Monday, March 28, 2016

Barley On the Move

It may seem like we've fallen off the face of the Earth since I announced that we closed on our house earlier this month, but I promise we're still here--and officially moved into our new house.

Soth and I had been in our old apartment for 6 years and Barley had lived there her whole life, so even though I've lived through plenty of moves, I'd forgotten how much time and energy it takes to move--and I'd never had to work right up to moving day before, either. After surviving an event at work where I brought 300 middle schoolers to campus for an all day celebration of reading and writing, my mom and aunt/godmother arrived last Friday to help me get some painting done before the furniture moved in on Monday.

We worked insanely long days all weekend to get my master bedroom and kitchen done. Without my mom and aunt, I'm not sure these projects would ever have gotten done, but thanks to them, those rooms are exactly how I envisioned them less than a week after moving in.

I'd gotten all of the wallpaper out of the master bedroom before my family arrived and we took it from this:

Notice the Barley tail?

To this:

This is one of the few corners of the house that doesn't have mountains of boxes.

I have wanted a sunshine yellow room my entire adult life, but haven't lived in a place where I could paint the walls, and now I have one. It's exactly what I wanted.

We took the kitchen from this (which I thought was cute, but not me):

To this (which is 100% me):

Barley'd been visiting the house for a few weeks, so I was hoping that she'd settle in quickly. That hasn't quite been the case. She's acting much like she did when I first adopted her. She follows me everywhere or on the rare occasion she lets me out of her sight, she gets into something she shouldn't (ex. stealing a strip of rabbit jerky out of a bag of treats I still needed to put away and eating it wrapper and all . . . which eventually led to throwing up plastic wrap). When I put her in her crate, she cries. When I gave her a chew to keep her busy while I was carrying things in from the car on one of the man, many trips back and forth from the apartment, she carried it around but wouldn't settle down to chew it until I stayed inside. 

There's been a lot of panting and pacing.

She put herself to bed in her crate early the first night we stayed here, but she's been struggling to find a spot to settle down.

She stole her brother's little bed.

She has never been allowed on the couch in the 5+ years we've been together--and had never even made an attempt to get on the couch at the apartment--but every time I turned around last week, I kept finding her on the couch. I finally caved and patted the cushion while I was sitting on the couch and inviting her up. It might be the only thing she likes about being in the house right now.

Soth is the pet I was most worried about since he has FLUTD, which may be caused by stress. I was afraid he'd have a hard time with the new space. I'm happy to report that I was wrong.

Soth has embraced his new home that I never imagined he would. He had a few hours to explore solo between the movers leaving and Barley coming home from the vet from her teeth cleaning. He ran from room to room where I'd strategically placed cat towers and furniture near windows so he can watch birds easily. 

He really thought the mattress should stay this way. I told him to quit being dangerous.

He loves the storm doors at the front and back of the house and has been very upset when I've told him that it's too cold to leave the doors open for him to watch out the storm doors all day long. When the temperatures decide to stay consistently warm, he might get more opportunities to watch like this.

Most bafflingly, his favorite feature in the house appears to be the basement. I can't figure out it's appeal--the floors are cold (and this is the cat that has me trained to turn a heating pad on for him when he's chilly), the windows are too high for him to see out of, there's no food--but runs down there every chance he gets. When we first moved in, the door didn't latch and Soth quickly learned he could open it by sticking his paw under the door and pulling. My mom quickly fixed that for us and now Soth only gets to go down there when I say he can (I don't want to be heating the basement all day long--or worrying about him accidentally getting shut down there!). He runs down the stairs and then walks laps around the basement--through Barley's gym area, through the furnace room, through the workshop, under the stairs, repeat, with the occasionally side trip to the laundry room. He's like a little old man walking around a track for exercise--I may need to get him a jogging suit! I can't figure out why he wants to be down there or why he walks lap after lap around the basement, but if it makes him happy and he's getting good exercise, I guess it makes me happy.

Soth's found favorite spots to rest and to watch out the windows in every single room. 

