With the cat in the car?!

Cobalt and I have moved to California! We migrated across the country with a (rather large) Uhaul containing all our stuff, two cars, and a cat! Luckily my parents flew out to Colorado to help us make the move back to CA! My dad and Cobalt drove the truck (with my car towed behind it) and my mom and I drove Cobalt’s car (with a cat inside).

Cobalt can tell you all about the newfound respect he has for people driving large trucks and/or towing cars but today I’m going to tell you about moving with a cat. Tarantula is a pretty chill cat so the vet thought she wouldn’t need sedatives for the drive. Instead she gave us a sample of “Composure,” which Cobalt describes as “cat-herbal tea,” and told us to give Tarantula half a Composure treat for every 12 hours of traveling.

Let’s discuss what happened:

  • Day 0:
    On the day we moved all of our stuff into the Uhaul, Tarantula got to spend the day and night with our friend Titanium. Titanium’s cat Meow and Tarantula had previously met and weren’t huge fans of each other (see below) so we gave both Meow and Tarantula half a Composure. The day passed relatively smoothly with Tarantula and Meow meowing at each other through the door of Titanium’s spare room, where Tarantula was staying. Tarantula seemed a little loopy though and even missed the litter box (this is something she has never done!).

    Flashback to 2014 when we introduced Tarantula and Meow. There was a lot of hissing and growling followed by Tarantula taking over Meow’s stuff, including this chair.
  • Day 1:
    Our first day of driving was the most epic – we had planned to end the day in Winnemucca, NV (~13 hours driving with no cat/big Uhaul truck). Mom and I picked up Tarantula from Titanium’s house and set her up in a giant cat carrier the backseat of the car. The carrier contained a litterbox, some toys, and a bowl of water. After the loopiness of the day before, we decided to try no Composure first. As soon as we got on the road, Tarantula spilled her water all over herself, the litterbox, and the toys making a wet, crunchy mess in the backseat. Then she howled miserably for the next hour and a half while Mom and I desperately tried to reach a rest stop. Once at the rest stop, we gave Tarantula a third of Composure and let her out of the cat carrier while things dried. She liked this much better because why be trapped in a stinky cat carrier when there are humans to cuddle? She finally fell asleep in the back of the car between some boxes and backpacks, which was great for all of us because it’s kind of stressful having a cat meandering around the car while you are trying to drive.

    She slept like this for hours. I don’t get it.

    We stopped in Salt Lake City where some family friends met us at a park and brought us dinner! Loopy Tarantula got to escape her car prison and hang out in the park on a leash. Don’t let the picture fool you, she’s not that great on a leash.

    After dinner, we locked her in her cat carrier once more and she fell asleep for the remainder of the drive to Winnemucca. We arrived about 12:30 am (!!!) and Tarantula spent the night exploring our hotel room and trying to convince us that she needed to leave the room to see what else was beyond the door.


  • Day 2:
    The second day of driving was relatively short (~8 hours). Mom and I decided to give Tarantula a small chunk of Composure before getting in the car because we didn’t want a repeat of the howling incident. We also put her in her cat carrier again, much to her disappointment. Tarantula then proceeded to cry for the next 100 miles or so before passing out and waking up close to my parents’ home town where we stopped for the night. She spent the next two nights hanging out at my parents’ house, which she loved exploring, minus the “scary” ceramic cat she found in the living room.

  • Day 4 (we skipped Day 3 because it was Labor Day and everyone deserves a day off – even kitties):
    This day was the best driving day ever! We only had a 2.5 hour drive from my parents’ house to our new apartment! Cobalt drove the truck and I drove the car containing the cat! Because it seemed to take Tarantula an hour or so to calm down after taking the Composure, Cobalt and I fed Tarantula the tiniest sliver of Composure with her breakfast (~an hour before we left) with the idea that she would sleep during the drive. FALSE. She was unhappy about being in the cat carrier again and spent the first hour and a half mewling at me and trying to break out of the cat carrier. Somewhere in the middle of a huge traffic jam in San Francisco, she finally calmed down and we arrived at the new apartment an hour later. I set her up in the bathroom while the movers helped us drag all our belongings out of the truck and up three flights of stairs. She tried to stage multiple escapes until we unpacked one of our desk chairs, which I rolled into the bathroom for her. She jumped up onto it and promptly fell asleep. Once the movers had left and we had organized the boxes a little, she was allowed to escape and explore her new home!

