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Friday, 11 December 2009

D +1 - outfitting the flat

After waking at 3:30am, Beth and I were both jet-lagged, so we chatted until 6am when breakfast was available. It was freezing outside, and we had to warm the car before loading up and setting out. Waffles and syrup plus a cup of tea for me and OJ for Beth, and we were ready to hit the road around 7am.

Elbie the cat miowed intermittently on the drive down I5 to Eugene, but seemed tired and sleepy and much of the time was silent. I slept a bit too, and Beth did all the driving. We arrived around 11am, finding our way to the apartment complex easily, and meeting C. who ran us through the paperwork. I've never signed and initialed so many sheets of paper before, but after about an hour we were in our new apartment and able to release Elbie. He hid behind the tumble dryer while we unpacked a little and planned our first shopping trip, to get a better litter tray and various cat essentials to make him more comfortable.

We have never needed a litter tray for Elbie before, as he had a cat flap and outdoor access anytime he wanted, but before we went out this time he managed to christen our makeshift one. When we got back about an hour later with a brand new litterbox with lid plus "Scoop Away" kitty litter, we couldn't find him anywhere in the flat. A panicked search ensued for about ten minutes, until B discovered him inside the tumble dryer. There was a cat-sized hole in the back of the machine (for no obvious reason), and he'd tucked himself in there and got stuck because of his cat collar. I had to pull the machine out gently, ease him out and remove the collar (not necessary indoors anyway), and then we shut the doors on the utility closet.

With his new litter tray he really went to town; he must've been holding back the floodgates for a couple of days. My fears of Elbie littering round the flat were immediately banished, and we concluded that he had been trained to use a litter tray by his previous owners.

Cat now more settled and comfortable, we set out again to get some basics for ourselves. First plan was to open a bank account for me so I could have financial independence (my US funds were being held in one of B's saving accounts), so we stopped off at a Bank of America, but they were too busy and slow, and we had a lot to do in a few hours, so we abandoned that until the next day. An odd aside, the bank teller, when she saw our address, gave a gasp of astonishment. It turnes out she is our upstairs neighbour, her address being just one digit different to ours. Small world, or at least, small city.

Next stop was T-Mobil, but we were foiled again, as they didn't have the (cheap) phones we wanted, so we determined to order online instead, and to out up with a few days delay to get the right phones.

We moved on to Fred Meyer, one of the big department stores in the Pacific Northwest, and purchased bedding and towels, a comfy armchair (bought with a gift of money from my aunt), various foodstuffs, dining table and 2 chairs (flatpacked), and a shower curtain and rings. The table and armchair we couldn't take immediately as the car was too small, so we arranged to collect them the next day. Everything else we crammed into the car, and as Beth was now very tired I drove home.

We barely had the strength to munch our meagre rations before Beth slipped into unconsciousness, and I soon joined her after a stroll round the block. During the stroll I bumped into our upstairs neighbours, the bank teller D and her husband, so we chatted for a while, until the shivering of their small dog reminded us all that it was well below freezing. I dived back inside, rolled myself up in my new comforter, and drifted into a dreamless sleep.


  1. Martin, I have a pick-up truck. Let me know if you need any help with getting things.

  2. Thanks Tim! We hired a U-haul for a day, and I think that's all we need for now. Nothing big left to buy for a while. I'll be popping in to see you soon and make better aquaintance, it's been a busy few days.