And I can breathe a sigh of relief. Kind of.

In one hour, I will leave the keys to my apartment on the counter, and I will walk out. Never to have to return.

My stuff is packed away and stored, rather nicely, if I do say so myself, in boxes, and my necessities are settled into what will become my temporary home for the next month or so. The floors have been swept, the counters wiped, and The Cats, well, they want me to die.

Over the past four days, my apartment became increasingly more vacant. In the beginning, The Cats thought it was all fun and games because, WHEEE! Boxes! And Harley had 13 more objects to climb on, other than the walls. And Chicken had 13 more places to hide because she Hates The World and needs a dark place to mourn.

But slowly the boxes were filled, taped shut and stacked against the wall. Harley, who could still climb ON TOP of the boxes, still believed The World Revolved Around Her and that I was creating a jungle of cardboard just so she could get the most out of life. Chicken, however, who's been through this routine about, oh, eight times, literally, was catching on.

Angry Chicken is much like Not Angry Chicken, only when she's angry, her hatred of all things me is much more obvious. I half expect her to actually speak the words, "I hate you." Or to wake up in the middle of the night with a cat on my face, in an innate attempt to End My Life by suffocation.

Meanwhile, in HarleyVille, she's all, "La, la, la! Boxes! I love me!"

But this morning, the stark nature of my studio apartment, which now consisted solely of floor, four walls, a ceiling and a counter, became obviously apparent to She Who Forgets Other Beings Breathe Other Than Herself And The Walls She Climbs. Harley padded across the floor, looking blatantly aware that, "SHIT, there's another CAT here?" And looked at me like, "Who are YOU? And where are my BOXES?" And suddenly, before I became too concerned that she lost her sense of self, she discovered something she clearly never realized came in the package deal that was my studio apartment: OH MY GOD THERE'S A FLOOR!

I've never seen such enthusiasm for the bottom of a room. Oh, the pleasures a floor can bring! She rolled, she jumped. She brought forth a full stealth attack on the hardwood floors that were once covered by THINGS. Things she could CLIMB! And now, now she can ROLL. And run! And slide! And this is SO much better than walls!

And then I drove a stake through her itty bitty kitty heart. I took her away from the floor and everything her small, circulating brain knows how to love.

Harley was plucked from her happy life, Chicken was ripped from the only darkened corner she could find, and they were carried, kicking and screaming, down the hall into my pal's apartment, which has become Our New Home. The small space we will reside while we remain homeless and alone in the world. Our sanctuary. And now, They Hate Me.

We plopped The Cats onto the floor in this new place that, hello, is NOT their home. Who do these THINGS belong to? And why isn't every square inch of this place you call a HOME covered in breathing mounds of cat hair? And my God, it doesn't smell like litterbox. Where, exactly, are we, you rotten, fire-breathing, wench whore of a mother? We, collectively, as a group - Chicken and Harley - HATE YOU SO MUCH.

I sighed. Glanced sympathetically in their general direction, and walked out the door. They'll learn. Harley will discover walls she has yet to climb, and Chicken will find new places to meditate and practice Total World Domination.

And when I return to them Monday morning, we shall co-exist like a family torn apart by society. Chicken, Harley, me and our shoebox of things. And no place to call home. I totally see a Lifetime movie coming out of this.