Ever since our first date, Meaghan and I have barely spent a moment apart. We would make the drive up and down the freeway between Portland and Eugene a couple of times a week to see each other on the weekend and sometimes for just a night mid-week and then spend hours talking on the phone on the nights in between. At the start of November we decided that we wanted to live together and began making the necessary preparations. We figured it would take about a month to get everything moved and sorted and that the Thanksgiving weekend would be a perfect time for the final move-in date. Meaghan gave notice on her job at the school district in Eugene and we started to transport carloads of stuff each time we made the drive to see each other. For the most part, everything went pretty smoothly. The Thanksgiving weekend came around and only a very few things were left in Eugene. An air mattress, two cats, a few days worth of clothes, and some essential food items and cookware. The only wrinkle in the plan came in the fact that it took us a little longer to drive back from Klamath Falls on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. We arrived in Eugene at about 2:30pm that afternoon and still had a couple of hours work ahead of us to complete the move. Fortunately, everything went pretty well, and we were soon on our way up to Portland, kitties and all. Meaghan took the cats in her car, along with the last of the household items, while I loaded my Mazda up with the last of the packed boxes. We turned in the keys to her apartment, finished up the last of the paperwork and got back on the road. It was about 6:00pm when we started the journey up to Portland. The only job we had left was to buy a new litter tray for the cats. I had become somewhat enamored with the self-scooping super trays that do 95% of the work for you, partially from an ease of use perspective, but also from a fascination with the engineering. Enter the ScoopFree Automatic Cat Litter Box.
This litter box works great! The litter tray itself is filled with crystals that clump very quickly and give off virtually no odor. An automatic rake scrapes the clump into a hidden compartment at the end of the tray after twenty minutes of inactivity (optical sensors know when a cat steps inside). When it is time to change the tray, you throw away the whole cardboard tray, crystals and all, and replace with a refill tray. The refills aren’t cheap, running just under $15 a piece, but the litter box itself works like a charm. Peaches and Ebony are two aging cats (14 years a piece) and adapted to using the new litter tray right away. We also got the cats a filtered water fountain so that they always have fresh, running, filtered water, and I was compelled to get them a snuggly house for under the bathroom sink. The downstairs bathroom has become the cats room, housing litter box, the under-the-sink hideaway area, water fountain, and their food dishes. They come and go as they please and seem quite content.
Meaghan and I have been living together now for about three weeks and everything is going wonderfully. Most of the chaos of integrating two lives into one living space has been boxed, shuffled, sorted, tidied, and stored. Meaghan has been great, sorting through things during the day while I’m at work. At nights we’ve worked together to go through pretty much every single thing we own. No box, tub, or storage shelf has been left untouched as we got everything out, put it all into piles, donated a large portion, stored another portion, and arranged the remainders into their designated spots in our new place.