As we began packing our boxes, Midnight started to get anxious as our once organized apartment became a pile of boxes and bags. I am a seasoned cat owner, my home has always had a cat and always will. Cats don’t like change, and sometimes even just changing the furniture can make them uncomfortable. Sure they adjust, but you have to deal with a crying little fur baby because everything is not where he/she remembers it. Midnight was abandoned by her previous owner, so she gets very uneasy every time we move.
Remember back when I told you cats don’t like change? Guess what? This cat has moved 4 TIMES in the past two years. All things considered, she handled the first three like a champ. The first place I moved from was a partially furnished apartment in college, and when we moved out of my Dad’s house we didn’t take my bedroom furniture. Midnight had never been left in an empty home since she was abandoned by her previous owner.
Thankfully, I was able to work remotely for two days while we moved to ensure she would not be alone in the apartment. We decided this time around to hire movers. When they came first thing in the morning, it meant Midnight was going to be locked in the bathroom while they moved our bedroom furniture.
She howled from the moment I put her in there and did not stop until I came in to check on her. After moving everything from the bedroom, we were able to have her roam around the bedroom and bathroom. I thought she would be more okay with everything once she had space to roam, but she howled and complained just the same. Finally, I brought my laptop into the bedroom and sat down with her to do my work. Midnight had other plans.
She was so scared, she was shaking and insisted on being held for hours. This coming from a cat who can barely handle being held for more than two minutes at a time on a normal day. I spent the first three hours of my day holding and comforting my poor little Midnight while the movers continued to move everything from our apartment.
When they were finished, I was finally able to open the door to the bedroom and allow her to roam our empty apartment while I worked. She was a little nervous at first as she wandered our once completely full apartment. She sniffed around where the couch used to be and wandered through all the rooms, she constantly let me know that all “her” stuff was gone.
That’s when something strange happened.
As Midnight and I sat in that empty apartment, she laid down on the empty carpet floor of the living room and just stared at me with the most content face. Not even ten minutes before she had been complaining that everything was gone, and in an instant she became content. It was like she had learned to accept the empty apartment.
While reading the book Marley and Me, there were a few sentences near the end that stuck with me after our move:
“A dog has no use for fancy cars, big homes, or designer clothes. A waterlogged stick will do just fine. A dog doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, clever or dull, smart or dumb. Give him your heart and he’ll give you his. ”
-John Grogan, Marley & Me
Cats get a bad rep for being stuck up and prissy. Videos and comic strips always depict the cat as abandoning their owners when they’re in trouble, or not caring what they do as long as they still have their stuff. As we sat in the apartment together on our moving day, Midnight had nothing but her food, scratching post, water, litter box, and a few of her favorite toys. There was no couch for her to curl up on, or cat tree to climb. She had the basics and that was it.
We had moved everything she had, even her favorite chair to sleep in, and she still looked at me with her sweet content face as if to say “I’ll be okay without all that stuff, as long as you’re here.” Midnight had no idea where her stuff was, or if she’d even see it again.
My cat was able to accept minimalism better than I could!
We are still in the process of unpacking our things in the new place. With every box we open, I find myself reevaluating whether or not it will have a place in our new home, or if this was the end of the line. It also made we realize that some of the stuff I was holding onto didn’t mean as much to me as it did when I packed it. I began to realize that the pictures on my computer and the memories in my heart will serve just fine as reminders of certain memories.
Midnight reminded me of why I wanted to declutter our new place and live a more minimalist life. I will probably never be as content as my cat, but wherever I am I want to be as content with my surroundings as she was during this move. We get so caught up in all our wants, that we sometimes forget about what we really need.
Minimalism and frugality don’t come naturally to everybody, especially if you didn’t grow up living that way. If you’re not good at it, look up articles and blog posts on topics you need to improve on. Even I still look to other bloggers for help. I am always looking for new ways to reduce our waste, spending, and clutter. If Midnight can live a minimalist life, then why not me?