The Kitty’s Gift

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Just now, while I was sitting at the computer, editing a blog post, my little cat just came and sat in my lap, quietly. Just sat, and purred. Of course, I stopped what I was doing, and rubbed the cat in long strokes. She responded by purring her very quiet rumbling purr. She stayed there for about three minutes, then moved on.

Now, my little black cat, Arya, is an interesting little girl (about eighteen months old). She is not a lap cat, but is always in the room with me.  If I am working  and move to another room, she follows within a few minutes.  She quietly sits on the highest point she can find, (or, in contrast, on a chair under a table, or just on the floor under a chair, under some “cover”), tucks her front feet under her chest, and snoozes. Very quiet, very subtle. Just there, just company.

Arya very rarely purrs, and her purr is so quiet you feel it if you pet her, rather than hear it.  My other cat, 14-year-old Mew, has the world’s loudest purr – and she purrs often.  It also is a gift…in the evening, she will crawl up in my lap, or beside me on the couch and purr, and then, often, go to sleep nearby, seeming to purr when she is asleep sometimes.

But little Arya’s gift of a lap minute and a little purr was rare, and special.

I am blessed with two lovely feline friends.

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.

Preparation for Staging

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Manageable would probably not be a word that would occur to me now in describing where I am with the move process.  About three weeks ago my Move Manager and I sat down and picked a target date to have the house ready to go on the market.  Three weeks ago, we chose Thursday of this week. We’ll see.

Things have definitely progressed.  Last Saturday the “mini-move” removed all the non-essential pieces of furniture and about sixty boxes of stuff to a 10 x 10 storage room. I understand that when the door was finally closed not another item could have possibly fit.  The local team of four young men that came that day did an exceptional job of moving things out – including a little last minute packing that cleared the way for the carpet men coming on Monday.

Today was supposed to be carpet day.  It started with a delay in the team’s coming because we did not have all the required rooms totally cleared.  There was some misunderstanding about the interpretation for “totally cleared” (or perhaps it changed). So the team that was supposed to start at 8 came about 12.  The manager who had come and quoted the job had decided that we could use the current carpet as a pad for the new.  When the carpet-laying team came today they disagreed. The current carpet was not totally fixed to the floor.  It had some wrinkles in it, which the laying manager said would negatively affect the new carpet.  Sounded logical to me. So…then we needed another pad, a new quote, and a new day.  No carpet today.

The painter started with a power-wash that took most of the day, but was totally amazing when he had finished. No more dusty garage!  It is squeaky clean. Tomorrow, painting inside and out. Tonight I had to take everything that was remaining off the walls, including the wonderful poster collection in my adult son’s boyhood room. He had taken photos of them last weekend, so all are duely recorded, but it was still sad to see them go. Batman, Spiderman, favorite college teams, and inspirational sayings (You Already Are What You Want To Be When You Grow Up). Maybe the carpet guys will be back tomorrow. I have lost track, actually.

The sad thing that happened today was that I took my two lovely cats to a “kennel” for the day.  It has a good reputation, and the “girls” could be together but also had an opportunity for their own space. When I arrived (about 3:30 pm) my little Arya (a year old and solid black) was huddled in the back of her space, and hissed at the attendant, who asked me to come coax her out.  They will have to go back tomorrow, but it is troubling.  Tonight she seems fine.  We shall see.

Onward with painters & carpenters.

The Cats

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Who would have thought? After my husband died, and the rest of my friends and family left for their respective homes, here I was in the house by myself…except for two very important companions: my cats. There are two – an older, 13-year-old female (10 pounds) and a little one-year-old black dynamo who loves to race up and down the stairs.

Please do not mistake me for one of the people who will organize their life around their pets; other than the two feeding times, my “girls” are very self-sustaining.   But I would never have believed how comforting it is just to have a cat lying on a chair in the same room. Little Arya (and, yes, often Underfoot) does not obviously follow me from room to room, but if I change locations, a few minutes later she will drift in and take a chair – if possible, next to a window. She is tiny and quiet and black, but a great companion.  As I write she is at eye-level, asleep on the cat tree at my elbow (next to the window).

Another unexpected gift that the cats have presented is an ongoing banter with the house-sitter, cat-feeder (new friend) that has become a necessary part of my singular life. His one-line texts at feeding times rapidly became a life-line on one 5-day trip. He has become a great resource for house-related service needs.

Time to go feed the girls!