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Oh yeah, the cats!
Old 03-19-2007, 01:54 PM   #1
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Oh yeah, the cats!

So my wife and I were talking about walking the Appalachian trail as we do sometimes, and she asked when we could do this. (FYI, our current goal is around 10 years to retirement at age 40).

I said that one option would be to wait a year or so, save up around $15k for expenses during the walk (assuming 6 months). Then one of us would quit, and spend their time selling the house, most of our "junk" we've accumulated, etc. Once we've gotten rid of 95% of our stuff, we'd put the rest in storage (or families house), the other person would quit their job, and we'd head out to the trail.

Part of the cool idea was that I've always wanted to try living somewhere else, and it would just all work into a beautiful puzzle. We'd have a reason to quit (wanting to work somewhere else), have a good reason to "downsize" (no reason to store books I'm never going to read again), and then once we don't have anything tying us down, we could live anywhere we wanted.

She had a few issues about moving somewhere else (as she likes her job sometimes), moving away from family, etc. All valid points, but things I thought we could deal with for awhile.

Then she said "oh no, what about the cats?" I'd completely forgotten about those cute little furballs. When I've planned out retirement, it works out pretty well that in about 10 years, I figure they'd most likely be dead Very morbid, but if we're going to sail around the world or hike the trail, we can't have a couple cats with us (well, it's possible to sail with cats, but I've decided it's a bad idea).

So umm.. stupid cats ruining my plans! I'd hate to put them in a kennel for 6 months, and I don't know of any friends who are "cat people". Any other bright ideas out there? I can't imagine there's any easy solution, but I thought I'd mention it
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!
Old 03-19-2007, 02:06 PM   #2
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!

Do you have any family you can leave them with?

A kennel for that long would indeed be cruel. I'd either look to family, start asking friends, or maybe post an ad in the paper for someone to take them - sort of a fostering arrangement.

Karen - has two furballs too!
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!
Old 03-19-2007, 03:47 PM   #3
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!

Well, right now we're somewhat leaning towards "oh well, we will wait until retirement", but that seems such a shame, especially since other than the cats it would be a very positive experience.

I think a shelter is out of the question. My family is all allergic to cats, and her family isn't available to take care of cats. So it would have to be friends or some type of cat sitter type arrangement. Or we just save our money extra fast and try to retire earlier
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!
Old 03-19-2007, 06:56 PM   #4
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceberon
So umm.. stupid cats ruining my plans! I'd hate to put them in a kennel for 6 months, and I don't know of any friends who are "cat people". Any other bright ideas out there? I can't imagine there's any easy solution, but I thought I'd mention it
Call me a sick son of a whatever...BUT....know of any Chinese restaurants around you??

http://tinyurl.com/9vv86

Sorry...but I just couldn't resist this one!
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!
Old 03-19-2007, 08:41 PM   #5
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!

Sidestep question
Are dogs allowed on the trail?
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!
Old 03-19-2007, 09:13 PM   #6
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!

When I turned 40 I took a year off and traveled around the world for a year. I had my little cabin, a dog and two cats to consider. My neighbor has a daughter and son-in-law with kid who I knew had financial troubles (still does). I knew her daughter would take care of the pets and the cabin. Since I had paid off the mortagage by then I asked the neighbor if her daughter would move in for the year I was gone. She asked how much? I told her just pay the utilities and feed the pets. If they need to go to the vets pay for that also. They retrieved the mail from the PO Box. My parents had my checkbook to pay for things like house insurance, car insurance, and property taxes. Without going into more details it worked out great for everyone involved.
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!
Old 03-19-2007, 11:09 PM   #7
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!

Quote:
Originally Posted by perinova
Sidestep question
Are dogs allowed on the trail?
In many places dogs & cats are allowed. A decent number of people have walked most of the trail with a dog, and at least 2 have walked with a cat (seems a bit odd to me). But what I've heard is that there are a decent number of areas you have to avoid due to restrictions, carrying the food & extra water is difficult, and it adds a complexity to a trip which is supposed to be about simplifying your life.

