Welcome to The Petting Zoo

Yesterday was a day.  Maybe even more like a day and a half! What started out as a normal calm Sunday ended in a tornado of furniture and fur – leaving one house half empty, and another one brimming to capacity.

You see, Captain America has this great house.  It’s tucked away up in the hills, and is significantly bigger and more private than my house, making it the perfect place for us to live when we get married.  The only problem is, it’s almost 20 years old…and so is the carpet.  However well the house has held up over the years, the same cannot be said for the once-white flooring.  After a couple of decades, several owners, and who-knows-how-many animals, that carpet and all of its stains has got to go!  Not just for our sanity, but for our health as well – when we finally combine our households we’ll have FIVE animals (four cats and a dog), which means lots of dander and fur.  Being able to really deep clean the floors is going to be important, and as all pet owners know, there’s just no way of getting that stuff fully out of carpeting, no matter how hard or how often you clean it!

Today begins the real demo of pulling all the carpets and pads up – so yesterday was the heavy lifting of emptying out half the rooms in the house in order to give the installers enough room to get down to business!  Luckily for us, my uncle and younger brother were in town for the weekend, so we had a few extra sets of arms and muscles to help us with some of the big stuff, like the old mattress from the spare room that’s being donated to make room for my newer, more comfortable one, and the old monolith of a TV in the living room that will also be replaced by my newer, and smaller one…

…And that was actually the easy part!


The Dining Room, Living Room, and Dan – Click to enlarge photo in new tab

The trickier part came that evening, when we had to move a caravan of animals – two cats and a dog – over to my house for the duration of the remodeling.  Can’t have three little critters running around, getting into stuff, and bolting out the door every time it opens while we’re trying to get work done!

The good new is that herding cats is actually a lot easier than people say it is, so it wasn’t too hard to get everybody all situated.  However, after a successful escape attempt, Captain America’s cat Dan put up quite a fight against the carrier upon re-entry.  And although us humans won out in the end, I walked away with a pretty nasty scratch going from my ankle bone partway up my calf. Then, when we made the transition to my house and introduced them to their new bedroom for the week, (our cats aren’t exactly bestfriendsforever yet, so we’re keeping them separated until they get used to each other), I accidentally got in the line of fire again and ended up with another lovely gash – this time by my right eye. (Have you ever tried wearing glasses with an injury to the bridge of your nose?  It’s a challenge, let me tell you.)

Happily, after several hours of moving large objects and several small maimings, everyone has calmed down a lot, and having five animals in less than 1,200sqft hasn’t been as difficult as we expected.  But then again…it’s only day two – check back in a week and we’ll really see how we’re doing!  Using the spare room as a private sanctuary for Ben and Dan (Captain America’s cats) to adjust has worked out well though, and my cats have barely even noticed there are new creatures in their house except on the few exploratory missions the interlopers have made into the living room.  But even then things have been relatively calm, and I think everyone (cats, dogs, and humans alike) is much more hopeful that these two houses can be blended in just a few short weeks, after all!


Ben (left) meets Baseball (right)

Have you ever blended a family of pets?  Do you have any advice for someone trying to do the same?  What’s the next project on your to-do list for around the house?  How do you and your pets handle it when you have to have someone come in and do some handy-work?


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