Moving with pets is stressful. Add kids into the equation and that equals extra chaos.

My husband, two kids, two cats, and a dog finally moved this past May. Our first house was supposed to be our “starter” house. Seventeen years later and we finally bought a new one. Better late than never, right?

Back in 2004 when we moved into our new house, I was a newlywed. We didn’t have a lot to move over from our rental apartment at the beach. Just our late cat Bella and my preggo tummy (yes, we were expecting our first child). When I think back to that time it all seems so exciting and simple. The biggest challenge was getting connectivity to the Internet (WiFi was just getting big back then) so I could work from home. Yes, some of us worked remote many years before the pandemic began.

After a day in the new house I realized that I couldn’t find our cat, Bella. I was hysterical. I called my husband at work frantically. “Bella is gone! He’s gotten out!”  My husband’s cooler, non-hormone influenced head prevailed. He said, “Bella will emerge when he’s hungry enough.”

He wasn’t right. But he also wasn’t entirely wrong. See, Bella was incredibly food motivated. So after a day, his insatiable appetite must have kicked into high gear.

Out of the blue, we heard faint meows and tracked him down.

Bella hiding under the bed frame.

Our curious Ragdoll had wiggled himself into a tiny hole behind the stove but couldn’t get out. Not surprising. He was always wiggling himself into odd spaces. To this day I’m not really sure how he

Bella in my at home office drawer

was able to fit his head through the hole. My husband had to pull out some drywall to get him out. And then boarded it up so that not even a fly could get through.

Fast forward 17 years and you’d think I would have learned my lesson. Especially now with a large dog my cats avoid like the plague. But time has this way of reimagining unpleasant experiences into perfectly pleasant ones. Fortunately, none of our fur babies got lost or stuck. But I do wish I had put Maximus Decimus Meridius and Wilbur in one room for a few days before letting them explore. It’s taken them a good month to resume their usual behaviors. Now, they’re back to eating full meals and standing their ground with the dog when he gets too close.

Wilbur & Maximus Decimus Meridius hunkering down in our new home

If you’re moving with pets, don’t make the mistake I did. Keep in mind that kitties are very habitual creatures! Check out our Club Cat blog post on how to help your feline and canine kiddos adapt a lot quicker to your new digs.