Tag Archives: travel

The Many Problems of Moving Cats Today


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.

Returning to Our Florida Home


The second leg of our trip back from West Virginia went pretty well except Floki cried almost the entire drive home. He would stop for brief respites and then start again. I half expected Chris to smack him and meow at him to be quiet.

We got home at about 1:00 in the afternoon. When we reached Tampa and were about a half hour from home we started joking about how surprised the cats were going to be when we put them in their old home.

30 seconds to home.

I never researched how good a cat’s memory is. I always imagined it to be similar to a human’s memory. I’d like to think that if I brought Chris back to the home we lived in when we adopted him more than eleven years ago he would remember it, or at least find it familiar.

I brought both crates inside and then opened the door. They were all so happy to be free and I could only imagine what they were thinking. What they did not do was go exploring. A new place requires exploring but this one was already known to them.

When we left for West Virginia I cleaned our three litter boxes and brought two of them with me. Before coming back I ordered from Amazon a replacement for each of the two boxes I took from there along with a couple of bags of litter. Our neighbor was kind enough to bring everything in the house for us so I was able to quickly get all the litter boxes filled with litter because I knew that would be needed right away. I wasn’t wrong about that.

One bad thing that happened in West Virginia was that Floki mostly stopped paying attention to Rose. Every morning Rose would sit on a stool at the side of the bed and check her email, Facebook, and I don’t know what else. During that time Floki would come to Rose and let her hold him for a while. While in West Virginia, he never did that. And to throw salt in the wound he would get on my lap right in front of her. The day we got home Floki let Rose pick him up and hold him again. I was very pleased to see that.

Another bad thing that happened up there was my toes almost fell off. Well, not literally, but it felt like they would. Even in Florida my hands and feet always seemed colder than they should be, but in West Virginia, there were times when I felt like I had frostbite on my toes. One evening, on Christmas Day or the day after, I spent quite a while standing in the kitchen. When we finally sat down to eat my toes on my right foot felt frozen and were throbbing with pain. When I took my socks off later I saw they were red and slightly swollen.

I looked up what might be the cause and the closest thing I could come up with was a condition called Chilblains which is defined by the Mayo Clinic as “painful inflammation of small blood vessels in your skin that occur in response to repeated exposure to cold but not freezing air.” One symptom I didn’t have was itching so I wasn’t sure. I also read it was common in very young and very old people. If I did have it, I reasoned, I must be too young.

A couple of days later it happened again so I went to the doctor and she wasn’t certain but agreed that Chilblains was probably what I had and I should go out of my way to keep my feet warm. I think we decided then that we would not be spending Christmas there anymore, even though all of our Christmas decorations are there now.

We have been home for almost two days now and the cats have gone back to their old routines like nothing ever happened. I, for one, am happy to be wearing shorts with no socks.