Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saturday, Not Caturday

Mom Lynne here.

I wanted to answer some of the questions and the comments about our prospective move. Millie has allowed me to take the floor, so to speak.

Signing papers at the closing.

We're moving about 4-5 miles away, to the next town north. It's an over-55 cooperative. We'll have our own 2 BR, 2 bath home with a large living room and a sun-room. Everything is on one floor, which pleases me to no end because I won't have to go down to the basement to do the laundry. The house is climate controlled, so it won't get too hot in the summer. The driveway is significantly shorter so snow removal will be a lot easier, and I've got room for a garden. Millie and I will also have a small screened in front porch. I know she'll love it, but it may be too cool to enjoy it by the time we move in.

I've been contemplating a move for about the last two or three years, and I've been de-cluttering since then so although I've lived in this apartment over 27 years, I don't have 27 years worth of stuff. At this stage of the game, if it's in the apartment, it's coming to the new house. I'll be getting boxes next week and I'll start packing.  Millie is always aware when I am packing for a trip, and she'll certainly be aware something is up when I start putting things into boxes.

I want to leave as many things the same as possible for as long as possible to keep her stress level down. No matter how messy the new place is, I want to set up her food area, her litter boxes, and the kitty condo before I do anything else.

I had a long talk with April of The Teacher's Pets about how to handle Millie during the move itself. I cannot stress enough how fearful Millie still is of being captured. April and I agreed that it would be more traumatic for Millie if I boarded her somewhere than it would if I stuck her in one room during the move. April suggested a homeopathic solution to give Millie to help her relax a bit. The plan is to somehow get her into the bathroom during the move, and leave her there. When the move is completed, I can go back, corral her into a box and bring her to the new house.  That's the plan of course. We'll see how it works out. We also do not want to keep Millie in a crate all day either.

I'd love to be able to get her into a carrier and then let her out into one room at the new place, but unfortunately I can't simply "get her into a carrier" and I don't think I can expect the movers to come in and out all day and leave one room alone. Besides, heavy stuff needs to be moved into each room and I need the movers to do that.

It's much too risky to let her run around while the guys come in and out. We just can't guarantee Millie will not bolt and run outside.

I'll try the anti-stress solution to get her to the vet next week too. Once the vet sees her, he may be able to proscribe some other medication to help manage the move.

That's my biggest concern. Otherwise, Millie will be with me, meaning wherever I sleep, Millie will too. I won't leave her in an empty apartment alone overnight.  I also plan to take a few days off for the move so if I move mid-week, I'll be with Millie for four or five days in the new house before I go back to work.

I've worked up floor plans for each room so we ought to get settled fairly quickly. The neighborhood is VERY quiet, so there won't be a lot of traffic going by each day.

Thanks in advance for all your help, suggestions and support.


Megan said...

Thinking of you Lynne. My step-daughter (mudda to Charliepuss) had great success with Feliway when she moved earlier this year.

Sydney, Australia

ZOOLATRY said...

Exciting news for you and Millie ... we wish you well (having done this a year ago, it's a big deal!).
Both Maggy and Zoey adjusted very well to moving, in spite of all the hustle and bustle.

Susan R said...

First of all congratulations on buying your own place!!

When I made my big move to the desert Sadie and I moved 137 miles away so like you I had lists and plans way ahead of time on the best way to handle the move with Sadie. She was my MAIN concern and for her the pre-move (packing, purging etc.) was pretty hard on her. She developed herpes in her mouth due to nerves. But that cleared up after I knew what was going on.

Your idea about the bathroom is exactly what I did, but don't forget to put strips of masking tape across the bathroom door with "Do Not Open!!" on them...just in case. I also put her in the bathroom of the new home and that worked great!!

You are doing everything right Lynne...Sadie was fine and I made sure she knew she wasn't being abandoned by always talking to her, even through the door. I also had a girlfriend with me the entire day of the move (she even went to the new place with Sadie and I and helped me get settled). That really helped me to take care of business and not get overwhelmed.

We're all with you on this "great adventure"....


Mickey's Musings said...

Sounds like you have thought this out well and it sounds like a good plan. We wish you both and easy move and lots of fun in your new place :)
We are sure Millie will adapt soon enough with you to help reassure her :)
Nancy and the kitties

PeeEss: WE saw your post about Monty! Oh boy! Life still gives us miracles!

Angel Prancer Pie said...

Our Mommy agonized over every detail to keep us from stressing too. Sounds like you've thought of everything.

Definitely get some Feliway. That stuff works!

Dianna said...

Here is the website for Jackson Galaxy and he has many useful escenses to help calm cats. I hope your move goes very smoothly.

