Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Uffda: Moving the Cats

I suspected it would be difficult to move my cats from Minnesota to Wisconsin. I was right, and then some. Uffda, it was very difficult. The hard part was getting them from the apartment to the car. I was pretty sure they’d be OK in the car. I have a carrier but there was no way the big cats were going in there. I tried, and have the scratches to prove it. My cats have their front claws removed but they have the rear ones, and they can do A LOT of damage with them. I thought maybe wrapping them, one at a time, in a comforter would work. That was a comedy of errors. So then I thought we’d try putting them in a grocery cart, which we have in the complex, and cover them with a comforter. That was a no go also, and more scratches. Finally we tried the comforter again, got Donegal and Kilkenny to the car and in the back seat. I was able to get Galway, my small male, into the carrier and then to the car. After a long struggle I was able to get Wexford, my large male scaredy cat, totally wrapped up in the comforter and placed him in the front passenger seat. I could tell he was very stressed. So, 4 cats in the car. Oops, where is Clare, my small tortoise shell kitty? My friend Nancy and I looked and looked, could not find sweet Clare anywhere. So I told 2 of my neighbors about her, and got their phone numbers so I could check in with them later.
It’s very evident, as I was driving, that Wexford was severely stressed. His mouth would open, it was like his jaw was in spasm. His tongue was quivering and turning blue. The rest of his body was in the comforter so I didn’t know if they were seizures or what. I’d drive with one hand and stroke under his chin with the other, to encourage him to breathe. I was really very worried. This lasted for an hour. Then all of a sudden he moved over to my lap and the episodes stopped. He did not move from my lap for the rest of the trip.
Then I get to Tomahawk, pull into my driveway. I try to carry Wexford inside, and he clawed the heck out of me, then bolted to underneath the car, right behind the front driver’s wheel. He was not coming out! So I got the other 3 cats into the apartment, no easy task but they survived and I did too without too many more scratches. Then I spent about 30 minutes trying to get Wexford out from under the car. I was not having much luck. Finally I got hold of his front paws and pulled him out. I’m lying flat on the ground, then I was in a fetal position holding Wexford right next to me. I tried to get up and twisted my right knee. Ouch! Finally I was able to get up and got Wexford in the apartment. 
I placed each of the cats in the area of the litter box. They laid down together, and!  Nancy and I went to eat. When I returned they were exactly where they were when we left. I called my former neighbor, Clare still had not been found. I suggested looking on the balcony again. So she did, and there was Clare down inside an empty flower pot!! Whew, relief. Another neighbor volunteered to keep her until Thursday morning, when Nancy could pick her up and meet me in Augusta, WI, where she was going to be attending a scrapbooking retreat. I went to bed. Sometime in the middle of the night they joined me. 

Then on Wednesday Galway, my small orange kitty, was NO WHERE to be found. I looked everywhere. I was pretty sure he could not have gotten outside. He was not seen for all of Wednesday. Then about 2 a.m. Thursday a.m. he jumped up on the bed. I still didn’t know where he had hidden. When I got up in the morning he was gone again!
Thursday I drove to Augusta, WI to meet Nancy, and get Clare back. She was glad to see her Mom. We returned to Tomahawk. Still no Galway anywhere. Finally on Friday I heard a noise behind the entertainment center. Sure enough, that was where Galway was hiding. He came out and has been out since then. Now we’ve been here a week and they are used to their new home. They love the windows, from where they survey the activity on the main drag. At bedtime they fight over who gets the bedroom window.
I had moved cats once before, when we moved from Tuscaloosa, AL to here (Tomahawk) in June 1980. I drove with our 15 month old daughter, 3 cats, and 3 dogs. My Dad flew down and rode with me. There were no problems with either the cats or dogs. They were different cats and just like people, different cats have different mental health issues. The cats I have now obviously find change very difficult. If I had it to do over I’d have gotten tranquilizers from the vet.

Galway taking a last look out of the window  at Crosby Pointe

L to R: Kilkenny, Wexford, Galway, Donegal
Not sure they like this new place

Clare enjoys looking out at activity on the main drag

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