Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Moving With The Cats

Victim #1:
Seven year old Nacho; adopted from the Kingston Humane Society on January 2, 2010.


Victim #2
Six year old Mocha; adopted from the same humane society on September 11, 2010.


Up until recently, they’d only known one home and their lives were calm, predictable and uneventful.

That changed last Friday.

When it was time to start loading up the truck, I locked them up in a room along with cushions to lie on, food and water bowls, and their two litter boxes to keep them safe and secure. The room was very familiar to them, so at most they were annoyed. They complained incessantly and attempted to escape every time I visited.

Several hours later, I entered the room carefully, scruffed them, placed them in their carriers and took them out to the car. They were both settled in the front seat, side by side facing me, and off we went. For the next two hours I spoke soothingly and stuck my fingers in the carriers from time to time to pet them. Mocha complained on and off the entire time, meowing and whining and clawing at the front of the carrier. But Nacho, who is typically very vocal and always howls on car rides, was eerily quiet. This was quite alarming. And in addition to all the complaining and eerie silence, a horrible smell was emitted into the air from one of the two. Or both.

We finally got to the new house and I placed the cats along with all of their necessities in the laundry room. I opened up the carriers to set them free and Mocha jumped out right away. Free at last! But Nacho wouldn’t budge. With some gentle coaxing she finally came out, took a look around with big, round eyes and immediately went back in. I checked both carriers and only Nacho’s was slightly damp. I thought it was a tiny bit of pee at first but later discovered that it was fear based (Click here for explanation.). I left them locked up in that space to go help with our stuff. Not a peep was heard from the room.


On my first visit to the cats, I was shocked because I couldn’t see them. This was crazy because it’s a tiny room without closets or hidden spaces, so unless they had magically vanished, they had to be in there. Turns out that Nacho was hiding in one litter box and Mocha had sandwiched herself between the two litter boxes. It was a heartbreaking sight. They were both frightened but Nacho was utterly terrified. And the room reeked! I’d never smelled this horrid smell before.

Anyhow, when I finally opened up the laundry room door for good, Mocha went into survival mode and bravely exited the room to investigate her surroundings. If she was being hunted, she wasn't going down easy! She walked the perimeter, checked behind doors, went over, behind and around boxes, and basically scanned every nook and cranny. Satisfied that there were no hidden dangers or predators, she happily explored her new home. Her resilience was quite surprising.

But Nacho, oh poor Nacho, was so terrified that she would not come out of the laundry room for the longest time. When she finally did, she tracked down a safe place to hide (we couldn’t find her) and we didn’t see her until the morning. By then, she was feeling a little bit better and that horrid smell had dissipated. She is doing quite well now but she’s still not entirely her old self. I imagine it’ll take some time. As for Mocha, she bounced back immediately, loves her new space and I swear this move has made her more confident.

It was a very stressful period for both of them, but particularly so for Nacho who took it the hardest. Eventually she’ll recover. And thankfully, she’ll never have to worry about this again because this will be our last home!

Have a great day, all!

38 comments:

  1. The poor cats! Especially Nacho! They just don't understand when you try to explain what is going to happen and I can see why they would go into panic or survival mode. I bet Nacho will adjust soon and be back to her usual self soon. The hardest move we did with our dog was 1400 miles from Montana to Southern California and prior to the move we had him boarded a couple of days so we could take care of the movers being there, etc., then we stayed a night in a hotel and then started driving straight through to Southern California. Got his tummy really messed up (the vet said dogs feel stress in their stomach) and we had to take him to the vet a few days after we were in Southern California. Every other move (4 more after that one) he adapted within a few days :)

    betty

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    1. Oh my gosh, Betty! 1400 miles. Wow. That is quite something the poor thing had to endure. You are so right about them not understanding. I think that's the hardest part. If we could explain it all to them, it would go so much easier!

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  2. Oh my good gosh, poor little cupcakes.

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    1. It was heartbreaking to see them so upset, especially our black cat. Thank goodness they're both okay now.

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  3. I feel so sorry for them - and you, too. Hopefully things will continue to improve. Your cats are beautiful, by the way - I don't think I've seen pictures of them since I found your blog. I need to go read your archives! Good luck with the furry ones.

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    1. Thanks, Jenny! They are much better now. Nacho is still a bit clingy (totally out of character for her) but she's much MUCH better now.

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  4. At first this made me laugh and then I just felt so bad. They don't understand and they were afraid. Poor babies. Hoping for a quick and smooth transition♥

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    1. Thanks, Linda. They are coming along wonderfully!

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  5. Poor kitties! Hope they are adjusted now.

