Moving With Cats (or why has our whole world come crashing down around us?)

Today I’m going to use a few drawings to illustrate what it was like moving across the country with our three cats. Because my rendering of said cats will simultaneously make it appear that they all look the same, yet always a little different, I’ve gone ahead and given each cat its own identifier:

MoJo – He is the gray male cat. You will recognize him because he is wearing a top hat and his collar says, “Boy.”

Olive – She is the chubbier of the two female cats. You will be able to identify her by her round torso.

Lindie – She is the other female cat and is often considered my favorite. Shh. Don’t tell the others. She will have little hearts floating around her at all times to signify her status as the favorite.Cats

Okay, so now to the story. We began our preparation for the big move like any family would. For months we talked about all the things that needed to be done, created lists, and packing strategies. We then spent the final week essentially dumping the contents of all our drawers into boxes.

This was also the cats’ favorite part of the move. There were boxes to hide in. Human trinkets littered the floor and morphed into playthings to be batted under the couch.

Cats and boxes

Little did they know, all the trinkets would soon be in the boxes and they’d be left with a single blanket on the floor for them all to share.

empty house

They spent a lot of time fighting for the blanket and staring wide-eyed at the empty house.

At this point they thought they’d experienced the worst of it. But then their worst fears were realized: the rise of the carriers.

cats hate carriers

MoJo and Olive were placed side by side in the back seat. Lindie’s carrier was placed on top of Olive’s. Like this, but not really:

moving with cats

The one in the top hat wailed like a wounded child for about an hour and then they were silent. I assume this is because they were communicating telepathically.

traveling with cats

Once we arrived at the hotel, we let them explore their new world. See, kitties, it’s like an adventure. People travel to new and different places all the time. They actually do it for fun. Give it a try…

cats in hotel

cats in hotel

After two more days of driving, we arrived at our new abode. We set the kitties loose again, but this time the experience was much different.

cats in new home

And then a few months later…

cats in new home

was it just a dream


And a NaNoWriMo word count update: 21,586 words written so far! Not too bad for a lifelong procrastinator 🙂

42 thoughts on “Moving With Cats (or why has our whole world come crashing down around us?)

      • April says:

        Oh, we did it. From Washington State to Georgia–4 cats, two large dogs, and two teenage boys. Thankfully, our daughter stayed behind and flew to Georgia later. We also had a travel trailer, so at least we didn’t have to deal with annoying the neighbors–especially any noise coming from the dogs.

        • jennifer Windram says:

          Wow. That must have been quite the ordeal. Yeah, the hotel was weird, everyone was staring at our carriers and I worried the cats would wail all night keeping the neighbors up, but they were actually pretty good considering.

    • jennifer Windram says:

      And then if we move back in August, will they remember? Will they be like, oh yeah, I remember this place? I used to stalk birds from that window right there, and cough up fur balls over there. Hmmm…. Maybe I can get funding for some sort of very scientific study…

  1. Marcy says:

    I was smiling throughout the entire post. I can identify with the round pudgy one–as long as there is food….I think you simply MUST return in August to see what the cats do, if for no other reason!

  2. suzjones says:

    Bwahahaha. My son and daughter in law just moved over 1000 miles with two cats – Jason and Nulla. He posted regular packing updates on FB entitled “Packing with Jason #xxx”. Then came the move. He bought a double carrier but still needed to sedate them for the trip. The cats were in the truck (up front – not in back with the furniture) because there was no room for them in the car. Apparently it became quite cosy for the guys in the truck. lol
    They lived in the garage for a week after the move but are now doing their best to claim ownership of their new home. 😉

    • jennifer Windram says:

      Oh, I bet those FB posts were funny. Cats are so sensitive to any bit of change. Mine have pretty much settled in here, but I think they liked their old house better – they were allowed to go outside there, but not here.

      • suzjones says:

        Yes, at this new house they aren’t allowed in any of the other rooms apart from the main bedroom and living areas. At the old house, they had free run. And they aren’t allowed outside here either because there is more birds and frogs than at their old home.

    • jennifer Windram says:

      Yes, working on something creative other than writing was a nice break! And now I better return to writing. I’m not as fast as some of the other NaNo people are, so it can take me a few hours each day to crank out enough words…

  3. Celine Jeanjean says:

    Haha that sounds like our move with the cats. Except that on arrival they were pretty scared by the change (our cats aren’t very brave), also possibly because there were towers of cardboard boxes everywhere. They spent the first week or so darting around the place staying as close to the ground as they could, looking all around at everything suspiciously. Actually it was pretty funny. Dreading the day we have to move with the two cats and the dog though. That’s going to be a handful!