Shaggy and Scout said...

Congrats on getting the new place, it sounds nice. So much good advice from those who've moved in the past with cats. Our blogosphere is great

Pat said...

It sounds like your new home will be ideal. I hope everything goes without a hitch for Millie. I don't have a cat but my sister moved from Maryland to Florida and I know her biggest concern was how her cat would handle it. I have a dog and my primary concern is always for his safety and well being. Amazing how attached we become to them.

I thought the bathroom sounded like a good idea for Millie and the suggestion to put tape across the door to remind people not to enter is excellent!!

Good luck and we'll be thinking (and worrying) here for you.

Just Ducky said...

Concats on the new place. Can't wait to see the pictures.

Agree if you leave Millie in the bathroom, put tape and a sign up to "Do Not Open" on it. Otherwise the mover might want to take a bio break and out goes Millie.

RedSetter said...

I moved two years ago and chose to put Magic and Red to the cattery where I knew they'd be unsettled less than the trauma of everything and everyone moving around them.

I'd endorse the Feliway options as you can get wipes too for the crate. However, my major go-to remedy is a drug called zylkene which is a milk protein based drug and if it doesn't work then it wont hurt. I've no idea if it would be appropriate for Millie or available in your country but I am sure you can ask your vet about it.

You'll probably not have time between now and the move but I blogged my experiences with using it on Red and to my shame accidentally on Magic too-oops! Red essentially turned into a chilled out 60's love child! Here are the start posts and there are more if you are bored or an insomniac!

Hope this is of some use and whatever you choose to do Millie knows she is loved by her human and no matter how horrible she feels the move is, it will be over soon enough and she will be safe and loved in her new home.

Quinn and Angel brandi said...

I had the advantage of moving a lot of stuff bit by bit over a week when we came here. But I put brandi in the bathroom for a few hours while the movers came and finished moving us. Then we moved her across town to here, let her out and let her explore.
One good thing (besides this being a great place to live--a senior building, by the way) the elevators were so much quieter and smooth than the old place. That in itself was very helpful.
Oh, and her food and water were waiting for her here, and the litter box and bed placed in the same type of room they were before.
Hope this helps a little. I will think of you both.

Sasha + Saku said...

When I moved four years ago, we put all of the cats into one room, unfortunately it wasn't the bathroom and one of the movers opened the door. I agree with Susan, mark the door with something to indicate it is NOT to be opened.

Sasha managed to get out and hide in the attic, we're still not sure how he got there but my son found him once the movers were gone.

Good luck with the move. I hope Millie can be given something to make the transition easier. Once the move has been made I'm sure she (and you) will be very happy with your new home.


Monday walkers said...

You certainly have tried to think and do everything that is possible to make the move as straightforward as possible for both of you.
Very best wishes

Noela Sydney Australia

Ellen in Oregon said...

When I moved into my condo. I had 4 cats to deal with. About a week before the move I emptied my guest room & let the cats have one space in the house that was free of boxes that they could escape to. I knew the sound of the mover's voices would scare them all. After they ate on the morning of the move. I got them all in that bedroom & put colored tape across the door to remind the men not to open the door. I checked-in a few times while the movers were outside. Everyone's eye were wide as could be & there was a bit of meowing, but no freaking out. The loading only took 2 hrs. (versus the unloading 5 hrs.). I had them load the master bedroom stuff last so it would be unloaded 1st. Then, every chance I go I put that room together. I even put bedding & cat supplies in my car so I would not have to root around for it. So when I brought the cats back they could have one room all set for them. They ended up wanting to be with me & anxiously explored & cried for a bit, but when they realized no more strangers were going to appear they started to enjoy looking around, sniffing all the new smells & boxes filled with familiar smells. They immediately found the litter box & ate dinner We all went to bed exhausted, but happy to be moved-in.

It was kind of you to share your plans for Millie during the move.You must be very excited about about moving to a home that should function so much better for you.You will love having the laundry on the same level & the garden, porch & quiet surroundings sound great. I hope you have a great space to do your fantastic quilting in too. I can understand your concerns re: Millie's traumatic past & fear over being cornered & forced into a carrier for transport. I have a 24 yr. old cat who was abused as a kitten & although she loves & trust me more than anyone, she still panics & flees if anyone tries to restrain her or even pick her up. I am sure that your vet & cat expert will help recommend some things to make Millie capture & transporting manageable for you while causing the least stress to Millie. With the advice of your vet & expert, Millie (& you) will find a way to accomplish your goal. Once you are both in your new abode, I wish you & Millie are able to spend many happy years enjoying life together there.