The Time To Make a New Home
Old Dogs Do Learn New Tricks

Ollie the Cat in Maine

category_bug_oliver 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.


Oh, hugs from me to Ollie (who would definitely not want them, of course!). Perhaps this strong reaction on the part of such normally serene creatures is a salutory reminder to their human companions that moving house is a really big thing and we need to take care of ourselves, cut ourselves some slack, take swinging moods and feelings of exhaustion seriously for a while, until the feeling of being in a new place starts to establish itself deeply in us.

I predict that Ollie will be as good as new in 2-3 days. Even though they hate change, they are very adaptable. It's nice that you have so many windows for him to look out and imagine going after all the

Dear sweet Ollie. Am so pleased to hear that you are safely snoozing on the sofa. I, Ada and Molly are holding you in our thoughts. We can, all three of us, tell you that it simply does get better ...

I love cats.
I love cat stories! (well told)
After reading about Ollie's reaction to all that moving and over stimulation, I see I must be a cat in disguise. His reactions speak to me! Hang in there Ollie (we have an Ollie too) good days are a-comin'.

I'm glad to hear that you are getting to settle in, Ollie. Unlike you and me, I had a friend who loved to ride in an automobile with her humans. The humans reserved the console between the front seats for Ink, and they secured a small towel over the console to give her some traction. As the humans had a home in Santa Fe, and another in Boulder, Ink got to travel a lot!

That was a funny read and so true of cats. Love the strike part. He probably figured he had to make a statement; and if he was understanding, you'd start it all over again. As you said, they don't like change, but they do adjust to it beautifully-- after letting you know it was unfair. Sounds like a great house for a cat

Cat statements speak volumes. We had one who, when feeling disagreeable with us for whatever reason, would snort with disgust and sit exactly backwards in his "nest", providing us a perfect view of his rump. Which certainly was preferable over the next reaction, which was very deliberately not covering things up in the cat box. Take THAT!

Fourteen windows will surely make up for all the upheaval Ollie has had to experience.

"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"

Ollie has been through a lot lately but so has his mistress.

I sense that Ollie picks up on good vibes when Ronni sits down and relaxes at her magic box with the funny clicking keys and the bright window. Ahhh... Heaven

I'm catching up with a week's worth of interesting and inspiring reading here after getting back from a short trip, so a very belated best wishes on your move. Now you are unpacking and settling in to a new home and community, both you and Ollie. Happy days ahead!

Found your address via current issue of AARP. As fan of your ex and his former gig in the media on the left coast, seeing Uncle Alex gave me one hearty laugh. Glad things were worked out during your transition!

Don't worry Ollie, you're going to love this new place, with so many more places to hide your toys. It just takes some adjusting! :)

On some ineffable cat-level I'm sure Ollie KNOWS he is Home and will help you grow the feeling too. The very best to both of you.
much love,

aww, poor Ollie. It's hard to believe that one's human has only your best interests at heart during times like these. I trust once things are settled Ollie will happily take up the study of ornithology and begin keeping his personal life-list.

Having just made a move (a simpler one) with a cat (a simpler one) I can entirely identify with your last couple of posts. Moving when your limbs all still actually listen to your brain is much easier.

Oh, how I wish I could have cat ownership problems!
I live in a high rise condo building, and moved in knowing that pets were not allowed (not a satisfactory consideration forr me). I understand that at least one resident owns a sub rosa cat, and I am sorry I lack the nerve to follow suit.
The other day, a notice from the Board of Managers was shoved under every door. It was written in an officious and demeaning manner, and covered two policies: pets, and what they termed "COMMON HALL UNIT ENTRY DOOR ADOURNMENT [sic]." It ended with, in heavy type, "All pets and door adornment must be removed by July 1st, 2006," and a warning about policy enforcement. I would not address a wayward child in the way the residents (comprised of retired university presidents, physicians, business people, and old ladies like me) were addressed.
I'll take moving Ollie around any day in the week. I envy you greatly.

Well, at least I don't have a cat for this next big move!

I'm just catching up after my return from Mass.
Wishing you the very best as you settle into your new home. Many years of happiness and joy to both you and Ollie.
My heart goes out to Ollie...poor guy. But like everyone here said, they do adapt well. One of my kittens missed us terribly the 8 days we were gone, so I'm blogging about that tomorrow. He's now recovered.
Looking forward to more posts as you settle into this new path on your journey.

Have you found the grocery store yet? The coffee shop? The library?

I think some photos would be good.

Hi Ronni

Have been thinking about you the last few days. There is so much to do when you first move into a place.

When I get ready to go to Florida for the winter there are many things I have to do and then when I get down there there is much to do to settle in BUT I don't have to move my entire household etc. etc.,like you just did.

Now you have to find the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker. New everything!! What a job but what an adventure.

And you got your computer up and running the
next day --

I'm missing your posts and am looking forward to "hearing all about your new life in Portland."

Take it easy if you can.

Ollie has my sympathy and I am so glad that his moving ordeal (and yours) is coming to the end. Enjoy settling in and heres to many wonderful years in your new home.

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