Friday, April 27, 2012

A Moving Experience - or - Why my cat isn't speaking to me now.

Not all ‘bad’ words are four-letter words. There’s a six letter word that starts with ‘m’ and sends shivers down my spine. And I’m not talking about murder or mayhem. Moving. Most of us have been there at least once. The sorting, the purging, the packing, the digging back into the ‘give-away’ boxes to reclaim those things to which we give second thoughts and cannot live without. Moving is rarely an enjoyable process.

I moved last week. Not across town or out of state. Just across the yard from one apartment building to the next one. Of course, when I told people this, they all said, “Oh, that won’t be so bad.” Really? Um…I still have to pack everything for the movers. The only upside to moving is that it affords us an opportunity to discover all the stuff we brought along with us in the last move and that we haven’t seen since until we open the boxes now to find out what treasures are buried there. That’s when the little voice in my head kicked in—“What are you saving that for?” Obviously so I can pay two strong men to move it to another apartment for me.

I lost 100 square feet in this move which, while it may not seem like a lot, dictated downsizing all that ‘stuff’. The first casualty—the Gazelle exerciser that has taunted me for the past three years. (I probably should have kept that and sent the refrigerator packing.) The new apartment is basically the same layout as the former apartment, with one exception—the laundry room and the bathroom are switched. This is where Binky, the cat, comes in. Her litterbox has been kept in the laundry room. And it still is. But (to her mind) I had the audacity to move the laundry room. She now has to adapt. But it doesn’t stop there. With a smaller bedroom, I have to move my computer table into the living room. Which means I have to relocate Binky’s bed to the other side of the room.

Well now I’m in deep doodoo. One change too many and I’m getting the stare of death. This is after she repeatedly goes to the spot where her bed had been situated, sniffs the carpet, then gives me a pitiful ‘someone stole my bed’ look. And I am overwhelmed with guilt. I’ve uprooted her and then totally rearranged her physical space. I’m a baaaaaad cat mommy. Maybe I can squeeze the computer table into the bedroom after all. I’ll just have to sacrifice a couple of feet and deal with my own claustrophobia in the overly-furnished smaller room.

Thank God for the voice of reason. That same voice that questioned my boxes of ‘treasures’ now reminds me, “She’s a CAT. She’ll adjust. You pay the rent. Arrange the space for yourself.”

Yeah, well, she’s not shooting daggers at that little voice. I’m moving her bed back and ending the standoff. Otherwise, every time I sit down at that table to write, I’ll feel her eyes boring holes into the back of my head. Then my ideas will leak out and I’ll get writer’s block and I'll never write again. Yeah, better to just move the bed.

Linda Rettstatt
Author of Love, Sam - 2012 EPIC eBook Award Winner - Mainstream Category


Ellen STucker said...

Very cute essay, Linda. And, I would have definitely caved, too. My dog has been waking me up at 6 AM, but I'm loathe to leave him out of our bedroom, because he is used to sleeping there, so I will continue to bitch and muddle through the "tiredness" of my days, because, God Forbid, I want my pooch to be happy.~Sigh~

Mary Hunter said...

Binky, you did not deal well when me, Aunt Mary, Uncle Danny and Aunt Barb came to visit a few years ago but you sdurvived and we did leave. I hope you adjust to your new home. Your master loves you afterall.

Big Mike said...

So funny. I too dread the "move". We keep putting off the downsizer but its approaching fast. Can't take care of the beast much longer. My problem is not with me getting rid of stuff, its the boss, She's still got things she's boxed away from forty years ago. I'm afraid to venture inside those old containers for fear of what may have set up house.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2011)

Rosemary Gemmell said...

I can just those eyes on your back! It's stressful moving, no matter how far or near. My husband keeps talking about downsizing and I don't think I'll get to hang on here that much longer!

Kim Smith said...

Pets. Can't live with 'em, and just can't shoot 'em.

Veronica Helen Hart said...

Great post, Linda. We, too, are moving, but get this - from a small, double wide into a large house! We even have to buy more furniture. We're following in your footsteps, right now packing, packing, packing, making decisions: Hospice shop or trash? And waiting for that last piece of paper from the IRS confirming that we earned money and paid our taxes last year. They claim to have no record of it, but they did cash our check two days within my mailing the return.

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

With the companies' help, we moved 17 times in 26 years. Now we are so settled we will never move again, and have made arrangements to import help if needed.

Mike, we haven't checked the attic in 24 years! In Florida, you don't go there.

I feel for your adorable cat. But Binky will adjust, just not as well, or as quickly, as a dog.

Ute Carbone said...

this is exactly why we don't move! My husband and I banter about changing location now and again, take one look at all the junque we've collected and say "maybe later" Good for you for taking the plunge. Binky will adjust. I think...

linda_rettstatt said...

There is a certain freedom in clearing out the clutter. I think I'll do this once a year. oh, not the move (heaven forbid), just the clearing out of stuff I don't use. That way, when the next move comes along (and it will), I'll be ready. Binky, on the other hand, will no doubt still be holding a grudge.

linda_rettstatt said...

I should add that all this packing, moving and unpacking has seriously disrupted my writing schedule. I'm as anxious as an addict needing a fix. So I'm on vacation over the next 2 weeks. Since my original plan--a trip to Greece--got canceled, I'll be lounging on Dauphin Island, Alabama with my netbook.

Liz Flaherty said...

This is funny--and I'd have caved, too.

Helen Henderson said...

Binky looks like a twin of my tuxedo cat, Tigh who was a member of the family for almost 18 years. And you are so right, change is bad. When a family member got ready to move to their own apartment, Tigh stole the car keys, glasses, and company ID card and hid them. They were recovered, but I won't go into his antics when he thought we were going away to the mountains or the weekend.

Cats are great fun. Maybe I'll base a character on Tigh.

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