At the end of April, Swede and I finally emptied the Walnut House of our belongings in preparation for the Great Closing and Move-In of ’13. In the span of 24 hours, and with the help of my dear friend Panda (who actually LIKES packing) (whuuuut?) (and without whom I would have had a total nuclear meltdown), we stuffed all of our remaining belongings (re: 95 percent of our stuff) in a UHaul, and drove it back to Chicago.
Including the cats.
To say that the two felines—one of whom had left Walnut House approximately never times—disliked the journey fro DC to Chicago would be a gross understatement. They yowled and molted all over the fucking place for the first 90 minutes of the trip, until blessedly Lady Gaga(1) gave up and crawled under Swede’s seat and did not reappear or make a sound for the next 14 hours.(2) The other one, Fat Ass,(3) finally calmed the hell down as well and rested on the seat between us for awhile until he felt he’d given me a sufficient allergy attack,(5) at which point he, too, crawled under the seat to hide. But unlike his silent cohort, Fat Ass would poke his head out(6) every once in awhile and meow, the cat version of “Are We There Yet?”
Each time he’d poke his head out, I took it as an opportunity to have a chat with him about the House Rules for our new home.
Me: Listen, they’re not terribly different from the last place, so you shouldn’t have any trouble following them.
Me: Play dumb all you want, but there will be no jumping on the counters, no scratching of the furniture, and you are not allowed in the human sleeping quarters.
Me: No, you are not. You do not get to make me allergic while I sleep.
Me: Also, you should know that there is in fact a Kitty Jail in the new place. So when you start acting up, don’t think the Big Man with the Deep Voice won’t throw you in there.
Me: Except this time it’s a laundry room rather than a basement. And Guerilla Ninja Cat under the seat there will love it—there are all sorts of shelves she can climb and we’ll put things on them that she can hide behind. You, I suspect, will hate it.
Me: On the plus side, there is a balcony where we will let you frolic, provided you don’t eat anything we plant out there. Just stay away from my chives and basil, okay?
Him: Mrow. BlinkBlinkBlink Mrow.
Me: No, don’t worry—the balcony is nothing like jumping out the back window. First of all, there’s a barrier. Second, if you did jump off, you’d be screwed, because we’re three floors up. So I recommend you just hang out, sun yourself, and be your usual, lazy-assed self, okay?
Him: Mrow mrow.
Me: Great. Now go crawl under the seat and make sure Lady Gaga isn’t dead.
Navigational Cat says get off at the next exit, he needs a frosty.
(1)Her name has been changed to protect her innocence tand reflect the fact that she’s not a little off-center.
(2)We were mildly worried that maybe she’d worked herself into such a later that she’d had a heart attack. Thankfully, she is just extremely skilled at Being Quiet. It is one of the many reasons I’m convinced she’s part guerilla warrior.
(3)His name has been changed to reflect his current state.(4)
(4)For the record, SWEDE gave him this moniker, I did not. It’s his cat, so he’s allowed.
(5)I made it all the way whopping way to Breezewood before wearing contacts was just too much to handle with my watering, puffy eyes, and I tossed them out and put on my glasses.
(6)In case you’re wondering why these cats weren’t tranq’d and travelling in carriers, I will only say this: we tried. It didn’t work very well. And Swede and I happen to quite like our skin without accompanying scars from where those assholes tried to cleave out the Grand Fucking Canyon with their claws.(7)
(7)YET ANOTHER REASON WHY I AM PRO-DECLAWING THESE WEIRDOS.