One anxiety I have about long-term traveling is leaving my cats behind and trying to decide how to best care for them while we are gone. They are my kids and thinking about leaving them for months at a time breaks my heart! The last two years they have been especially spoiled and are used to Mom being home all the time and now Dad is too. It is a decision that weighs heavy on me and makes it harder to just pick up and leave.
Elvis is almost 13 years old now which means he is like a 70 year old man in human years and believe me he acts like it. Very set in his ways and very spoiled! He is attached to me at the hip and has separation anxiety whenever I leave him for a few hours. He sits by me while I am working, visits me in the bathroom (I never get to pee alone lol), sleeps right by my side every night and follows me around whenever I get up. He is my buddy which makes it even harder to leave.
Coco is younger she is about 7 years old and her favorite person is Dad, although she is always seeking out pets whenever she can from either of us. You could pet her all day long and she will still beg for more once you stop! She definitely has more energy than the old man and is always running around, playing and catching bugs. Her favorite ones to eat are moths and most recently the praying mantis…I know so awful but she catches them outside!
Unfortunately, both of them are very skittish and are freaked out by “new” people. If anyone other than Mom and Dad happen to stop by they are running and hiding for dear life. Even if Mom and Dad make a loud noise they are running away and hiding! I have no idea why they are so freaked out…..they both are the true definition of a scaredy cat. They act like they have been seriously scarred from a previous life or something.
So here are a few scenarios I have thought about: (boarding them was automatically out of the question because well ain’t nobody can pay for that)
- Have them stay at home where they are comfortable and have friends or a pet sitter stop by regularly to check on them, feed them and clean the litter box. The skittish thing has me worried because the poor sitter would probably never see them and I would like the cats to get some interaction and affection. They still seem so alone in this scenario but I like the fact that our house can be checked on also.
- My mom could care for them at her place, but again the skittish thing thrown into a different environment. She lives a bit away from us so it would be too inconvenient for her to stop by the house often. My mom is good with cats though and I know given time they would eventually warm up to her. My mom can’t resist kitties and would be giving them all the affection! One hazard though is that my mom babysits the grandkids often so add in a loud and hyper 5 year old chasing them around with a baby crying in the background when they aren’t used to kids at all and already freak about loud noises OMG!
I know none of these scenarios are going to be as ideal as being at home with them but I just imagine them keeling over from fright, having heart and panic attacks and really being scarred for life! I see them hiding in dark places thinking that we abandoned them and constantly crying which makes me feel like the worst cat mom ever. And I think about Elvis and that maybe his old, anxious self wouldn’t be able to handle it and I should just stay with him because I might miss out on some precious last years…ugh I so hate thinking about it!
You might think I am crazy to be hesitant of traveling just because of some cats, but like I said they are my kids and I worry about them. I think it is definitely more challenging trying to chase your dreams of traveling the world being in your mid thirties when you are already tied down with responsibilities. You get used to a routine, being a responsible adult, and it gets harder to just up and break your commitments. Maybe I am just using this as an excuse I don’t know? I feel like if I was still in my twenties this wouldn’t even be a huge issue….I would be flying out the door already!
What do you do with your pets when you are traveling for a while? What do you think we should do? Do you think I am just being a crazy cat lady?! Please help!