Shelter Me, My Brother, and Protect Me From All Harm

Our cats Sam and Trixie sleep side-by-side atop the cat tree in my office

Trixie has been a bit on edge lately as she knows something is up from all the sorting we’ve been doing the past couple of weeks. She’s always adored our eldest cat Sam and seeks him out to snuggle with him, but never as much as now. Seeing them like this reminds me of how much comfort Sam took from Scout when he was younger.

The Ball Game

Someone from the moving company came the other day to do a walk-through of our house. Ellie was eager to greet him, as is her wont, but then she got her orange ball and starting tossing it at me. She followed us around, trying unsuccessfully to get me to play, the entire time he was there. When we were finished, the moment he was out the door I turned to Ellie to play with the ball but she wouldn’t even put it in her mouth much less play with it.

You make me laugh, my pup, my heart and my joy.

How To Make Sure They Don’t Leave You Behind

Our cat Trixie sleeps in a duffel bag in front of packed belongings in preparation for our move

Don’t worry little Squeaks, we are going to great lengths to make sure you and your siblings join us in Arizona. My wife and I fly out on Thursday so we can meet with a realtor on Friday and Saturday to look for a rental house. We know it is going to be difficult to find a place that will take 3 cats and a dog, but we’ll do our best. If we find a place then we’ll move down before I start my new job, regardless of when our stuff can follow us down. I meet with the moving company later today so I might have a better feel then for when they can pack our things and get them started on their journey.


Our dog Ellie is curled up asleep in her dog bed

When my team got laid off at the start of November, one nice thing the company did was set us up with another company that gives advice to people in our position in starting the job search and updating resumes and online profiles. They gave a lot of good advice which genuinely helped on the job search, but one piece of advice I deliberately didn’t take, even though I think it is a good idea, is to treat the job search like a job and take the weekends off to recuperate. I didn’t do it because I was looking at different industries and different cities and had a lot of research to do. I don’t regret it, pursuing even the long shots as long as they interested me is how I got the job I accepted. But there’s also no question it left me mentally worn out.

And physically worn out as well, the past four months I’ve a hard time getting back to sleep once I wake up in the morning. In the early days it was because the reality of what happened would hit me after being blissfully unaware of it while sleeping, then it was because I started thinking about everything that needed to be done that day while I was searching for a job, and now I think about everything that needs to be done as we prepare for our move. For all that, once I accepted the job my mood became much more upbeat as I’m excited about both the new job and the new place where we’ll be living. This afternoon I even felt a strange sense of euphoria about it, despite so much being unsettled and how much needs to be done before I start. I suppose it’s a mix of being over-tired and legitimately excited about the new adventure we’re about to undertake.

The pup, though, she’s still sleeping like a champ. I prefer when she sleeps in one of her beds as, if she starts running in her sleep, it keeps her leg kicks from getting too violent. In her younger years they were adorable little leg kicks but these days, either from old age or side effects of medicines, she can get into a full-on gallup. Perhaps it led to her injuring herself a couple of weeks ago, but we’ll never know.

The Pup is Up

Snow falls around our dog Ellie as she stands in the snow in our front yard

Ellie wasn’t feeling well, whether from injury or illness we still don’t know, when the snow fell right before my trip to Arizona. She did go out for a short walk that morning and got to experience the snow, even if she wasn’t up for her normal morning walk, and at one point did surprise me by rolling around for a moment in the snow. For a while there she appeared to be in some discomfort and was having trouble with stairs, and on top of that her appetite was off. She’s been on the mend since, yesterday she was up for a long walk and this morning even wanted to go for an hour and a half, which is about as long as she’s ever wanted (although we don’t go as far as we used to as age has slowed her down). Her appetite is back as well, we’ll see if it holds.

Between her kidneys and her heart and other age-related ailments, the vet was pleasantly surprised she’s been as stable as she’s been, so we’re keeping on her current medicine levels. The past few weeks show how fragile that healthy balance is on a dog this old, and I hate that soon we’re going to make her go on a three day car ride to her new home, but there are no better alternatives. Her health isn’t good enough for flying, and besides we know from long experience that she just wants to be with us, even to her own discomfort. I think she’ll do OK now that she’s walking better, our little Subarus aren’t the easiest for her to get in and out of but she should be better on the ramp now. It’s the cats that worry me the most on the car ride but hopefully in a month they (and we) will be adjusting to their new home.