Homeless Sweet Homeless

So I have now been homeless for a week. I am by no means on the streets, staying in a combination of with friends and in B&Bs. But I technically do not have a roof over my head, and certainly do not have a room of my own, in the Virginia Woolf sense of the word. While I move from place to place each night, Bish is residing in a cattery in Edgeware, and my stuff resides in storage in Hangar Lane.

This move has underlined the fact that I have far too much baggage – both literal and emotional. Despite dejunking twelve bin bags full of stuff to the charity shop in the course of the move, I have still managed to fill a 20-foot square storage cage with a load of crap. Once I find a place to move to, and take my stuff out of storage, some careful sorting needs to be done to reduce that amount.

I did manage to sell all my furniture with the exception of the pink ottoman I’ve had since I was little. My sofa went to a young couple who were moving to Brighton to start a new life together. My chest of drawers, bought from the IKEA bargain basement at Wembley last October were delivered to a woman in Ealing. My bed and bedside table went to a couple, one half of which was a totally hot kiwi builder who put a smile on my face when he came to collect it with his friend, only for him to tell me that he did in fact want the bedside table I was selling with the bed, the one his girlfriend had declined, and I had to empty all my unmentionables into a plastic bag as he stood there watching me. I’m still not sure if I was happier to have such a hottie in my bedroom (it’s been a while) or if I’m more hugely embarrassed about the contents of my bedside table being on display to aforementioned hottie…

As I continue my search for places to live, I find myself considering places way over budget (and that was my budget before I reduced it), rooms shared with young Australian guys (I think I’m really too old to be sharing a room with anyone other than a lover) and rooms with single beds (I might as well become a nun). London has an abundance of rooms available, but finding something suitable seems on a par with locating the Loch Ness Monster. I’m contacting many people with cats in the hope they’ll allow another, but most of them won’t.

Advice from loved ones has been to consider rehoming Bish. The desperateness of the situations cries for drastic action, and I am the first to admit that my life would be much easier if I didn’t have him. However, part of me is angry that I have to even consider such a thing. Is it really so impossible to find somewhere to live with a cat? An article in the Independent online from October 2012, with a quote from the Cats Protection that “Since the UK recession, we have received many more requests from people to take in their cats, with owners saying they are losing their jobs, their homes, or moving into rented accommodation,” (read the full article here http://www.independent.co.uk/property/house-and-home/pets/news/cruel-for-cats-hard-times-for-humans-lead-to-an-epidemic-of-stray-pets-8209886.html.)

I have had Bish for almost 14 years. He outlasted my ex-husband, who was the one who found him for me back in 2000 when I was looking for some feline company shortly after buying my first home at the age of 21. While I do feel like he could have a better home with someone else, my heart wrenches at the thought that he could go somewhere much worse. He is an old boy now, and I can’t bear the thought of him ending up somewhere he is unloved.

I don’t know what will happen in the future. Right now, to me, it feels hopeless. I will be 36 next month, and while it’s not good to wish your life away, I wish it was 40, because maybe then this whole thirty-something crisis would be over, and I would be settled. When I set up this blog in January 2012, the title of 33andlostinlife just seemed so apt. Two and a half years later, and I feel even more lost. I don’t know which direction my life is going, and it just seems to get worse. I have received other advice: to leave London and move up North. But I don’t think that is the answer. Right now I don’t have any answers though, and I can’t trust myself to make the right choices.

I feel like my inner directional compass is skewed. Like Sarah in the film, Labyrinth, who is offered the choice of two doors, one which leads to the Goblin King’s castle and the other to, dumdumduuuuum Certain Death. She is told by the Four Guards that she must solve a riddle in order to proceed, and that two of the guards always tell the truth, and the other two always lie. As she uses her logic to ask a question which will give her the answer to which door she should take to the Goblin King’s castle, she smugly pushes open the door and announces, “I think I’m getting smarter!”. Promptly she falls down a shaft and into another puzzle, her goal seemingly getting further and further away.

So the moral of this blog: no matter how bad things get, they can always get much worse. But as long as you can quote cheesy 80s movies which involve David Bowie in tight leggings, well life can’t be all that bad, can it?

“Yes, but is it possible to put a cat flap in one of these doors…?”

37 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Brenda Zaaraoui
    Jun 14, 2014 @ 20:36:07

    Good luck with everything Jodie – Hope you find somewhere lovely bx


  2. Opinionated Man
    Jun 17, 2014 @ 17:52:07

    Reblogged this on HarsH ReaLiTy and commented:
    Wishing you the best! -OM
    Note: Comments disabled here, please comment on their post.


  3. shirleyjdietz
    Jun 17, 2014 @ 18:21:33

    I’m not going to say I know how you feel but I do have a 34 year old daughter, single and struggling professionally, who sounds a lot like you. I have a lot of compassion for her. What I am going to say is that 36 sounds awfully young to me and you write well. Keep the cat. A place will come up soon for both of you.


    • 33andlostinlife
      Jun 17, 2014 @ 18:41:14

      Hi Shirley, thanks for your support. It always helps to know there are others out there going through the same thing…I hope your daughter finds her path too ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. Heartafire
    Jun 17, 2014 @ 18:27:19

    Wishing you all the luck in the world!