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  6. Poor Nacho's reaction was similar to HRH's reaction when we moved from Winnipeg to Edmonton. I had put her in the ensuite bathroom while the movers came, boxed everything up and took it out to the truck. So when she went in to the bathroom, her home was as it had always been, but when she came out, everything was gone, right to the bare walls! It was traumatic for her and she ran back into the bathroom and wouldn't come out. I should have never let her out in the first place. However, once I put her in the carrier and took her out to the car (we drove to Edmonton), it was much better. She never liked riding in a car but she always LOVED staying in hotel rooms.

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    1. Aw, poor thing! Her world turned upside down. But there's something about those carriers that make them feel safe. It's very interesting.

      And I had a good laugh with the hotel rooms. Sounds like HRH enjoys the luxury life...lol...

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  7. This was so interesting, never heard of this fear smell, poor Nacho. I suppose people are similar in that one person adjusts easily and the other could go into trauma, all based on disposition/personality. It's something to keep in mind.

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    1. Yes, disposition/personality plays a huge part in the reactions!

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  8. Bless your kitties! Moving is so hard on them. I know exactly what smell you're talking about. When Larry and I got married going on 14 years ago, I moved into the house he already had with my cat, Waddles. He had 2 cats. It took a while for the kitties to all start to get along--or tolerate each other. I had never heard Waddles hiss so much and I had never smelled that scent before. A few months before we got married, I moved in with my mom to save money, so Waddles had to put up with 2 moves and new cats. I called her my plucky girl because she got through it all. I hope Nacho and Mocha will be OK.

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    1. Cats really don't like change and it can be quite hard on them. Nacho took it the hardest and it was heartbreaking to see an otherwise happy-go-lucky cat deal with such terror. I'm so relieved that she bounced back so quickly!

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  9. Wow! Glad there was a happy ending to this!
    Best of luck settling in...
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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    1. Thanks, Linda! I hope you're having a great time on your holiday. And judging from your photos, it seems you certainly are!

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  10. Poor kitties. But yes, they will be okay. 🐱

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  11. They are both beautiful. Poor Nacho, I hope she adjusts soon.

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  12. My old dog zelda didn't like the new house thing either when I got mine last year. She'd whine so bad that I'd have to put on earbuds and music to drown it out. About a month later she finally got used to it. Then she died a month after that.

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  13. When I was younger we had a cat, which we moved from South Australia to Queensland, so change of states, moved many times in four years then moved back to South Australia. We had him on a leash and took him for a walk every night at the caravan parks we stayed in, and he slept under the front seat while travelling. He never had a hard time, we just let him do his thing and he settled in.

    I miss having a cat :(

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    1. I LOVE that he learned to walk on a leash. That is adorable. Our black cat could have been doing that if we'd taken the time to train her. Maybe it's not too late, although after this trauma, it's smart to wait awhile.

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  14. Oh the poor kitties. Hoping they adjust, especially Nacho, as all their familiar things are around them.

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    1. She is so much better now! Having us home most of the day has made a huge difference, too!

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  15. You have such pretty fur babies, Martha! It is so hard on them when their routines and surroundings change. I hope both eventually find happiness in their new home. Best to you.

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    1. Thanks, e! They are so much better now. I was very sad for them, especially our black cat that was hugely impacted by our move. But she's doing okay now.

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  16. Oh goodness the poor cats ... especially Nacho.
    I'm sure they will adapt, as we have to when we move.

    Happy settling in to you all

    All the best Jan

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    1. She's managed to come a long way since we moved in. Almost back to her old self!

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  17. Poor babies! Hope they gete used to their surroundings quickly!

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  18. AWWWW...poor kitties. My remaining cat who is 18 has taken a couple of moves and didn't seem to mind it. We have traveled with her from time to time so she thinks that anyplace that has her litter box and her food must be home. She, however, has been know to speak up when she first get put into her carrier. I think she is cussing us out because she assumes she's on her way to the vet.

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  19. aw poor kitties. velcro had a hard time the one move in her life, tho i seriously think she had a hard time in her move between the shleter to our house (8+ yrs ago) the one move in 2011 was a bit traumatic, but she seemed to move right in quite easily. a few years after she no longer freaks out with trash trucks beeps, fire trucks ramming up the hill (seems our street is a route short cut to cut through neighborhoods..) but wait - nevermind taking her to the vet, only a few blocks from here and she poops her carrying case. every. time. <3
    much love to you and the kitties (hi nacho and mocha) cuties <3333 xom

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    1. Aw, your poor kitty. Some of them really don't like to be transported anymore. And some don't handle change well at all. In our case I knew it would be stressful for the cats but I didn't think Nacho would be that traumatized. It was quite heartbreaking. I'm so glad it's all over!

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