It has been 10 days since Olive and Boss Tweed began living in the RV. For the first seven days after Nellie’s arrival, they remained at my neighbor Barbara’s house while I moved in; I did not want to bring them into the chaos – the door opening and closing constantly – and during that first week I had no reliable way to regulate the temperature inside the RV.
Nellie arrived during one of the hottest spells in Seattle’s recorded history. The neighbors with the vacant lot were kind to offer a place for parking, but the electricity in their early 1900’s farmhouse could not handle the amperage behemoth that is Nellie. I blew their breakers every half hour, at least. The generator helped keep things cool, to the detriment of the people in the farmhouse, due to the heat the generator produced, not to mention the noise (Nellie’s gen set is pretty darned cool and quiet, but I think that only because I have been around other jennies at campgrounds, and in fairness I have never had to live next to one!).
Thankfully the beasties had a place to stay in the meantime. On more than a few occasions I wanted to take Olive with me as I left Barbara’s house to organize the RV, but I did not want Olive to become territorial against Boss Tweed if she spent time there first, without him. I resolved that they would be introduced to the RV together, and I would not sleep in the RV until we could all be there as a “fam damily.”
That day finally came last Saturday, when I drove directly to Port Orchard from Olympia after the Get Outdoors Expo. Izzy then drove me back to Ballard to get the car and the animals, and we arrived late that evening.
Boss Tweed spent the first two days basically under the sofa, and he still likes to hide out there on occasion. He came out for his meals and to investigate the soft kitty bed placed strategically in the sun on the dashboard, which has become one of his favorite hangouts.
At first Boss Man was not sure what to do with the top-entry litter box, like this one.
I chose this type of litter box for three reasons. First, it is designed to remove most of the litter from a cat’s feet as it jumps out and treads the “screen” by the hole – a great idea for limited space. Second, in the much-reduced space I did not want Olive to have direct access to the “Kitty Roca” she loves so much. (At the Atomic Abode she was scared of the stairs and did not venture to the basement box to get her goodies, but she always gobbles up the ones she unearths during our walks. It is quite funny to watch, actually. She knows I will not pry the prize from her mouth – ewwww – so she chews slowly with that self-satisfied look on her face.) Third, if the box moves or slides across the floor when we are underway, the litter not spill out. You have no idea how thrilled I was to discover that the box fit behind the passenger seat!
Now more than ever, Boss Tweed really wants to go outside. He stands on the kitchen counter and meows at me through the window when I am under the awning. I purchased a harness for him last week and am waiting for the flea medication to arrive in the mail before we start our training.
Olive just wants to be wherever I am, but there have been some challenges for her, too. Most importantly, she cannot navigate the steep RV steps. This is not merely a case of her fear; her little legs simply cannot do it. We now have a new routine: To exit the RV, she jumps into the passenger seat by the stairwell, and I do not have to stoop to pick her up. Returning to the RV, she jumps to the folding step at the base of the stairs in preparation to be hoisted by me. This seems to be working so far. (THIS JUST IN! NEWS FLASH! As of July 8, Olive has begun using the steps both in and out of the RV – what a smart, brave girl! I am thrilled not to be relegated to a life of picking her up all the time.)
Another huge adjustment for Olive has been our walks. She misses the park and the neighborhood and all the neighbors who gave her treats and tummy rubs. Now she is in the country with strange smells and even stranger noises, including goats and chickens and two roosters at my friends’ house! It is as if her world has turned upside down, and today is Opposite Day. She lets me know this by pooping in the middle of the road! In days gone by she walked on cement sidewalks and pooped in grass. Now she walks in grass on the side of a country lane, then veers to the center of the thoroughfare to take a dump. Go figure.
One of our biggest successes has been the way in which Olive gets on the bed. In the Atomic Abode she used a set of wooden steps that were too large and heavy for use in the RV. The bed in Nellie is even higher than the one in the sticks and bricks. To the left of the bed is an extremely narrow walkway between the bed and the sliding closet doors. After spending $12 on foam at the local Joanne Fabrics, I fashioned a mock-up with duct tape that is working like gangbusters! I plan to take my high-tech design to an upholsterer for a more finished final product.
I am very proud of both of my babies. Let’s see how things go on Thursday when I leave for the vintage trailer rally and we all get underway for the first time in Nellie!