Tuesdays With Murray (Chapter 72)

Moving Day!

I have a question for you cat lovers out there. We don’t yet have heat or hot water (gas) at our new apartment. It’s not unlivable for a grown adult (the building is “green” so it’s quite insulated) but I am worried about the cats. Would you leave them in an empty apartment (we have the old one until the 31st) where it’s heated? Or would you move them to the new one where they are surrounded by their stuff but are a little cold? Either way, they’ll be alone for much of the day as TJ has to work and I will be in New Jersey with the baby (whom I miss like you wouldn’t believe) until this heat fiasco gets worked out. These guys are like family to me. I want them to be as comfortable as possible. Any insight you may have is greatly appreciated.

UPDATE: We’re IN! And the cats are fine. The apartment is tolerable with the use of a space heater. (Good thing NYC apartments are tiny!) Murray is a bit freaked out by the continuing construction. He hid for the first 5 hours. And then at around 9 PM he came strolling out looking for handouts. So we put him to work and then fed him treats.

I am in Jersey getting my Emory fix. (I spent a whopping 4 nights away from him!) I will be back in Brooklyn tomorrow, God willing.

Things are really great, Internet. Thanks so much for your help and words and suggestions.

19 Comments

  1. Either way, their world has been turned upside down… I think maybe they’d prefer to be with the comforting smells and textures of their familiar stuff, especially if Toby comes home to them in the evening, rather than rattling around in an empty apartment. I have a friend in Maine whose power was out and it got down to 44 degrees inside her house and probably colder in her studio. She provided blankies and fleece and the cats happily snuggled down and kept warm. Hope they turn the gas on soon (i assume that’s what the problem is…) and your whole family can live in the apartment as planned!

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  2. I second the suggestion to have them stay in the new apt. They would go insane in an empty place, and like Paula said, with “Dad” coming home to them in the evening, they won’t be totally lonely.

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  3. I don’t know your cats and I don’t have cats of my own, but I’ll third the first two comments :) My friend has two cats who are in love with an orange blanket she has. They’re frequently found napping under it or all wrapped up in it. I bet if you leave some blankets/towels out in a few places they’ll figure out how keep themselves warm enough, you know? Plus I do think that all creatures are probably comforted by some degree by familiar things and smells. I feel like being in a big empty (albeit warm) apartment that USED to feel like home might really freak them out!

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  4. I second Paula’s thoughts. They will probably feel more comforted in a place with familiar things and familiar people, even if those people are not around much. I grew up on a farm, and our farm cats did just fine outdoors all winter, even during ice storms! Your cats will be just fine in your new place. Just give them cozy spots to burrow.

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  5. Definitely take the kitties. They are family. Plus, when it gets really cold, they tend to snuggle a LOT more with us warm hoomans.

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  6. Oh god yes, move them with their stuff. Abandoning them in an empty apartment would be a total mind fuck. They have fur coats, they’ll do fine.

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  7. Yes, bring kitties to the new apartment. Cats do fine outside in temps we’d find quite chilly – he’ll be okay in a shut-up apartment that, as you say, self-insulates to a degree. Good luck moving!

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  8. i would definitely bring them to the new place. cats have a nice fur coat for a reason – they can withstand quite chilly temperatures, and are very good at curling up to self-insulate when needed. i know many cats from my childhood who have spent long winter days outdoors and fared just fine. i think they would rather be with their family and stuff even if it’s cold, than in an empty apartment alone.

    that said, if you’re really concerned about them being too cold, just leave a heating pad or electric blanket on for them (in a safe place, of course) and they’ll be just fine.

    good luck!

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  9. my first thought was for them to stay in the old apt… maybe with a few of their things so they don’t feel so lonely bc the new place will be strange for them even if your stuff is there. it will have a new smell to it, know what i mean and i think i would wait to move them to the new place when you are there to comfort them. i think that’s what i would do with my sammy-poo.

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  10. Take them to the new place. Whenever we have to move, my cats always like to snuggle up to something familiar before they venture out to explore their new surroundings. Since there’s no heat, I’d just throw a couple of snuggle blankets on the floor for them to burrow in and stay warm. Cats are good at that. And give them lots of love when you get home to let them know you were thinking of them.

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  11. New place! Put blankets around for them to snuggle into – they’ll be FINE.

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  12. I don’t know if you’re a cat bed person, but Petco has some heated cat beds/pads on sale. That might be nice to help them deal with the cold. or at least if there are blankets they can crawl inside of (the cats at the shelter do that, and I’m sure it’s much warmer than on top of the blankets)

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  13. oh wait. this looks warm too:

    http://mfrost.typepad.com/cute_overload/2008/12/no-no-thank-you.html

    …and you’ll be decorating! multitasking!

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  14. Bring them to the new place! You can all keep each other warm. :)

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  15. I live in Massachusetts and was without power for over 4 days. I can’t even tell you how cold it got in my house. My two cats knew where to find any sort of warmth and often just crawled inside the blankets. They will be much better off with their stuff and it allows them more time to get used to the new place

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  16. I think Hazel could use some company….

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  17. I don’t have a cat, so I can’t offer any advice on what to do, but I did want to just wish you luck with your move. I hope it goes as smoothly as these things can possibly go!

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  18. That is tricky. I’d say leave them in the old apartment that they are familiar with and is heated. It would be better for them to be in a new space with you around. I’d leave behind some old blankets and toys for them to play with.

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  19. Actually, after reading what everyone else wrote, I change my mind. Cats love new surroundings even if it makes them nuts. They’ll have fun sniffing everything out and they shouldn’t get too cold.

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