When I made the decision to go traveling for 6 months, it felt perfectly fine and the right thing to do to me. I asked my friend and colleague is he would be able to take care of my cats during that time, and not only did he agree, even better, he told me was about to move to a place in the countryside! My cats would finally be able to go outside again, after almost 2 years in my apartment. It felt like the best solution.
But now, that I actually moved them over a few days ago, I am absolutely heartbroken. Of course, being cats, they are not too fond of changes. Plus, they have to stay inside for the fist weeks, and the house in the countryside is lovely - if you can go outside. Inside there are only a few small windows and you cannot really look outside, so it is quite dark. Since my friend has just moved in and then had to leave to Germany for a week, it is still not very homely (I don't know but I think cats feel the difference of a nice atmosphere).
Plus - there is Paul! Paul is the cat of my friend, a huge male (castrated). Thankfully he is super chilled, and at the first meeting with my two girls, he stayed relaxed. My cats were not so cool, they were hissing and growling at him. Of course - they just moved house, from a spacious bright apartment with their momma, into a dark cave house. I felt so sorry for them!
I know (I hope) it will get better once they can go outside. They will love the freedom and the nature and catching birds and rabbits etc. Cats should be free! Even though they can catch more easily diseases, I think it's better to die as a free roaming cat than in a golden cage (same goes for humans).
But at the moment I cry every time I go there, because it just feels as if I betrayed them. They are my babies, they trust me, and I just move them somewhere else because I want to selfishly go traveling.
I feel bad and guilty. I try to tell myself I will come back and then I can take them again, but that doesn't change much. Maybe by then, they don't want to move place again. Hopefully, they will love their new home and the space they will have.
Change is inevitable. Impermanence. In some ways it is just a mirror of my own situation. I fear the upcoming changes, too. Leaving my beloved home, the things and places I know, my great life here - why exactly do I want to give this up ??
But change is inevitable. And change usually hurts. But change is good.
I can't keep myself and my cats all safe and secure for the rest of time in a little bubble. Life doesn't work like this. So it is better to face upcoming changes, face your fears, feel the fears - and do it anyway.
Right now I simply allow myself to feel the sadness and the grief. I love my cats so much, and I hope the will love their new home in the countryside. In the end we have to make the decisions for our pets, which is really, really hard at times.