Trajectory Towards Transformation: Part 9 — The Big One & Done

Wrapping up this tale of our Trajectory Towards Transformation…

We planned to end our month of moving in successive waves with our plans for the final, Big One: hiring a moving company to haul the furniture (and any remaining boxes we needed to send) to Colorado, with us hauling the cats in their carrier crates in the car. Simple enough plan…

Then the harsh reality set in that we still had way too much stuff to take. Despite feeling we had become ruthless in casting off unwanted stuff, we had far more than we could load into boxes for the moving company. So: we used the “release valve” of storing some of our leftover stuff at a neighbor’s across the street. We had already started storing some seasonal stuff (Christmas decorations) that we felt we could return and retrieve later. Now, that plan went from storing a little there to storing a LOT there.

We accelerated our giving things away, including one of our biggies we knew would not make the journey with us: the piano I had grown up with and then inherited. I only occasional play it these days, and the expense of moving hardly seemed justified with electronic keyboards so plentiful and cheap. By asking around on social media, we were able to gift that to a friend of a friend who sent a moving crew to pick it up. Knowing it went to a “good home” felt excellent.

Finally, we did indeed leave the property “as is,” including a slowly rotting backyard shed with about half of its contents, several pieces of unwanted furniture inside, and various items stored in the attic that we had not even accessed in over 20 years, including my pro video equipment fro the 80s and some of my elementary school papers.

The movers arrived on the appointed day and loaded up our furniture (including the disassembled waterbed frame) and boxes, and, amid a flurry of papers and payment, took off. We waved good-bye and held our breath as our belongings disappeared from sight.

Our main worry all along for this leg had been traveling with our cats, especially with an overnight stop on the way. We decided to ask our vet, Dr. Mike Mullen, for advice on moving them.

“Earplugs,” he quickly responded.

He explained his opposition to sedating them for the journey with stories of owners accidentally giving too much to the cat when initial doses did not work and ending up in the animal ER with near comatose pets — and then blaming him despite his warnings. He recommended just packing them in carriers in the car and driving on despite any loud objections. “Really good earplugs,” he repeated.

Sara got the joyful duty of capturing them to put them in the crates to load them into the car. Neither Scamp nor Hussy was pleased with this situation, but Hussy steamed silently after an initial round of yowls. Scamp, on the other hand, let off a long series of low, protracted meows as we took off, only slowly falling silently the miles rolled under our wheels. That first day, he would only wake enough to yowl again if we left the highway to stop, then protest briefly before giving up again.

We stayed overnight at a La Quinta in Lubbock, they being truly pet-friendly — not just dog-friendly. We arrived and shuttled the cats up to the room and released them first into the bathroom where we’d set up a litter box.

Hussy hiding at the hotel

Hussy hiding at the hotel

That was way too late for Hussy, who had thoroughly pissed the bedding in her crate.

Once released from her carrier, she immediately hid in the farthest corner of the bathroom, totally ignoring the litter box as well as the food and water we set down. Fine — she could pout but could not get out.

Scamp explores the hotel room

Scamp explores the hotel room

Scamp, still on high alert and slowly yowling at first, then settled into an exploratory routine, checking out every corner and surface he could reach, finally making himself comfortable on the bed.

We were halfway home.

Though Hussy was not happy in the morning getting re-crated with her slightly washed and plastic-wrapped bedding, she was not our real problem in the morning. No, it was Scamp who suddenly and quite inexplicably, disappeared. Now, hotel rooms are made these days with few hidden nooks & crannies, so it took a several maddening minutes — including a frantic look up and down the hallway in case he’d somehow slipped out— before Sara found him wedged between the bed mattress and frame.

Our second day of cats-in-car travel went smoother, with Scamp quickly quieting down now that he understood the routine. It was just another day of long highways under endless skies as we neared Cañon City and a late afternoon arrival.

Scamp finds his scratching post

Scamp finds his scratching post

Lots of folks had warned us that the cats would not adjust quickly to a new environment and would likely freak out and hide for days. Quite the opposite happened with our cats. They took to their new home immediately.

I figure they must have felt relieved to sniff so many familiar items from our Austin home already there — as well as to get out of the chaos that the prior house had slowly become for them over the many months prior to moving.


Now, all we needed was our furniture, which we expected the following Wednesday afternoon, which we confirmed with a morning phone call. Except that confirmation was an error, and our expectations collided full force with the realities of furniture delivery. See, while we expected delivery on Wednesday, that was actually the first possible day that the furniture might arrive. The person confirming delivery was new and had totally mis-read the wrong information, raising our hopes.

Instead, we were told the furniture might arrive as soon as Friday, or the following week, but that actually, the paperwork we signed gave them up to TWENTY-EIGHT days to complete delivery, with an additional week to resolve any complaints. We understandably freaked out at the possibility of not getting our furniture back for another month.

After some phone fireworks (second company spokesperson displayed arrogant customer relations skills), followed by some secondary calls from another spokesperson more skilled in customer relations, we found out we would keep tabs on the furniture by touching base directly with the dispatcher. Though it was still another few days before the furniture would arrive, at least we felt like things might be getting back on track.

Sure enough, a truck arrived the following week with our furniture, and the crew started filling our house with something more than the boxes we had spread throughout. This was also when we discovered that our wonderfully cute staircase prevented either desk or the futon from being moved upstairs. Suddenly, we had to figure out where downstairs they could go instead, as well as what to use upstairs in their places.

Yeah, we’re still working out those improvisations. We’ve been living here in our house now full-time for 6 weeks, and a number of things are still getting sorted out as we settle in. Some repairs are underway and we’re enjoying the process of making this new old house our home.

We continue our transformation.

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About bullersbackporch

I am a native Austinite, a high-tech Luddite, lover of music, movies and stories and a born trainer-explainer.
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