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For cats who are forced to relocate with their owners

For realistic tips for humans who are moving with cats, read Making the Big Move: How to transform relocation into a creative life transition and visit other relocation resources on this site.

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1. If you sense your owner plans to move, be on your best behavior.

Revive those terminally cute poses you used to get yourself adopted. Let your owner sleep past 5 AM. Keep your paws out of your owner's hair.

Use the litterbox religiously. If you must throw up, head for the bathroom and skip the windowsills.

You do not want your owner to entertain thoughts like, "I don't want to ruin the beautiful floors in our new home," or, "You know, it's really hard to rent an apartment when you have a cat."

2. Here's a great game. Jump into an empty box, stick your head out and hold the pose while your owner runs around looking for a camera. As soon as she appears, finger on snap button, turn around and point your tail at the camera.

You'll learn some new cuss words, guaranteed.

3. The arrival of the moving van is your cue to hide. You can have lots of fun with this one.

Your owner will run around frantically, cursing the movers: "You idiots! You left the door open! Now little Furball is gone forever!"

After they've wasted an hour running around the neighborhood, appear out of nowhere and begin to wash. When they shriek, "Oh there she is!" and try to hug you, summon an aloof glare and wash your face again.

Bonus tip: If you really want to freak them out, hide in your cat carrier.

4. As you begin your twelve-hour drive, remember that your owners would rather listen to your yowling than to the latest tapes or the local weather and news. Keep it up!

5. Demand a sandbox break as soon as your owner begins driving on a road where it is absolutely impossible to pull over. A narrow bridge with bumper-to-bumper traffic is a good choice.

6. Motel etiquette calls for you to sit in the window, looking absolutely adorable. Encourage passers-by to tap on the glass at all hours, especially if your owner has forgotten to draw the curtains.


If you suspect your owners have snuck you into the room without checking, begin yowling as soon as they try to move you to a more secluded spot.

7. When it's time to hit the road at 6 AM, you don't want to be found. If you can position yourself under the queensize bed, out of reach of your owner's arms, you can delay everyone's travel plans for a good half hour. The award for the most creative hiding place goes to the feline who wedged herself between mattress cover and springs.

Caution: This only works if your owner really adores you. If you can't be found in twenty minutes, you might be looking for a new home.

8. Insist on being present when boxes are unpacked. Jump into each box to make sure the contents arrived safely. If your owners lock you into the bathroom "so kitty can't escape," use the opportunity to practice your singing. The movers need entertainment, too.

9. Demand to test each windowsill of the new home. If you still have claws, test the curtains to see if they'll hold your weight. Fifteen pounds? Should be no problem.

Miniblinds offer limitless opportunities for new versions of torture-the-owner. How many can you bend? How about breaking off a little hole for your head to peek through? Cute.

10. Encourage your owner to get a dog. You may never have to move again. "Honey, we can't move. We could never afford another place where Spot could have a yard."

Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. is an author, career coach, and speaker. She works with mid-career professionals who want to make a fast move to career freedom. Visit her site http://www.movinglady.com or call 505-534-4294.


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