We’ve been in Seattle three weeks now. I can hardly believe it!
As you know, Seattle’s my hometown, and Jason got a new job that brought us here. It’s been quite the change for Bruno and Carlo, who now look out on grass, trees and woodland creatures, instead of the Chicago skyline from 25 floors up!
But let’s back it up a few weeks, shall we?
The kitty boys and I flew into Seattle on a Monday night. As you may have seen, we had a heck of a time with Southwest - after purchasing two seats over the phone (from someone at Southwest who knew I’d be flying alone with two cats) and two pet fees when we arrived at Southwest’s curbside check-in, we boarded the plane. It was then I was informed that I was only allowed to fly with one pet, and I’d need to get off the plane. Needless to say, that didn’t happen, but I won’t be flying Southwest again anytime soon.
My parents picked us up from the airport and drove us to our new home. The plan was that I’d keep the boys in the master bedroom for about 36 hours/until we’d unpacked the U-Haul, which Jason was arriving with the next night. This way, we could get everything unpacked, and the boys could get used to all the new smells, etc. before exploring the rest of the new home.
I shipped the following (mostly from Amazon), which my Mom kindly set up for us in the master bedroom before we arrived (thanks, Mom!!!):
I traveled with their food, treats, and some clean litter from their old box. Along with that, I packed as many soft items (blankets, coats, etc.) that had our old home’s smell on them as possible, to drape around the bedroom as soon as we arrived!
We pulled into the driveway, and I dashed into the house to quickly unpack a few things before we brought the boys came in.
“Welcome to your new house!!!!” I announced, as soon as we opened their carriers in the bedroom.
They drowsily sniffed around for about 5 minutes. It was a wonderful 5 minutes.
And then, the begging began.
MEOWING and standing and BEGGING at the bedroom door, to be let out into the house.
Despite my best attempts – these boys were no fools.
I lasted maybe 10 minutes or so before caving, and slipped out to distribute litter boxes and blankets throughout the house, to spread that ‘familiar smell’ around. Once I let them out, they calmly explored throughout the night, snoozing off and on and making themselves comfortable.
“Wow”, I thought. “I am GOOD”.
(Don’t worry, that feeling didn’t last long).
The next night when Jason arrived, I shut the boys back into the master bedroom while we unpacked the U-Haul.
As unpacking tends to go – by the time we’d finished bringing everything in, the house was a MESS.
And Bruno and Carlo were HOWLING upstairs to be let out.
So, we let ‘em out. And then next morning, we started unpacking the boxes.
It was then that Carlo started to get confused.
As I once said – Bruno’s tough, Carlo’s sweet. Bruno’s smart, Carlo’s … sweet.
It was my own dang fault that amidst the chaos of unpacking, the boys’ things continued to get moved around … including their litter boxes.
That morning, Carlo walked right over to our new Ruggable rug (ironically/thankfully machine washable), and popped a squat. Just pee, thankfully.
The rug went right into the wash, and the boys went right back into the master bedroom, where they peacefully slept all day until all the major items had been set up, and we let them back out.
If I had to do it over? I’m not sure exactly what I’d have done differently, aside from NOT MOVING THEIR LITTER BOXES.
Maybe I’d have tried to at least keep them upstairs until everything was unpacked? Keeping them contained for 36 hours in a bedroom certainly wasn’t gonna happen. Making sure we had lots of items with old smells on them strewn about was definitely a win, though.
In a perfect world, the boys wouldn’t have arrived at their new house until it was all set up. If you’re able to work that out when moving – more power to you. If not, I’d recommend making the environment as consistent/contained as possible until it’s time to go exploring. Good luck!
But ever since that first full day, they’ve been freaking superstars. We have about 400 more square feet than before, and two floors. This not only means lots more space to play and explore, but STAIRS! Bruno was hesitant at first (he’d just sit on either landing looking pissed until we carried him up or down #NotShocking), but now he treats it as any other mode of transportation ;)
The boys have also loved watching everything there is to see in our new backyard! Falling leaves (they’re mesmerized), hummingbirds, squirrels, and even other cats. We even have a fenced-in deck they get to explore! They seem much calmer and more content here so far. Maybe the feeling’s just contagious, because I am too :)