Moving isn’t just stressful for people. Animals also feel the stress due to a changing environment. My cat Gwennie (pictured) is a seasoned traveller and a real trooper. She’s been through 14 states in three years. Fortunately, she’s only lived in three of them.
With my husband deployed and me living in a state where I didn’t really have any friends and working a job that didn’t give me the time I needed to make friends, sometimes the most conversation I’d have in a week would be with Gwennie.
A brief background on Gwennie:
Gwendolynn Anne Marie Stefanie Collins Silver was born in May of 2008. I brought her home two months later. At the time I adopted her, I was going through a divorce and thought it best (for long, complicated and painful reasoning) to let my previous cats, Lucy and Bridgetta stay with my ex-husband.
Gwennie was both comfort and companionship for me. I knew when I adopted her that she would be the one cat I would never feel I had to leave with the next man to break my heart. As a joke, Ieft her at home one day with the television on, set to Lifetime. I told my mother I wanted my cat to know that all men were evil bastards who hurt women just like on Lifetime. Keep in mind, I was going through a divorce. I don’t actually think men are evil bastards.
Sadly, however, Gwennie does not like my husband. More so, because she’s a one-person cat. But I generally tell people that she doesn’t like boys because when she was a baby I made her watch a marathon of Lifetime, Oxygen, and WE.
Anyway, we moved to California in November of 2009 to live with my now-husband. This past year, we brought home a friend for Gwennie, Little Miss. So when it was time to move again, there were miscellaneous items that I needed to get in preparation. One of those items was a kitty carrier for Little Miss. The only one I had for her was the card board box-carrier that the animal shelter provided us when we adopted her. Somehow I didn’t think it would stand up to a four day drive across country. Off to Petsmart I went.
Me: Gwennie, I’ll be right back.
Gwennie: Where are you going?
Me: To Petsmart baby. I’ll be back soon.
Gwennie: Are you getting me more toys.
Me: (chuckle) No baby.
Gwennie: ‘Cause you know I don’t have any toys. I don’t know why you won’t buy them for me.
Me: Really? If you don’t have any toys then how do you explain the poof ball that was on my bed this morning and the stuffed mice I tripped over in the kitchen?
Gwennie: You’re mean.
Gwennie stretched out on the floor, exposing her extremely fluffy belly. Then she yawned.
Gwennie: So what are you going to get if you’re not going to buy me toys?
Me: A kitty carrier for Little Miss.
Gwennie: Why? We’re not taking her. Are we?
Side note: Gwennie and Little Miss generally get along and do play with each other but every now and then Gwennie feels as though I betrayed her when we brought the new kitty home. I wonder how she’s going to feel when my husband and I bring home a human baby for the first time?
Me: Of course we’re taking her. Why would you say that?
Gwennie: Wishful thinking.
Me: Is that all?
Gwennie: How come Little Miss get’s a new carrier? Why can’t I have the new carrier?
Me: Gwennie, my love, if you want the new carrier, you can have the new carrier. Little Miss can have your old carrier.
Gwennie: Why are you taking my old carrier from me? What’s wrong with you? Why would you do that?
Me: (sigh) All right. This is what I’m going to do. I’m going to go out and purchase a new carrier. When it’s time for us to get in a car, I’ll set both carriers down at the same time. Which ever one you go into will be your carrier. How does that sound?
Gwennie scrunched her face.
Gwennie: I’m not going in a car!
Me: Oh for the love of garlic bread.
To be continued.