“This is the last time.” -I say for the last time

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This July, Aaron and I will celebrate our 8 year wedding anniversary.

For the first 4 years, we moved almost exactly once a year. Our faithful friends showed up annually to help us pack up the U-Haul and maneuver furniture from a basement to a second floor apartment to a first floor apartment to a third floor apartment all for the price of pizza and beer. We’ve lived through doing dishes in a laundry room sink, waking up to gunshots in the ghetto, a haunted bathroom, and an evil Homeowner’s Association.

And, I will admit, this is mostly my fault.

I am addicted to love moving. I love looking at new places. I love moving in. I love a blank canvas that I get to design and decorate.

Thankfully my husband loves me.

We bought our house when the market had hit rock bottom and then fell through rock bottom into an abandoned well. We got an insanely good deal on both the house AND our mortgage rate. Everyone tells us that we were so smart to invest in a house at that time and we just nod and smile and pretend that we were thinking of the investment. When in reality, I was going through moving withdrawals.

We’ve lived in our little house for just over 3 years now. Astounding, right? I deserve a medal or at least some sort of plaque for staying put in one place for 3 whole years.

Truth be told, I love this house. When we bought it, we went straight to work at making it ours. We put blood, sweat, and tears into removing walls and walls of wallpaper. And when we were ready to sit down on the floor and cry because nothing was working, our faithful friends showed up despite our warnings to stay away from the monstrosities we had become. And we removed that wallpaper. We ripped up carpet, we put down new floors, we painted all the things. We ripped out ugly shrubs and built a fire pit. We made this house our house. And I love it.

But we always knew that this house would not be forever. Now with not one, not two, but three cats and one dog, we are running out of room.

I would love to offer wisdom and comfort about the process of selling a house and buying a house simultaneously, but that’s just not going to happen. So if that’s what you’re looking for, stop reading here.

I am covered in cat scratches because yesterday the cleaners and the photographers came to do their jobs and my job was to get all three cats out of the house. My fatal mistake was assuming two cats would share one carrier. That started Cat Fight #1. Now don’t get me wrong, my cats have fights just like any siblings. But this was an honest-to-goodness cat fight with the swirling tornado of cat and clumps of cat hair and the ear piercing shrieking and screaming. Yes, cats can scream. And yes, it is horrifying.

Fun fact: attempting to get a riled up cat into a cat carrier is a lot like wrestling a fat, furry alligator.

So I drove to my sister’s apartment with two angry cats in carriers and one angry cat in a harness and leash, sitting in the passenger seat and howling in protest. After a few hours, we came back home, I let everybody out, and that started Cat Fight #2 because apparently there were some grudges being harbored and I probably shouldn’t have let them watch Orange is the New Black.

Cats do not like change. They love their routines, the consistency. If I put their food bowls in a different place than normal, oh the chaos! The drama! Better just eat the dog’s food because the world is coming to an end! Now they had not only gone on a very unwelcome field trip to a place with other cats, but the house smelled different and it had to be the end of the world!

After managing to separate them, I sat down, reminded myself to breathe, and contemplated buying some falconry gloves.

Cat Fight #3 thankfully occurred after Aaron came home. I may be pretty damn good at herding cats, but two is just so much better than one. By bedtime (and by that I mean 8:30 pm because I was emotionally and physically exhausted), everybody had calmed down. All three cats and the dog slept with us, which NEVER happens because cats are the worst at slumber parties. Mostly because they completely skip the “slumber” part and dive straight into the “party.” At 5:00 am, I herded all three cats downstairs because the partying was in full swing. At 6:30 am, Aaron, the puppy, and I were jolted awake by Cat Fight #4. The three of us raced down the stairs to see what was the matterAway to the window I flew like a flash, tore open the shutters and threw up the sash!

You know the Tasmanian Devil from Looney Tunes? That’s what a cat fight looks like. The proper procedure in separating a cat fight is to spray them with water or throw a blanket on top of them or make a loud noise. But when you’ve woken up from a dead sleep and this is the 4th cat fight in less than 12 hours, you just throw your body in the middle of the swirling mass and hope you come out with all your fingers.

Everything calmed down again. Aaron and I managed to drink some coffee before Cat Fight #5 happened.  The dog had no idea what to do and just frantically ran around the room while we tried to hit the swirling mass with pillows. Nobody really knew who was fighting who at this point, but all three cats were all in. The only thing missing was Yakety Sax playing in the background.

Now each cat is in a separate room, my coffee is cold, the puppy is traumatized, and I’m googling “is it ok to give my cats some xanax?”

This time, I swear, will be the last time we move.

 

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