She’s a California cat now!

Before we get to your comments, I want to talk about the fate of this blog. As many of you know, this blog was wearing a few hats for a while – it was both a photo blog and a science blog. I found the whole thing a bit confusing so this blog is going to go back to what it is best at – showcasing photography! Never fear, my science readers. I have made a new home for science-y posts on my website! It’s not too exciting now but I am sure it will be filled with interesting stories soon enough… I start my Science Communication Program at UC Santa Cruz this week!

Lots of changes going on here – including a new layout for the blog! Ooo so crisp and clean! I hope you like it as much as I do!

Your turn! Have you ever moved with a cat? What did you do?! Was your cat pretty chill like Tarantula or more skittish? Btw – if you want to leave a comment and you don’t see the comment field below the post, there is a button on the top of this post now.

This post is about pondering

I miss being able to ponder at the beach… I took this picture when my sis, Cobalt, and I headed to the beach on New Years Eve. It was a spectacular idea… :)

This month, I signed up to get e-mails from The January Cure, which is a challenge to get your house in order one day at a time. It was a lot of fun for the first few days until I headed back to lab after the holidays and then I had a sudden realization: I end up doing all the January cure assignments the weekend after they’re scheduled because I am never home. At first I thought that it’s just due to the fact that I’m in grad school and I have meetings at weird times and science that doesn’t understand what weekends are but I think that even when I am physically present in my home, I am not mentally present. I’m caught up in a mess of what do I need to do for tomorrow, what I should be doing right now, what I am going to eat for lunch tomorrow, what I am going to eat for dinner right now, how should I get to lab tomorrow (bus, bike, or driving?), how much do I hate grad school right this very instant, how many people are making me feel bad about myself, am I being grumpy to Cobalt, should I be getting ready for bed, is it going to snow, etc etc etc. I realized as I was cleaning the counters in the kitchen (this weekend’s activity) how much I am caught up in my head that I forget just to be alive and live. I have all these cool projects that I want to do and all these cool books that I want to read and all these delicious recipes that I want to use but I seem to be giving myself no time to do anything except be miserable. So then I took some time and curled up in my favorite bean bag chair in our office and read National Geographic. It was nice.

I’m learning that it’s important to think about the “intentions” we have behind our actions. For example, going for a bike ride with Cobalt is a lot more pleasant when the intention behind it is to be outside in the sun enjoying each other’s company even though it’s cold instead of OMG WE’RE FAT AND LAZY… MUST GO OUTSIDE. I think it’s going to be really useful to remind myself about intentions as I work on trying to finish my PhD this year. I have gotten really grumpy about science and my career in my “old” (grad school) age and I think it’s really crucial that I don’t let it ruin me.

In addition to pondering, cleaning my house and fighting tirelessly with science, I’ve been up to a lot of stuff lately! I went cross country skiing with some friends a few weeks ago, I made liquid nitrogen ice cream in lab last week, and Cobalt and I caught up with a bunch of friends this past weekend (including: friends from Albuquerque who were in town, friends who like eating hot pot with me and Cobalt, and married friends who like staying up late and laughing – seriously, we didn’t get home till 1 AM Monday morning…. :-/). What have you been up to? What are your New Years Resolutions? Tell me all the things!

Happy New Year! :D

Helloooo everyone! Happy new year! I hope you guys had a great Christmas and a happy New Year (and other happy holidays too)! Cobalt and I traveled to see both of our families and it was great having time to catch up with everyone. The pictures in this post come from my family’s holiday pictures!

Potassium and Cobalt being photobombed by Finn. Play close attention to Finn’s fin – he’s moving so you can see the books behind it! :)
Fun with my sis! :D

Are you guys excited about 2014?! Any New Years resolutions? Cobalt and I are busy coming up with a name for ours. Last year ours was called “Operation Go for It!” and I think it worked out awesomely! Tune in later to find out all about this year’s soon! It’s going to be an epic year with me hopefully defending in the summer! I wonder where we will be by this time next year… I hope you are excited about all of this because I am… though also pretty scared. This is the first time in my life that I don’t know what I am planning on doing next! Cobalt feels similarly…

Okay, your turns. Tell me about your holidays and new years resolutions!