The Cats

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Honestly, the cats are the hardest. There are two – a lovely 13-year-old tabby named Mew (yes, from Pokemon) and one-year-old, coal black, Arya (always underfoot just like her namesake in Game of Thrones).  The cats have kept me sane for the last six months: listening to my frustrated tirades, and sitting in my lap at the end of the long days of packing and sorting and packing and pitching and packing and donating. They also (usually) spend part or some of each night on my bed, but not all, and not always.

But now that the house is on the market to be sold, of course, there can be no sign of the cats when someone comes to view the house.  Fine, I thought.  I will just find a good place to board them for a while. Well, at least in my town, that might be an option for a dog, but there is not an acceptable boarding option for cats.  The ONLY option here that I have discovered (and I have actually tried four so far after extended web searches) is housing in four cubic foot cages.  Sometimes, if there are vacant adjoining cages, I can rent two of those with a door in between. But the 13-pound Mew takes up the whole cage from front to back.  And of the four places where I have boarded them so far, only one of them offers any out-of-cage option at all. At the end of the first day I boarded them the smaller Mew (9 pounds) hissed at me when I reached in to take her home. Now she is more stoic, but still not happy.

Needless to say, they now do NOT like to be put in their carriers.  Mew, sweet girl that she is, has coped with the situation by peeing in the car EVERY time I take her home.  Arya now just objects, mewing loudly most of the trip.

Most depressing so far was yesterday.  I found a website online that was a very high end dog destination.  For the Canines they offer suites, multiple exercise options during the day, swimming pools, playing, grooming…so I visited the site with great optimism and found….four-foot cubes for the cats, with an option to have 15 minutes in the room with a cat tree once a day for their feline guests – for an additional fee, of course.

So my only viable option is keeping the cats at home (they sleep most of the day), and when the call comes that someone wants to view the house, hide all the signs of cats (tree, toys, litter boxes) cage up my beauties in their carriers and go…somewhere.  I haven’t figured that out yet. As long as the weather is nice, going to the park will be fine.

Perhaps another option will present itself.

So it goes.

The Painters

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The painters were a critical part of the preparation for the sale of my house.  The exterior had relatively new siding, but the windows has not been painted in our 20-year residence. The interior was equally in need of refreshing. All rooms needed a coat of the light gray color selected by the Stager, as did all the closets.

The contractor (recommended by the real estate agent) provided the following quote <his text and grammar is reproduced> :

Exterior

Powerwashing paint all sinding and trim windows frames doors.

Interior 

Londry remove wall paper and paint cabinets White, Powder room paint walls and cieling family room paint only cieling office cieling walls and closet foyer cieling walls hallway walls and cieling, Bathroom walls and cieling hallway walls cieling master Bedroom walls cieling , Bedrom walls cieling closet, bed room remove wall paper paint cieling closet , Liven room paint cieling walls price labor material paint for all $3425

My move manager read the above, and summarized the necessary services:

– Power washing all of exterior

– Caulking as required outside

– Necessary repairs inside and out to the surfaces to be painted

– Includes all paint costs

– Priming to all repaired surfaces prior to painting inside and outside

– Interior ceilings

– Two coats of paint inside and outside

– Wall paper removal

Unfortunately, I looked at the two lists and thought that the painter’s looked complete.  A more methodical person would have looked at EACH of the spaces needing paint, and made sure that they were all covered.

The spaces that were omitted by the painter are in ALL CAPS in the following comprehensive list:

Exterior-

Power washing all vinyl siding, painting all non-vinyl siding (I had some in the garage),

Paint all doors and windows.

Interior –

Laundry, remove wall paper and paint walls and cabinets white (interior and exterior).

Powder room paint walls and ceilings AND CLOSETS

Family room, paint only ceiling (this was a paneled room)

Office paint ceiling and closet

Upper Foyer ceiling, walls AND CLOSET)/ Hallway ceiling, walls

Upper Hall Bathroom walls and ceiling

Bedroom (master) walls & ceiling AND CLOSETS(2), Bedroom 2, walls, ceiling, closet

MASTER BATH, WALLS,CEILING & CLOSET

Bedroom 3, remove wall paper, paint ceiling and closet.

Living room paint ceiling, walls

Other Spaces ADDED to original list :

Lower Foyer and Hall (paneled area that was dark) –

 -It was amazing how painting the stairwell white and adding a light carpet brightened the dark area

The Kitchen (mostly cabinets – little painted wall area).

-BUT – we should have had him paint the ceiling, which we did not think about until later.

Original Price $3425 (amazingly low, I thought for a 2800 sq. ft. home.)

He added painting the paneling in the lower hall, the four closets, and the master bath for an additional $200. I was very lucky.

The lesson learned was this: when dealing with a contractor doing a complex job with several possible options, be really diligent in defining the exact terms.  I have had success dealing with the contractors recommended on our Agent’s website.  I can be confident that those contractors are insured and bonded, and have a reputation for doing excellent work.