The one we most worried about on this move was Max. He who does not handle stress well. Because he can—and does, especially at the vet—poop at will, and the upstairs carpet in the new house is mostly white…well, we were hoping that he would find other ways to vent his irritations at being uprooted yet again. You know: biting, scratching, drawing blood…

All during the packing he acted as if he knew what was happening, and he wasn’t the least bit happy about it. Buddah was in 7th heaven: there were boxes all over the apartment, and to him that meant things to explore and jump on. To Max it spelled out DOOM. On Saturday morning we locked him and Buddah in the (very large) bathroom; he looked at me over his shoulder as I closed the door, and the glare said loud and clear, “I know what’s going on. Bitch.”

Seven hours later they were let out to explore the now mostly vacant yet extremely messy apartment, and ten minutes after that they were in the car on the way to the new house. And I heard about it all the way there, the feline equivalent of Are We There Yet? Only I got it in stereo, first one cat meowing, then the other, the entire ride there.

Once let out, they began to frantically explore the house. There was much slinking from room to room on a furry little belly, much jumping at new sounds, much cringing from new smells.

Only the one slinking and jumping and cringing wasn’t Max. Max was fine: after fifteen minutes or so of “What the hell just happened?” he was happily checking out his new digs, scoping out each of the rooms and the stairs. Buddah, on the other hand, was almost completely freaked out, overwhelmed by the sudden onslaught of sounds and smells, and a floor layout he didn’t understand.

Buddah, in short, was one scared little kitty. And once Max got past the initial explorations of new places to nap and run, he noticed. Buddah would bolt from a new sound, and Max would quietly follow, and more than once I spied him rubbing his head against Buddah’s, and once found him quietly licking Buddah’s ears.

By Sunday afternoon Buddah was a little less skittish, and discovered the Joy Of The Stairs. By Sunday evening they were both taking full advantage of all the space available to run, chasing each other at speeds I haven’t seen out of Max in three years. Monday evening Max tossed Buddah down the stairs, and Buddah grabbed Max’s collar and pulled it off over his head.

Max is happy; Buddah is getting there.

Buddah’s existence was made a little brighter by his finding of the mouse. He was disappointed because it was a dead mouse he pulled out from under the stove, and because the Spouse Thingy took it away, but to an eight month old kitten, a dead mouse is better than no mouse.

Max and Buddah’s People are exhausted; by Saturday night, after two weeks of packing and hauling boxes and painting ceilings and walls, my body sent out a “No More” message. I could handle no more, and my back declared it to be a Vicodin kind of evening. I was mostly useless Sunday, and Monday found me crawling back into bed three hours after getting up.

The Spouse Thingy is tired, but he keeps pressing on, hauling stuff out of storage and getting things left behind at the apartment, hanging curtains at the house and dragging things up the stairs that I just don’t have the energy for.

But honestly, this move wouldn’t have happened as smoothly as it did without the Boy and his friends. They were the major muscle, loading all the big things onto the U-Haul truck, and then unloading and hauling it into the house…a good deal of it up the stairs, including my big assed desk and the washer and dryer. There’s no way the Spouse Thingy and I could have done it without them. And they did it without any major damage. Hell, the only damage was to a drawer that *I* forgot to secure; Paris and Drew lifted the cart and the drawer fell out; the face broke off but it’s entirely fixable.

So here were are…in the house, boxes littering the floor, the sound of cat feet thundering across the floor like a herd of wild elephants, and with little energy left to tackle the Cleaning Of The Apartment.

Really, I need a whole lot of energy for that; it looks like a bomb went off. You don’t realize just how dirty a place is until you get all the furniture out. Judging by the interior landscape of the place, we should be grateful no one from the Department of Health ever stopped by.

Oh, and 5 days without Internet access (or cable TV) really sucks. Cable people showed up this afternoon, after much prodding and involvement of a supervisor; turns out they actually showed up yesterday—to the wrong house. The techs made the effort, but they were given the wrong house number.


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