In October, my daughter Sharon and her family moved to a new house about a mile away. For weeks their house swirled with activity as both Sharon and Jacob worked, all four children needed rides to school, and they packed their home.
Their three cats, Deputy, Sheriff and Treasure hid in empty boxes, slept on piles of clothes waiting to be packed or walked out of the house for some peace and quiet.
The day of the move, the family bundled up the cats. “Keep the doors shut! Do not let the cats outside until they know that this is their house,” my daughter admonished everyone. With four children and friends walking in and out, that rule quickly failed. The cats slipped out.
When we came to the new home a week later, Sheriif repeatedly climbed on the roof and cried piteously to be let in a window because he couldn’t figure out how to get down. We found Deputy in a closed closet. Treasure, a grey cat, disappeared down the street. This was NOT his home. He walked back to the old neighborhood.
Even if his humans did not want to live in that house anymore, he did. He knew the neighbors, knew his favorite haunts and had seven years of memories in that place. No one asked him, but if they had, he would have told them that he didn’t want to move, and he wouldn’t move.
Over the next few weeks, my daughter repeatedly went back to their former house, found Treasure and carried him home. Repeatedly the cat returned to the house he knew. It was his house; anyone could live there with him.
The new people included children who eagerly haul him around until he has had enough – just as he did with my grandchildren.
Last week Sharon posted the following on her Facebook page:
“I drove by our old house today to say a different kind of ‘farewell.’
I saw our cat Treasure.
He has refused to move with us.
I have driven by our old house to retrieve him dozens of times. Every time I have seen him, I gently picked him up, held him in my lap for the one mile drive to our new home, fed him, pet him, cuddled him.
But every time he had the opportunity, he would dart out the door and trot through yards and fences back to the old home. #10 is his home. Not #103. He didn’t agree to packing, moving, painting, and settling somewhere new.
He’s fine with the old rain drains and quiet streets. He’s satisfied with the shade under the front windows and smooth concrete in the carport.
He’s rather annoyed with our plucking him up and taking him to the new house….over and over.
The people who bought our old home got a new cat. Their children are glad for it! He’s kind and easy going. He always has been.
I’ll miss this hulking cat and how he jumped up on my lap, forcing me to pet him.
Our other two cats, Deputy and Sheriff, don’t seem to miss him (probably because he barely tolerated their kitty-antics).
Our kids and Jacob don’t seem to miss him.
But I do.
Maybe I’m missing the home we lived in for 11 years. Maybe I’m missing the sweet, simple preschool years that we spent there at #10. Maybe I’m remembering how impetuously I insisted on bringing a kitten home on Easter Sunday when I was pregnant with Katie.
Maybe I’m missing the chats I had with neighbors who became like family, like our 91 year old neighbor who called Treasure “Gray Cat.”
Whatever it is that’s making me wax nostalgic, I can rest easy knowing the people who bought our home love it and are enjoying Treasure-cat.”