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there’s more than one way to move a cat, or is there?

Saturday, June 5th, 2010 by

If you wanted to read more about building Fred, or modern architecture, or buying land: Move along folks. Nothing to see here. Keep it moving.

Also, if you don’t have pets, you may not understand what you are about to read. Our guys are our family, and we would do anything for them.

And the upcoming move is stretching that definition of ‘anything’ to the limit.

Cat mover RV

Just don't say a word, OK?

Here’s the deal: George is a prima donna, and remains remarkably unruffled in any environment. If all we had to do was move George, we’d pop him into his carrier, hop on a plane and be done with it. In the interim, he would charm anyone and everyone who saw him, and we would have to answer the ‘Does he bite?’ question about 50 times, because he is one big boy of a cat. More info on that subject can be found here.

Gus is a little tougher to move. You see, Gus is very vocal when he is displeased. And Gus is displeased whenever he is in his carrier. Further, Gus has amazing stamina, and is as stubborn as a mule-cat. Hence, Gus would be the feline equivalent of the crying baby on an airplane for the entire duration of the flight. (Of course, I’m currently writing this post on an airplane with five crying/screaming babies on it, so right now I’d actually love to have Gus as a meowing distraction.) So, moving Gus by air might be doable, but a little tougher than moving George.

Of course, it really doesn’t make any difference whether Gus would be a problem, because we have three cats, not two. Cat number three is Jack. All 20 pounds of him. Jack is the sweetest and best behaved of the three, so his demeanor is not the problem.

The issue with Jack is one of sheer terror. Jack is very comfortable and loving around people he knows. The problem is, by my best guess, Jack only knows about eight people, and chances are extremely good that none of those eight are going to be the exclusive occupants of two airports, two airplanes, a rental car bus, a security checkpoint, or any of the other way points that he would have to occupy during the sojourn to his new home.

When Jack gets scared, he gets very scared. He shakes and quivers, he tries to hide, and amazingly for Jack, who never met a morsel he didn’t like, he refuses to eat.

So, any veto on the flying option goes to Jack, and this has been seconded by his vet and by numerous cat-moving-experts on the interwebs.

With flying out of the picture, and Chapel Hill being a land-locked city without a major seaport (I looked it up to be sure), that leaves driving. 3,000 miles of driving. Laura’s Miata can’t even hold me very well, let alone three cat carriers, so that ain’t happening. The Audi station wagon could do the trick. Barely. But that means staying in hotels, which means transporting the cats in and out of a lot of strange places with loud noises and potential escapes into dangerous areas. And managing the litter box and feeding while on the road wouldn’t be pretty.

So the seemingly-brilliant idea Laura had about three months ago was to rent an RV in California, and drive that to NC. This helps with two things, because it also gives the guys a safe quiet place to stay at both ends as the movers do their very loud and scary business. There’s only one catch: No-one will offer a one-way rental (with or without pets) of an RV from West to East during the summer.

So, short of buying the RV we’ve always dreamed of never owning, we will have to do the previously unthinkable. Fly to Raleigh, rent an RV in North Carolina, drive it to California, load up the boys, and then just drive it back. Did I say 3,000 miles before? Ha! This idea will see that 3,000 and raise you another 3,000. Over a total of less than 10 days.

I know, you’re all envious, aren’t you?

So this July, if you happen to be cruising down I-40, (Pretty much anywhere there is an I-40, ’cause will be covering the whole damn thing. Twice.) and you see a 29′ class-C RV driven by two very tired ex-Californians with three little furry faces looking out the back window, be sure to give it a wide berth. If it wasn’t a rental, I would paint the following words on its massive flanks:

Caution: Contents Under Pressure

Alas, the above warning will have to suffice.

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