On the day you are moving home you ensure that your cat is safe, secure, and, if possible, in a quiet area. Or, beforehand, your cat has been temporarily homed somewhere else – whatever it takes.
I was prompted to write this short article because a lady in Suffolk, Virginia, USA made a mistake although she has not admitted it. Her mistake put her cat through a lot of discomfort and pain and herself through mental anguish.
She was moving from Suffolk, Virginia to Hawaii and the plan was that her cat, Mee Moowe, would stay behind. I think this decision was made because Hawaii has strict controls regarding domestic and stray cats because they have a thriving bird population which attracts tourists. It was probably impractical to take a cat with her to Hawaii for that reason, which, by the way, begs the question whether she had to go at all.
The trouble is that on the day of moving the removals people inadvertently packed away, with household possessions, her cat because, once again, I presume her cat was hiding somewhere amongst them. Perhaps she had jumped into one of the packing boxes and it had been sealed up quickly by the removals company. This is not the first time this has happened. There are other similar stories.
It seems to me that it is imperative that on the day of moving home, when possessions are packed away and put onto a lorry (truck), that the family cat should be placed in some sort of confined area and that area should be supervised in order to ensure that the cat is under the owner’s control at all times during this stressful situation.
Perhaps the family cat could be put into a room in which there is nothing other than the cat and some food and water. That room should be out of bounds to everybody except the cat’s owner.
In addition, and perhaps as an alternative, the family cat could be placed into a large carrier and supervised. The carrier could be placed in a quiet place. Clearly, moving home is traumatic for a cat and everything should be done to (a) insure the cat’s safety and (b) ensure the cat is comfortable and as free from stress as practically possible.
As it happens, Mee Moowe survived a 36 day journey in a box to Hawaii without it appears any access to food or water, although on arrival she was in a very bad state and had lost half her body weight and could barely stand. She had the strength to utter a meow which was heard through the storage containers.
In addition, Mee Moowe was not meant to be in Hawaii so she has to stay in quarantine before being shipped back to, I presume, Virginia. All this sort of stuff is traumatic for a cat and it could have so easily been avoided.
I have to come to the conclusion that Mee Moowe’s owner, Ashley Barth, allowed her cat the freedom to roam around the house on the day of packing up possessions and removing them from the house. Common sense says that that is a very poor idea.
The company doing the removals are in no way to blame. The full responsibility of ensuring the safety of the family cat rests upon the shoulders of the owner/caretaker. Ashley is furious that this happened to her cat. I hope she is furious with herself and not anyone else.