Musings on “home free”

Looking back on 1 full year of having no place to call “home,” I have to say that while I haven’t missed owning a home with all of its headaches and chores, I have missed having a home base for two major reasons: when I saw something I liked (a lamp, a piece of art or furniture) and there have been many items, I couldn’t buy it because I have no place to ship or store it, no idea what our final house will look like or what I will need and want in it.

I’ve kept business cards and photos of things I’ve liked so I can always get something I really love. No worries there.

The second thing I’ve really missed – and this is the big one – are pets. We had to put our last cat to sleep – heart issues, dental issues  – six months before we sold our house and, knowing we were leaving, didn’t get a replacement. Now I’ve been 18 months without a cat purring in my lap, snuggling in bed at night and whining to be fed in the morning. I miss having a cat.

When we were moving around all last summer, it didn’t bother me as much but each time we settle for a few months, I start checking out the rescue agencies. Not that I will do anything as foolish as adopt a cat until we have an actual home (and then it will be 2 cats and a dog) but I still look online at all the great animals that need a home. I can’t help myself.

I also haven’t been able to help myself when it comes to the neighbor’s cat that wanders over to our current rental. We met Charlie, a big, friendly all-black cat, last fall when we were in Asheville. I would see him every afternoon, headed home from our landlord’s front porch to his own house. I got in the habit of going outside and calling him and we would have a 4 p.m. cuddle most afternoons. Walt worried when we left that I would try to hide Charlie in the car with us. The car was packed to the gills for our cross-country trip, so no chance of that, really.

Now that we’re back in Asheville and the weather is warm, Charlie comes over for his scritches and hangs out on the porch with me for hours if I’m sitting outside writing or reading.

All he has to do is hear my voice and he’ll come running.

We’re not allowed to have pets in our rental so I’ve resisted the urge to bring him inside and he seems to know that he’s not allowed: he’ll stand outside the open door and wait for me if I run inside to refill my coffee cup or grab him a little snack.

I know he’s not mine but Charlie has been a great joy to me.

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