Scooby is gone, I declared as walked out of the shed.
What do you mean he is gone? Darren answered in disbelief.
I mean…he is not in the shed. He is gone. Go look if you do not believe me.
It’s not that I don’t believe you; I just think he must be hiding, He replied and went in to see for himself.
You are right. He is definitely not there.
We had closed on our new house approximately 45 minutes earlier. The moving trucks were in the driveway and the guys were needing direction on where to put the boxes and I was coming apart by the prospect that I had killed my 14 year-old cat on moving day. I deserted Darren and hopped on the bike to scour the new neighborhood. Here kitty kitty kitty…. Here kitty kitty! Not only had I killed the cat but I was also positioning myself as the new neighborhood crazy, crying cat lady. Not a good start. I abandoned my futile quest to come home with Scooby in my basket and headed back to the house to be there in time for the girls to come home from school. As they came down drive, their faces had a WTF kind of look. They were not smiling and had already been informed of the missing cat. They stared at the trucks and the people carrying all of our possessions into this strange place they now called home. Ella burst into tears and my heart broke a little more. I had killed the cat, abandoned Darren in the task of directing the movers and now my oldest, who has a hard time expressing her feelings, was easily coming to pieces in front of me.
Our happy day, the day we had anticipated for months, was finally here and it totally sucked. I just wanted it to go smoothly for everyone because moving is hard no matter how you look at it. The act of uprooting your life and all of your possessions and taking it to another location whether down the street or across the country is not an easy endeavor. I tried to tell myself that a lost cat was not as bad as a lot of things and it is not like somebody had presented me with a my dead cat on a platter. He was simply missing. Though I did not buy into my own rationalization and kept thinking about my scared cat wondering the world alone trying to avoid getting eaten by the neighborhood foxes.
Friends showed up and kids began ripping through the house and the yard. Everyone reassured me that he was a smart cat and that he would come back. The wine and the friends and the happy chaos helped brighten my mood a little bit. Ella was distracted with hide and seek and the people around me reminded me why we chose to move here in the first place. It started to get dark and I told myself not to think about him until it was quiet and he might present himself again. He would never come back with all the commotion happening. I was just going to have to wait.
As the evening went on, I gave tours of our new home. It is smaller, it is older and it has less flow than our 80s ranch. The kitchen has a range from the late 70s and is begging for a makeover (more like a complete tear out/remodel), but this place just feels good. Maybe it’s the people that surround us, the light that comes through the windows, the beautiful details that past owners cared to create or the yard where the kids will spend all of their time and the vegetables will grow, but we know we have moved into our forever home.
After a collaborative dinner effort, Darren came to find me so I could help him move a box. I followed him to the shed. He opened the door and Scooby peeked around the corner, wide-eyed and ready to bolt.
He came back!! I screamed.
He never left, Darren said.
Then were do you think he was? There is no place to hide in this shed.
He went to Narnia and now he is back, Darren said.
I picked him up and buried my face in his neck while we walked to the house. I found the kids and told them the good news. The word had spread about the missing cat and my mental state so I think everyone was relieved and happy that the cat came back from Narnia and a small celebration ensued. My family was in tact once again.
We did it. We uprooted ourselves, left our comfort zone and created a bunch of stress in search of a simplified existence where we feel “at home.” It was crazy. Two weeks post move it is still crazy because we can’t locate anything and our baking goods don’t fit in the kitchen, but it is all okay because we have time and we are home.
Home Sweet Home.