I’m very scared for this world,
I’m very scared for me.
R.E.M., “You Are The Everything”
Trixie was increasingly on edge in the month prior to the move. When the movers arrived the day before, we kept her in the bathroom with her brothers while they packed up our belongings and loaded them on the truck. The next morning as I loaded up the cars, she sat beside the glass door watching me come and go. I was afraid she was going to try to get outside but she never did, it was her way of trying to relieve the stress. Brother Sam came up and laid down beside her and, in the shadow of her hero, she was able to find some solace. Scout used to do this for Sam, so it was heartwarming to see him return the favor and even gain some comfort himself from his young sister.
The movers arrived yesterday to deliver our things to our rental house and it amused me to see this scene play out again in the evening, with Sam curling up with Trixie as she slept in my office.
Today was my first day at the new job and while it went well, it was still a day where everything was unfamiliar and will be for a while. Even the simplest things like finding my desk again after going somewhere else was a daunting task and only accomplished after a few wrong turns. But it’s the kind of day, and will be the kind of week if not month, where you just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other with the knowledge that in time this too will become familiar.
And that applies to everything right now, the new city, the new state, the new region, the new climate, the new house. At least I understand the reason for the change and can look forward to the opportunity it brings, the pets aren’t so fortunate. Not surprisingly our dog Ellie has adapted the quickest, although with the warmer weather she has not been interested in long walks. She is loving having us all on one floor for once again she can sleep in the same room as us and follow us wherever we go in the house.
The cats have done well all things considered but the stress is easy to see when you know them as we do. My wife picked up this short cat tree / cat bed and all three have used it, Sam is in it here but Trixie has claimed it the most. It is during these times where you take advantage of every bit of trust that you’ve built up over the years to give them comfort as you can. Soon enough even for the little ones the unfamiliar will become familiar.
Until then, patience, patience, patience.
Today is the last day of our three day drive to Arizona, we should be in our rental house this evening. The pets have done far better than I expected but it’s clearly been stressful for them, particularly the cats. Both hotels have a 2 pet per room limit, so my wife and I have gotten separate rooms and split the pets, she’s had Ellie and Trixie while I’ve had Sam and Boo. The first night we stayed at the La Quinta in Reddng, CA, and enjoyed the hotel. Although the brothers fell asleep after the stress of a long car ride, Boo woke me up at 4 a.m. and kept mewing, so I tried to comfort him and keep him quiet. I’d get him settled when Sam started up and this continued for the next hour and a half. So I didn’t get the best night’s sleep but that was no fault of the hotel, and the next night we gave them a mild sedative in the evenings and I had a wonderful night’s sleep. The sedative has also kept their stress levels down during the car ride but still left them alert.
This is the last picture I took before leaving Portland, the three cats crated up, the last thing to be packed into the car. I love how Ellie snuck into the picture. I thought today was going to be more emotional than it was, leaving the house for the last time after 16 years, leaving Portland, leaving Oregon. Maybe it’s because the past month has been a slow-motion move, maybe it’s because I just want the move to be over with, maybe it’s because I’m more than ready to start my life anew in Arizona.