    Good work on NaNo, I’m a little behind you, but hoping that after a good day today I’ll have almost caught up with you. I’m ‘cheating’ though and going back to edit as I go. so although I’ve written quite a lot it doesn’t translate to more words to the manuscript total. I’m sure the NaNo gods forgive me though….. 😉

    • jennifer Windram says:

      I can totally picture them crouched on the ground. It’s always funny when mine do that. It’s like if they get low enough they will almost absorb into the floor an no one will know they are there 🙂

      I have good NaNo days and bad days, where I’ve done nothing. I’ve been trying not to go back and edit because I know that will slow me down. But it’s hard, especially when I realize something I’ve already written now needs to be changed based on where the story is going. Ugh. Just trying to take it one day at a time…

      • Celine Jeanjean says:

        Oh you’re strong! I’m going back and editing. I just couldn’t go on without doing it, I was obsessing over all that was wrong behind me in the story, it was driving me to distraction. But my editing largely involves padding / fleshing the story out so I’m still adding words which is good.

        Fingers crossed we both cross that finish line at the end of the month!

    • jennifer Windram says:

      Thanks! Yes, slinking is a good word. They get as low as they can so you can’t see them. I’m not sure about whether they enjoyed looking out the windows. I think it frightened them more than anything 🙂

      • M. C. Dulac says:

        It’s funny how dogs love moving vehicles but cats get worried.

        Cats do seem to like being on ships (or that’s what I thought because of all those tales of ship’s cats catching mice). You’ll have to return by sea 😉

  4. Katie Jane says:

    I always check in on your blog and wait for new posts, but have never seen your cartoons before! luv them! I think more so than your hilariously captioned photos that always cracked me up! This was a great way for me to start the weekend:)

  5. Carla Lorens says:

    I am in love with this article! You write in such an attractive way! I am going to move to a new house with my cat and I hope that she will like her new home. I am going to have a yard and she will appreciate it for sure! Thank you again for sharing!

    • Jennifer Windram says:

      Thanks, Carla! The moving part wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. They didn’t really eat much or use the bathroom much. The worst was the crying in the hotel room because I was worried it might cause someone to complain. Yes, my cats love having the yard. We haven’t been letting them out here and they are going nuts. I keep promising them, just a couple of more months and then they’ll be able to go outside again. I’m not sure they believe me 🙂

  6. Lena Renwick says:

    Hello, everyone! Please help me! I am moving to Australia with my five-year-old cat George! He loves his home and I am sure that he won’t be very happy when I make him move to a completely different place. I don’t know what exactly to do in order to make him feel comfortable in the new apartment. I will buy a special new bed for him and I hope that this will please him to some extent.

  7. Lisa says:

    So totally late to the party, but had to share even if no one would see it. I’ve moved my cats a couple of times and it’s always an adventure, but the best one was were i thought that one of the cats had gotten out of the house in all the chaos of moving things spent a couple of hours trying to find him finally decided to move the stuff over to the new house and come back after hoping that the with the lack of activity he would come out… The last thing we moved into the new apartment was the couch and as we are getting it up the stairs my friend who was helping all of the sudden says… I know where the cat is… My cat was inside the couch. Never made a beep the whole time…

    • Jennifer Windram says:

      That’s a great story. Cat’s always find great hiding spots. We were certain one of ours got out the other day and it turns out she was under the bed – even though we looked under there at least five times, with a flashlight!

  8. Jennifer Gray says:

    Lovely article! I’m moving with my cat in few months,and I hope she’ll be fine with that. It’s our first big move together and traveling cross-country will be a big adventure for the two-year-old Shadow. Thank you for this article, it shows very important moments of the move and I hope I’ll handle with the all. Greets!

    • Jennifer Windram says:

      Thanks, Jennifer! Ours were pretty well behaved. We fed them the night before we left, then picked up their food and water before bed. We drove for about eleven hours each day and they were okay not using their litter boxes until we got to the hotel. I also made sure I had a small supply of pet supplies handy to take into the hotel room: a couple cans of food, their bowls, a plastic spoon to scoop out their food and of course one litter box. Good luck!

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