Of cats and crayons: Our house moving hell

A bunch of keys in a person's hand with a house in the background.

Our house has been on the market for a couple of weeks. We’ve tried to move once or twice before only for circumstances to change, so are determined that this is our time.

As a result, our house is the tidiest and cleanest it has ever been. All of the long-neglected DIY jobs have been completed. We’ve got rid of what feels like actual tonnes of clutter.

We’ve also developed a cleaning regime worthy of Lady Macbeth. Seriously, I do my Freddie¬†Mercury dance with the vacuum cleaner every day.

So it’s all good, right? Well, not quite. You see there are four small but important factors we didn’t take into account. The kids and the cat.

All four of them seem hell-bent on trashing the place at every opportunity.

Let’s start with the worst bit. The bathroom. I don’t know whether it’s because they’ve shot up over the summer, but the boys’ previously good aim as deserted them.

Luckily, we have lino rather than carpet, but it’s still grim. I’m going to have to buy a new pair of slippers too. This is bad news as finding a pair that meets my particular set of specifications can be a nightmare.

Not to be outdone by her human peers, the cat gets in on the act too. Mercifully, she doesn’t miss her tray, but she waits until we’ve changed it – yep, right before each viewing – to christen it.

She kicks the cat litter everywhere too. Just to add to the extra work for me.

She also has a habit of quite deliberately knocking things over. Ahead of every viewing, we quickly run around making a pile of clutter before hiding it in a cupboard.

She always knocks it over before we’ve had a chance to finish. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. She hates me.

This song from the fantastic This is Jinsy nicely sums up what it’s like living with the four of them at the moment.

Then there’s the damage. The six-year-old has a frankly impressive record of breaking things. To be fair on him, he’s improved a lot but there’s always the risk that he’ll render something obsolete.

His most recent act of accidental damage was a collaborative effort with the cat. She clawed a roller blind and he yanked it from the window frame trying to stop her. Sigh.

And if he’s not inadvertently vandalising things then youngest definitely will be. She still has a penchant for decorating vertical surfaces. Never one to stagnate creatively, she has branched out to other media.

Pens, crayons and chalk are still in her repertoire, of course, but houmous seems to be the new favourite.

If we ever manage to sell our house and buy another one, I’m leaving the craft box behind. And possibly the cat.


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