As a species, cats prefer to stay in one place. Hard as it is for humans to accept, most cats are happier with a change of people than a change of home. Routine is a cat’s friend; disruption his foe.
And so for Ollie the cat, the past year has been a kitty nightmare. Being dragged out of the New York house every other day or so during individual showings and open houses displeased him for more than six months. Imagine if someone put you in a box several times a week and carried you off to another place for an unknown period of time. Not a day at the beach, ya know.
After the moving company drove off with all our belongings, we lived with my former husband for three weeks. Ollie has been a shy cat from day one, but he’s met “uncle Alex” many times and is only a little skitterish with him. At home or elsewhere, however, unexpected noises of any volume – soft or loud – send Ollie looking for cover, and every home has noises you’ve never heard before. Ollie did a lot of hiding at uncle Alex’s.
When he had just about settled in, comfortable enough to play with his toys and demand some attention, one day a little orange pill sent him into a woozy, snoozy headspin all day. He wasn’t even interested in looking out the window for the six hours of the car trip.
But he recovered quickly in the hotel in Portland and in less than 24 hours behaved as though that one room was home - chasing toys and, from the window sill, supervising a roof replacement across the street. By all appearances, Ollie was as comfortable as he’d ever been on Bedford Street in New York City.
Then, three days later, he was dragged off again to another address, an apartment much larger than the hotel room and twice as big as where he lived in New York. It freaked him. Or maybe the noise of the movers in and out of the apartment all morning were that one, last straw. Ollie went on strike for the next two days.
He wouldn’t eat; he wouldn’t let me pet him; he wouldn’t play. Mostly, he hid behind stacked cartons. Lured out with treats, he immediately threw up in the library. And kept throwing up. Until yesterday – Sunday.
Now he’s almost comfortable – snoozing as I write – on the sofa near the desk after a long morning romp around the maze of boxes and “stuff”.
Best of all, (if you’re a cat) are the number of windows here (14) to watch people and birds and shadows and rain and trees blowing in the breeze. Once we’re settled and the cartons are gone Ollie, I suspect, will be happy here and I’ve promised him that I won’t stuff him in the dreaded cat carrier for an entire year.