With the house finally (fiiiiiiinally) on the market (yay!), the showings and open houses have begun. This past weekend was, in fact, completely devoted to open houses. As in the entire weekend. Two open houses on Saturday, two on Sunday. For a total of five hours each day. Yep. It was a lot and (in all honesty) seemed a little like open house overkill to me. But in the rather tricky world of real estate, this was probably the equivalent of our go-big-or-go-home moment. And our agent was quite enthusiastic about this strategy (and, well, he’s the expert!) so we gave him the official thumbs up on his plan.
The problem with being both a home seller and a cat owner? The two don’t mix particularly well. I like my cats. Sweetie likes our cats. Lots of people love our cats. And as they should – our three fur-babes are pretty darn awesome and friendly and adorable, if you ask me. :) But, sadly, home seekers aren’t necessarily kitty-friendly. There’s the smell-stigma (“ohhhh… honey, look… they have cats… let’s try really really hard to find some sort of cat smell somewhere in this house… it must be here somewhere…”) There’s the distraction (afterall, the kitties are indeed ridiculously cute.) And there’s the terrifying possibility that during all of the open house comings-and-goings one sneaky little fur-ball could weasel its way through the front door.
So what do we do?
We go on field trips! All of us. Sweetie, me, and the three cats, all in one car together.
When we sold our last home, we quickly discovered that the easiest way to create home selling harmony was to pack the cats up in their individual carriers and bring them for a mini roadtrip during house showings. During open houses, they’d get treated to a full-blown field trip to a local park for a couple of hours.
And so, in keeping with house-selling tradition, Jacob, Irwin, Erik, me and Sweetie all hung out at the park for most of the weekend while random strangers wandered through our home. Were the cats excited? No. But did they survive? Absolutely. After about thirty minutes of initial panic, they all settled down and spent the remaining four-ish hours exploring the car/looking out the window/napping.
Until the house sells (hopefully soon!), we’ll likely keep the car set up like a big rolling kitty crate. There’s a litterbox in the back, and a food bowl and water, and some puppy training pads and lots of old towels too just in case of accidents. It’s not pretty, but it’s functional. And if it helps make these outings a little less stressful for the kitties, so be it.
That said, if you need to carpool with someone, I’m likely not your best choice right now. Unless you like a whole lotta cat fur on your clothes.