelve days worth of wet food. I won’t even talk about the dry food and litter.
We packed for two weeks and the cats didn’t really notice at first but after the first week we started bringing stuff over to the new house. When our house became emptier with each passing day the cats seemed a little on edge. When I say cats, I mean mostly Puck, but Chris and Frankie were also affected. I think those two just became more needy for attention.
By moving day it was obvious something was up. The house was half empty and we had the beds leaning against the wall.
We moved most of our stuff ourselves but saved the big stuff for a moving company. That morning had brought a load of stuff to the new and when we returned I loaded the rest of the small stuff in the truck and waited for the movers.They showed up just before noon and when they arrived we closed the cats in our bedroom with a litter box, food and water.
It took them about thirty minutes and then we opened the bedroom door and left to follow the movers to the new place, When everything was unloaded, I went back alone to get the cats.
When I arrived there was not a cat in site. Before we left I saw Puck squeeze between the mattress and box-spring that was leaning against the wall. His favorite hiding place was inside the box-spring so he managed to find his way in there, despite the challenges. Apparently Chris and Frankie liked that idea so they joined him. I had to tear off some of the lining to get them out.
I first put Puck in the large carrier and then quickly grabbed Chris and put him in there too. I then put Frankie in the smaller carrier. Surprisingly, it was easier than I had expected.
I put Chris and Puck next to me in the front seat and Frankie in the middle of the back seat where I could see him. They didn’t seem too stressed and made very little noise. Even so, I wanted to get them there as soon as possible.
About a mile or so from my destination I was stopped by the longest funeral procession I had ever seen. It was also the slowest due to the coffin being pulled by horse and buggy.
I was concerned someone would start to get agitated but they were all good.
When we got to the new place, Chris and Frankie went exploring and Puck just hid in the carrier for a while and then left to find a better hiding place. I took a video with my phone when I set them loose but after two minutes the battery died and the video was lost. I quickly got my other camera and was able to capture a bit of the investigation.
Puck spent the next couple of days in and out of hiding and even Frankie hid under the bed with him at times. They also have not eaten much of their wet food and I threw away most of what I had given them these last few days. Chris never eats much of the wet food anyway and I don’t think this move has affected him much. Frankie seems mostly comfortable here but he is still surprisingly skittish when someone comes in the door. Puck spend much of his time under the bed but when he is out he seems fine.
There are other things I want to mention but I will save them for another post.