  5. Susan Starr
    Jun 17, 2014 @ 18:30:56

    I signed on to write another blog entry and yours came up. Wishing you the best. I’m a cat mom, too, have been all my life, have done lots of rescue work, and I will be praying for you and Bish. For what it’s worth, I live in a suburb of New York and things are just the same here, for both people and their pets. I agree, we have too much baggage – I’m convinced it’s the cause of so much of our societal grief. Glad this has given you the opportunity to divest!


    • 33andlostinlife
      Jun 17, 2014 @ 18:43:58

      I think there is very little chance I’ll be rehoming Bish! But this whole thing has made me realise the difficulties in having a pet in a large city where you can only afford to share a room. The dejunking can only be a good thing and more to come!


  6. Louise
    Jun 17, 2014 @ 18:48:32

    (Here via Opinionated Man). Its a difficult one. I’d love to have cats, but I’ve not allowed myself to as I’ve been working or travelling most of the day – that was when I was living a three hour commute outside London and doing it daily.
    I’d love to have one now but we’re in a fourth floor flat and again, we both work long hours.
    I don’t know you, but I could offer you temporary storage for your ottoman in East London (not in my flat, in our storage unit), but I can’t help with kitty.


    • 33andlostinlife
      Jun 17, 2014 @ 19:27:01

      Hi Louise, I appreciate the offer of storage! Sadly my ottoman is hidden in with the rest of my stuff in Hangar Lane, and I’m not attempting to go back in there until I have somewhere to put it! I’ve been lucky that while I’ve been at work there’s always been someone around to keep Bish company, but I understand why you wouldn’t consider a cat with such long commutes. Thank you for your support ๐Ÿ™‚


  7. helenbirdart
    Jun 17, 2014 @ 18:59:45

    Hang in there! Your wonderful sense of humor will see you through and have faith, homelessness happens to the best of us.


  8. myobt
    Jun 17, 2014 @ 19:19:17

    Wishing you and Bish both good luck.


  9. dragonflygypsyusa
    Jun 17, 2014 @ 19:20:34

    Good luck out there, girlie!! I know how you feel. Definitely keep the cat. I don’t know if this is an option where you are at and with your work life, but have you considered purchasing a used RV? We lost everything, home and all, when the US economy crashed in 2008. I found a RV (no, not ideal, but it was a roof and a place to call home base) and we lived in it with my German Shepard mix, Truman, and my cat, Bellenus. This is do-able. You have got this. Just remember to take the experience for what it is…a different perspective on life and things than you had before. One thing you will definitely learn through the process is the level of strength you have. I know I hated it when people would tell me things like this, but, for me at least, I learned I’m way more capable of making it through life, no matter what it throws at me, then I previously believed. Learn all you can about everything you can while going through this. You may just find your best path. I know I have.
    Oh! And I am now following you. Would love to hear/read how much more amazing you become through this. Head up, shoulders back, remain calm, believe in you.


    • 33andlostinlife
      Jun 17, 2014 @ 20:02:18

      Thanks for sharing your experience. It helps to know others who have gone through it and come out the other side. I’m not sure where I would park an RV in London but it is an idea to remind me to think outside the box! I’m glad you were able to find positives in your experience and I will certainly be keeping you all updated on how things go!


    • helenbirdart
      Jun 17, 2014 @ 22:16:21

      my mate & I did the same…we snagged a 1989 ford well over a year ago and haven’t looked back. we’ve painted, refitted and made it home, studio & office.


  10. Thewitch
    Jun 17, 2014 @ 19:48:44

    Just packing up to leave the place I have called home for the last 35 years. Not easy. Good luck!!o


  11. dskmag
    Jun 17, 2014 @ 22:26:25

    I do hope that you start getting some wins. Having lived in London … I can surely say that it aint the centre of the caring universe. Good luck!


  12. tenderlytina
    Jun 18, 2014 @ 00:15:25

    I hope you find your place to land soon.


  13. pavanneh
    Jun 18, 2014 @ 02:28:00

    Hang in there hon! Keep the kitty. He would not do well without you at this point in his life. I have had to live in a car before so I know how it feels to try and find a place on a limited income. It can be done. You will get there.


  14. Lester Chua
    Jun 18, 2014 @ 02:48:33

    Wish you the best and hope that you find a safe landing soon.
    Something you mentioned deserves some advise though. If you think your lost wanderings will only end at 40. Then it will not happen before then. The subconsciuos is powerful. You may find your way before 40, but u need to start believing. Peace.


  15. habitforming2
    Jun 18, 2014 @ 02:51:38

    Praying for you; hope you find a rental friendly to cats & within budget.


  16. maxwarbler
    Jun 18, 2014 @ 11:48:25

    Hang in there girl Never give up. 40 years ago, at the age of 34 I was homeless in Paris and no plans on how to get out of it. I met a girl in the Holiday Inn Paris while I was trying to cadge soup in the kitchen. We married. Had three wonderful children. She got depressed and walked out leaving me with the children. Now with the horrendous side effects from medical drugs she requires almost daily care. I go to visit her every morning. I am grateful for what she did to me and for making a man of me. I am sure somebody will give you a hand up. Don’t give up the faith. Just keep yourself open to possibilities.


    • 33andlostinlife
      Jun 19, 2014 @ 20:19:44

      That is an amazing story. It is wonderful that you are supporting her after everything that has happened. It shows that you never know what is going to happen in life and where the future will take you.


  17. Trackback: Life Sweet Life | 33andlostinlife

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