He's even offered to help clean.
The only problem we've had with him so far is figuring out where to feed him where Barley can't easily snack on his food. His grandma might be building him a little "dining room table" of his own--window height, of course, so he can have dinner and a show when birds are in the yard. 

Life is slowly starting to fall back into place, so I'm looking forward to making the rounds to everyone's blogs again and catching up with everything that's been going on in your worlds! We've missed you!


  1. Oh wow!! Your house looks amazing! I love your paint choices! How fun!

    I'm sorry Barley is feeling stressed about the new house! I'm sure she'll settle in soon! That was so nice of you to cave about letting her up on the couch. My girls have always been allowed on the furniture, we just put a blanket down. :)

    That's cool that Soth is loving the new house! I bet that was a relief! I know that having a cat with pee pee issues can be tough!

    We feed our cats up on the cat trees, if that helps you! The girls haven't been able to get to the food so far! :D

    1. Thank you! I'm hoping Barley will settle in soon because it's breaking my heart every time I put her in the crate to go to work or run errands. It has been a relief that Soth's taken to it so well! I've thought about getting him a new cat tree that has a winder platform for his dishes, but he's so messy with his wet food that it might be more cleaning that I want to do (and Barley already climbs his current 6-foot tower if he leaves treats unfinished there). I'm hoping my mom can make him a little tile-top "table" that's easy to clean and matches the eat-in area of the kitchen :)

  2. Woohoo! Can't wait to see it! Bar will get used to it--at least she doesn't have stress related health issues :)

    1. Bar just needs Aunt L to come snuggle her.

  3. It looks and sounds like you are settling in nicely! Sheba followed me around panting and pacing our first couple of days too. She wouldn't settle down unless I settled down (which was hard to do!).
    I love the colors you chose! While what was there was pretty in it's own way, you really brightened it up. Sometimes you just need to change things to make them your own too.
    It's funny how the pets react differently than we expect, but I'm so glad for you that Soth is really making himself at home and not stressed. I'm sure Barley will get there too...once you have new routines established.
    I feel for you having to work! We took a couple days before our move and then the week after, and I still didn't want to go back to work yesterday! I agree, this turned out to be a lot more work than I remembered, and I'm still trying to figure out my own routines as well!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

    1. Thank you! The change from the wallpaper to my yellows was incredible--even without the lights on, it's still bright! (And I'm the type of person that hates to be in the dark and will end up having every single light in the house on, so that's a very good thing.)

      Barley has been able to relax a little more the more our routine has been established. I'm hoping that nice weather will come to stay so we can get back to enjoying 2 decent walks a day.

      Thankfully, I had spring break last week, so I did get several days to finish up the painting (or else my kitchen would still be without cabinet doors!) and to get everything out of the apartment, but I still had grading and lesson planning to do, so that's about as far as I've gotten. I'm trying to commit to emptying one box a day, though, and maybe by the end of the semester I'll actually be able to cook a full meal in my kitchen without having to stop and dig through boxes looking for things I need :)

  4. You sure got a lot accomplished. I am sure Barley will settle in eventually. Funny about Soth liking the basement. My kitty also loves the basement. Not sure why that is.

    1. I guess basements are just way cooler than we realize :) I'm hoping that the more boxes I can eliminate, the more relaxed Barley will get!

  5. I love your cheerful yellow paint! Yellow is one of my favorite colors. :D

    I'm sorry miss Barley is still having a hard time. I'm sure that once the weather permits more walking and there aren't any more packed boxes she'll feel better. And in the meantime, I think that the couch agreement you guys have reached is very reasonable. :D

    Nala gets to sleep on the couch and the bed. Like Lauren, I just keep throw blankets on them so that I can wash them frequently to keep the dog hair situation under control and keep nice blankets/upholstery from getting battered by dog paws.

    1. Yellow is one of my favorites, too!

      Barley's still not 100% sure that she's really allowed on the couch and always looks at me for permission if I'm already sitting on it when she decides she wants up. Not allowing her on the couch was more so I had my own space where I could grade papers (she tends to be happiest if some part of her is touching me and that doesn't always make grading easy!), but so far things are working out pretty well :)