To me, I look to the trip as a way to get down to as few worries as possible. IE, no bills, no schedule, no commitments, etc. Just "what should I eat next", and "should we keep walking, or stop for the night". It sounds awfully nice considering the vast array of things which tend to concern me in real life. Maybe I just need to figure out how to calm down, but simplifying things would also be extremely welcome.
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!
Old 03-20-2007, 02:21 AM   #8
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!

We had to factor the cats into our ER too. They are family, after all.
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!
Old 03-24-2007, 09:45 PM   #9
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!



I always thought that I would have my cat alive when I retired in the next 13 years...he would have been 20.....but he got sick and had to be put to sleep this year.
I would suggest that you not project too far in advance.....life has a way of working out. Dream your dreams and work out your trip......I am sure that everything will work out when the time comes.
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!
Old 03-25-2007, 10:25 AM   #10
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!

Our two cats consider the house theirs. They are indoor (and outdoor on our penthouse patio). We retain a housekeeper and she comes to stay at our place for nothing if we need her to look after them. We also do home swaps and another couple stay at our place for 2 months while we are in Mexico, and another couple look after them while we are in their place in San Diego for 3 weeks.

Finally, we have a good neighbor who looks after them when the above fails or during transitions. The biggest issue is for us to reinforce the diligence needed in cleaning the litter bin twice a day. We purchase sufficient supplies of litter and food to last for the duration of our trip.

We are considering staying in Mexico for 5 months and we will probably take them with us. This requires some planning but we know friends who do this successfully.

If all else failed, we would stay home or get an RV. They are favored members of the family. We would not use a kennel. There are some good backpack cat carriers but what would you do when you camp? Too many critters who would consider them fair game?
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!
Old 03-25-2007, 12:27 PM   #11
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcowan
.
The biggest issue is for us to reinforce the diligence needed in cleaning the litter bin twice a day. We purchase sufficient supplies of litter and food to last for the duration of our trip.

Wouldn't one of those computerized litter boxes do the trick for that problem? Has anyone tried one of those?
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!
Old 03-25-2007, 03:33 PM   #12
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!

I've had the Littermaid self-cleaning one for a couple of years now and it works great for this. (How it works: you need to use a clumping formula, then a motion sensor is activated when your cat is in the box, which starts a timer, and ten minutes later a rake scoops the box and deposits anything into a plastic container with a lid).

So when I do go away, if it's less than 10 days I just put in a new container and then tell the person to add more litter in whenever it gets to the marked line. If it's more than 10 days I need to show them how to change the plastic container when it gets full.

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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!
Old 03-26-2007, 10:25 AM   #13
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!

How does it control the odor from the plastic container?
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!
Old 03-26-2007, 11:47 AM   #14
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!

We are thinking of using someone through this website: www.housecarers.com. We hope that the herd is a little slimmer by the time we are gone for extended trips. My Dad comes now, and doesn't really mind it, but I'd rather have someone who would live in the house and play with the dogs and cats a little bit.

We had a guy my DH knew take care of them when we went sailing for 3 months, and it was a disaster. Mountaintosea's positive experience aside, generally someone sketchy enough to need a place to stay is too sketchy to responsibly take care of my house and pets! Glad you had a better experience!

A friend who is a long distance trucker uses that computerized litter box and says it works pretty well. Ours are inside/outside, so we use the old-school kind.

Sarah
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!
Old 03-27-2007, 06:23 PM   #15
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcowan
How does it control the odor from the plastic container?
The container is closed with a lid all of the time except when actively in use, so it's not bad. I use an odor-control multi-cat formula too, and I've learned how to keep the lid on when changing the container.
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!
Old 03-28-2007, 07:25 PM   #16
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!

http://www.scoopfree.com/?gclid=CKr5...FRlBgQod2GSr-A
Is a new alternative. I have the littermaid as well though. Works pretty well, but I get the feeling this may be better
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!
Old 03-28-2007, 07:55 PM   #17
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Re: Oh yeah, the cats!

30 days? that better be a pretty big (and airtight!)compartment...
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