Saturday, January 24, 2015

Ash 'n' Cinders Part 2 - Settling In

We collected the cats at the other end in Philadelphia airport (so pleased that we paid the extra money for someone else to do the running around with the customs paperwork) - looking slightly bemused and a little grumpy about the whole experience.  Logistics-wise, hubby had had to arrange a small minibus to pick up me, my luggage (4 cases) and the two cats in their cages.  And we still had a two hour drive back to our new home.  But other than a few vocal complaints on the drive back, they fared pretty well with the whole flying and travelling experience.

Once home, and finally released from their cages, the cats were initially a little confused and wary in exploring their new base - we had difficulty limiting them to a small area initially, as it's an open-plan house!  But once they'd located their food and litter trays, and our bed, they seemed a little calmer.  (Although Cinders decided that a half-unpacked bag was also a good sleeping spot for a couple of days).

They too seemed to suffer from jet-lag, although it could also have been the whole discombobulating (!) experience of being in a new house with new smells, sounds, sights and routines.  For about a week we had broken nights' sleep with 3am "songs" as they readjusted.  Initially the ceiling fan over the bed was scary, as was the electric garage door and the doorbell.  We also had no furniture for the first few weeks, and were camping on the living room floor, so comforting laps were also at a minimum, although they were happier when they discovered the big bay window to peer out of.

Most surprisingly, although previously they had been indoor /outdoor cats (often desperate to go out when we got home from work in the UK), here they have shown no interest whatsoever in going outside.  With hindsight, this is probably a good thing, as I'm not sure how they would fare against some of the larger mammals we've seen (ground hogs and possums etc).  However, it has also meant we've had to become more creative in keeping them stimulated in their comparatively smaller and less energetic indoor environment (otherwise they would sleep at every available opportunity). 

Ash gets comfortable on a camping chair...
So we've set up comfy window spots with cosy cushions and bird feeders outside to watch (more about this process later), and we spend time playing with them every day.  We've had a few weeks of initial potential "cat depression" from Ash, who found his favoured bed spot on top of the gallery landing where he could watch everyone's comings and goings, and barely moved.  But gradually they've both adjusted, probably as we have too, and now they seem much more settled.

Just chillin' in a sun ray

Lots of cuddles and patience later, and they have settled in well, and now rule the house even more than they did before!

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