Moving to a new city… (Part 3)

So now that you’re up to date on why I moved and how I got my stuff there, it’s time to share the messy, yet inexplicably painful details of how I got from coast to coast (west to east, best to least).

Devan & Vanessa

My wife flew from Los Angeles to Newark, NJ with our then 6 month old son.  It was never even a remote consideration that the two of them would endure such a long drive across this great (and expansive) country of ours.  I, in the meantime,  remained behind to finish packing up our belongings, load them into the ABF trailer we’d arranged to transport our stuff and to tie up any remaining loose ends.  I had two days to complete our business in L.A. and get gone!  By the way, this was the longest I’d ever been away from my wife and son and it was already getting to me by the end of the first day!

My best friends and helpers (l-r: Jason, Tony and ME)

Packing is never a fun thing to do, especially by your self.  Luckily, I had two friends that had offered their services to assist me get the “big” stuff from my apartment into the ABF trailer. As much as I appreciated their help, we didn’t get as much done as I needed to with their help.  They left earlier than I’d anticipated, hence, leaving me with WAY too much to do in far too little time.  That was mostly my fault!  I didn’t have my stuff together as well as I should have.  If not for Tony and Jason, I’d have been SCREWED!  Thanks guys!

Needless to say, somehow, I got it done.  Barely!  There was just one major hitch…we had three cats that had to find their way across country, too.  At the time, we explored several options, all of which proved to be completely ridiculous.  In the end, there were only two viable options…

Firstly, we’d thought about flying them out to minimize the stress on the cats and for ease of responsibility on us.  But that fantasy quickly evaporated when we learned it would cost $900 per cat!  One cat cost 50% more to fly out than it cost for either my wife or my son…FORGET THAT!

(l-r) Shiva, Muni & Nudge

Secondly, we considered them taking the scenic route (with me), driving across country.  I had to plan this out carefully.  Imagine if you will…3 cats and 1 human in a 4-door sedan, traveling 2,800 miles together.  Scary, isn’t it?  Absolutely!

If you ever find yourself, or know of someone, in need of making a similar trip, I strongly suggest you take this to heart and learn from it the best you can.  To begin, this is more stressful than you can imagine for not only yourself, but the cats as well!

What are the absolute necessities involved with such an endeavor?  Here’s what I came up with: Litter box, food, water, baby wipes, paper towels, and most importantly, a barrier between your fuzzy little friends and yourself!  I can not stress enough the importance of this last item!  It will be the difference between making it safely to your destination…or not.

Luckily for me, my car had back seats that folded down allowing access to the trunk area.  I purchased a collapsable pet enclosure/house/containment unit that measured approximately 4×4 feet (octagonally shaped) and 2 feet high, that fit in back of the front seats and sat on top of the folded down rear seats.  I faced the opening of the enclosure towards the trunk opening and then secured and blocked the sides from any possible kitty escapes or entanglements (and OF COURSE duct tape was involved!). There were also two mesh windows so they could look out and feel like they were a part of the action!

The enclosure in the back seat was decked out with lounging stations, towels, toys and assorted kitty treats to be implemented at various times along the route.  The trunk was divided into two areas…the bathroom and the dining room.  I KNOW!  That sounds a little close for comfort, but I really did do a good job creating separate spaces to avoid cross-contamination of the two.  Also, there was water and food in the main area, though it mostly just got knocked over,,,ALOT!

Our apartment in L.A.

The day I left, I managed to get all 3 cats into the car and “cat area” with minimal trouble by doing it one cat at a time.  Did I mention that two of the cats can’t stand each other and were/are constantly antagonizing one another?  No?  Oops! Now you know…

With rampant caterwauling, hissing and WWF style wrestling going on in the back of the car, I got onto the 105 freeway, heading east, and put my home and my life as I knew it in my rearview mirror to the sounds of Bad Religion and Agent Orange pouring out from my speakers (punk rock seemed like the fitting thing to play leaving LA!).  Little did I know that this adventure was about to take on a life of it’s own…


1 Comment

  1. I would name your blog the dreamland! While Santa knocks at our door just once per year, you blog is open the whole year – wow!

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