Housecats

I follow a fairly consistent order of operations when we move.  First comes the procurement of a new home and therefore address, after which home and car insurance can be obtained, with which you can secure a local driver's license, which is necessary to get local license plates,which you can always put off getting until your old tags expire, but it's a little dicey to let them lapse.

After I can prove that I legally live in a new place, things like internet and electricity can be set up, and then I can usually relax and unpack and try to figure out how many new shelves will be necessary, and how few trips to Ikea I can get away with.  After the kitchen and closets achieve a level of basic functionality, I turn my attention back outside of the house.  I try to find at least one doctor before I'm actually sick, so that when I have strep throat or something uncomfortable I don't have to try to figure out how to log into some untouched health insurance website.  Dentists don't usually get looked up until much later, and, unfortunately for the cat, finding a new vet normally gets shoved pretty far down the list as well.  In fact, we avoided it altogether in Calgary.  This move to Houston may have created a new template, however.

House cats are typically happy in their own environments.  They like familiar smells, familiar views and perches.  Moving can be stressful, so I have been worried about our cat during this entire month.  She rode with us in the car from Calgary to Minnesota, and stayed with my parents while we house-hunted.  She remained there while I finished packing in Calgary.  She sustained two more days in the car, with a Holiday Inn overnight in Wichita, on the way down here, and then she had to stay in our bedroom for three days while we waited for the movers to come.  November was probably not her favorite month.

By the time the movers finished unloading the boxes, I was ready to just sit for a minute in the new place and enjoy not being in motion.  My husband was at work with the car, and the cat was shut up in a bathroom with her water and box.  At last, I released her to roam around and I made a cup of tea.

I was sitting with my tea at the kitchen table, surrounded by boxes and blissful quiet, when suddenly I saw the cat falling through the air.  Our home is arranged in a tall and skinny fashion; it has four levels organized around an open atrium and stairwell.  The stairwell was one of the features I loved about the place, and suddenly here was my cat falling through it.  It was so unnatural, and also quiet.  She didn't scream or anything.  She fell from above me, so I will never know exactly what happened...it appears that she misjudged a jump or tried to get into a windowsill that was just out of reach.

Regardless, everything that happened next was about that.  I ran to see her, but she wasn't where she fell; she had landed in the foyer and run to hide in a nearby bathroom.  I was desperately scared and horrified.  After a scramble and a few phone calls, the cat and I were on our way to a nearby vet in the cab of a luckily genial driver.  My friend helped me over the phone to find the vet on short notice, and he turned out to be fantastic.  He was ten blocks away and the cat and I received amazing service.

She turned out fine.  She had a minor nosebleed which quickly resolved and a fractured tooth which ultimately required a root canal.  She approaches the stairs with caution, and we make sure to take extra care to know where she is while she gets used to our new home.

Aside from the cat disaster, I love Houston so far.  The people are friendly and I am really happy with our new home and neighborhood.  Also, the things that we went through with the cat put on display a really nice feature of Houstonians: their incredible friendliness.  My vet new vet even gave me a ride home so I wouldn't have to call a cab again.  And, as horrible as it was that Bean fell, now we already have a great vet for her in the neighborhood.  I hope that there is not another move next year, but if there is, I may put the task of locating a vet in a higher position in the order of operations.

Houston is My New Chicago

Giving Thanks