Monday, November 9, 2015

Closed Door, Open House

I am trying to sell my house. Toward that end, my realtor arranged an ‘open house’, which means that I leave and strangers enter my home and touch my personal belongings, if they want. They may also see what the house is like with a view to buying it. If purchasing my house means going through my socks, then so be it.

There have already been several instances of potential buyers coming to the house to see it. I must not be present during these viewings. My realtor told me that people tend not to stay as long or look around as much if the owner is present. I can understand this. So I leave for an hour or, in the case of the open house, two. During this latter period, about a dozen couples came through the house. My realtor was pleasantly surprised at this. He stated that two or three couples in particular were promising.

I have, of my own volition, advertised the house on both Kijiji and, at the suggestion of a co-worker, Facebook. Kijiji is good but realtors tend to flood its ‘houses for sale’ section with their clients’ property, and my own house gets pushed down the list every time these twenty or thirty new listings are added. I then renew my ad every day. As for Facebook, I am not a Facebook sort of person. I don’t have ‘friends’ there. If someone is my friend, they will give me money and put me up for the night. People on Facebook would, I suspect, be reluctant to do this. So they are not my ‘friends’. I also don’t ‘like’ much on Facebook. It is, however, looked at by many people, and I believe that it was my announcement on the site of my open house that brought the numbers that came.

Whatever the case, the important thing is how the cats behave during all this. They dislike it. I must put them in the spare room downstairs and close the door on them. I put a sign on the door declaring that people are free to look within but not to release the cats. So far, this condition has been observed.

Predictably, Noah is the easiest to corral for imprisonment. Ever up for an adventure, he would think that being framed by several former friends and cast into Chateau d’If for ten years would be really neat. Becasuse he may be picked on by others, and I would not be present to protect him, he goes into a large carrier for the duration.

Just as predictably, Cammie is the worst when it comes to being put away. She knows the signs: I clean too much too fast. I re-arrange things. She heads to high ground, the tallest cat-tree, or goes underground, beneath the bed. I must use the vacuum cleaner to force her from her perch and grab her as she attempts escape. The sounds she makes are blood-freezing. They are exactly the sort of hair-raising shrieks that precede a victim’s throat being torn by a wild animal. Yet, once in my arms, she begins to cry and is relatively still. She could flay my skin from my bones, but she does not. She is a wonderful little creature and, when bad things happen, puts on a ferocious show, but then hopes for the best. She too goes into a container, a large cage - she is too apt to escape and be difficult to catch again. Both her cell and Noah’s are covered with sheets for what I hope will be calming privacy.

The other three act like I am taking them to the last rendezvous, but are easier to catch and carry. How the five of them react to strangers walking up to the closed door, opening it and looking in, I can only imagine. When I come home and release them, they scurry out, glad to be free. Afterward, they usually have something to eat - I will feed them a soft-food meal; I think a return to normalcy as quickly as possible helps. I know it does me. Then they relax.

To be truthful, I think they are largely untroubled by the events. Each time I must put them in the spare room, they probably think that this is the time I don’t come back for them. But once free again, all is fine. Even Cammie, who was most assuredly displeased with me the first time I had to lock her away, now recovers quickly, and is forgiving. It’s her prerogative as a princess.

I am hoping for something positive from the open house. I think the event provides more time for potential buyers to look about, more liberty, than being brought and shepherded by a realtor. Maybe this will be the last time the cats will see a closed door during an open house.


  1. Poor sweeties. Nicki and Derry would have a hard time with something like that, Derry because he's so upset by strangers in the house and Nicki because he goes berserk being confined. So we have our fingers and paws crossed for you, for a quick sale, and an end to kitty confinement.

  2. I hope the outcome of your open house is positive. Very hard on everyone selling a house. Our first cat Linus greeted every potential buyer at the door. Our second cat Sam hid under the bed the whole time anyone was at the house.
    We found everyone respected the "Do Not Let Cat Out." sign. Hope everything works out.

  3. We sold our house with multiple cats and while I was fostering, but we totally and utterly lucked out in moving to the new house before selling the old.. it was a gamble, but it was a starter home and it was right before the housing bubble burst, so we did well.

    Good luck with your showings and may one of those promising leads turn into something good

  4. John

    Having relocated I know how stressful this can be; on you and the cats. selling is no easier than buying or finding suitable housing for rent. I hope your house sells quickly and the move to the new place is a smooth transition for everyone. I was fortunate at the time; I only had dude and when it was time for open house; he was put into his carrier and we hit the great open outdoors { the neighbors backyard } !!

  5. Also having relocated several times, it has never been pleasant or remotely easy. I was told, and have done so with every move to: 1. place a bouquet of just opened flowers in the living room and 2. Bake a pie or cookies finishing just before open house and then leave them in the oven. This is supposed to cover any pet scent we owners supposedly can't smell. I had a come back after one of my open houses and everything looked good until my cat Thomas, for some unknown reason, chose the center of the living room ( in full view of the potential buyer) for his bowel movement. The lady, not a pet person, ran. Literally ran.
    Good luck, dear friends.

    1. The story about Thomas was funny. You can tell pet-people, especially cat-people. That wouldn't have fazed us. I would have thought, "So, this must be a nice place for cats, eh?"

  6. Glad everyone is being so game about the whole ordeal! Keeping you in my prayers that all goes well with your selling/moving venture!

  7. Good luck with your house selling. I hope one of the views is a successful one and you can quickly find a new home. I am glad the cats are taking it reasonably well. Flynn gets very upset if strangers come into his home. It took him many years to even appear when friends visited. Eric on the other hand loved all visitors.

  8. It has been many years since I have sold a home and am glad for the distance. Sounds like the crew are getting used to things and are adjusting well. Cammie sounds like Timmy. The last trip we all took to the dreaded vet he taught the others the song of their people. That short drive was gut busting funny with the 7 of them giving it their all.
    Good luck with the sale and well stated about the Face Place

  9. Goodness, I'm so far behind in the blog reading. Hope you've had an offer since this post was up. It was five years ago when I moved with four cats and I recall how much of a struggle it was to manage an open house with them.

    Good luck!