I like to have ambitions for the future, sometimes very intricate ones. I realised that we’re three decades old and we need to have a solid plan for how we’re actually going to get to our future, instead of just having ideas about it.
I came up with this lil’ infographic.
Unless we become rich overnight it’s highly unlikely that the first home we ever own will be one we’ve self-built, mostly because land costs are prohibitive as all hell.
So our current life priority is saving a deposit to buy an existing house. This example house on Rightmove is the sort of thing we’re looking for, it’s got 1930’s style bay windows, arches between rooms, picture rails, there’s an ensuite to the master bedroom and a downstairs toilet, a utility room, and enough reception rooms to have a normal living room, gaming space, and dining area maybe with another TV space. I’d probably buy that house now if I had money coming out of my arse. It needs painting and doing up and some changes of light fittings, but I reckon I’d enjoy that kind of stuff.
This house would also do fine although we’d spend a few thousand putting an ensuite in somewhere, and there’s not as much room downstairs. Love the lamppost in the garden though!
The only trouble with that kind of house is that there are bound to be some changes in elevation, e.g. steps between rooms, that you can’t put a ramp on because there’s not the right amount of room. Kadek also currently lives in a house like this and the hallway is extremely narrow, even though I have the smallest powerchair in the world, it still scrapes the walls.
On the one hand, I am trying to ambulate more indoors if I’m only going to the next room, because I’ve read some horror stories from other people with Ehlers-Danlos who used a chair literally all day to prevent injuries, but then wound up with decaying muscles and now can’t move even when they want to. So I’m trying to move more inside the house if it’s only a short distance and I haven’t already hurt myself. Some days you just unavoidably need to be sat down.
But basically, maybe a house with some annoying door thresholds or a hall I could only be upright in, wouldn’t be the end of the world if I could make it work. I’ve changed a lot since my early 20s, used to be that I could barely move without ripping something out of place, and I fainted several times a day, smashing my head on all sorts of things. I’ve managed to learn about the best ways to move around without hurting myself and I know when to quit before I pass out (most of the time). So, I like to think I could get away with living in a 1930’s house that can’t be entirely adapted. But who knows.
Here are some things I would like to do with a house I own:
- Add interior cat flaps!
I’ve always liked the idea of interior cat flaps, but it’s really hit home how much I need them now that I live with Will’s mum’s cats, and my husband doesn’t like having the door open at night. I understand why, but it means you get cats scratching at the door, and that I miss them randomly walking on me in the night. The solution is literally to put cat flaps on certain internal house doors (or through walls). And they look relatively simple to make out of picture frames and some fabric!
- Outdoor cat toilet
Perhaps it’s because I’m a bit more of a dog person than I am a cat person, but I don’t really mesh with the idea of an animal having a crap in a box in my house. I prefer them to go outside in a designated area that can be picked up later and not stink-up the house. Much like dog toileting areas made with wood bark and such, it seems easy enough to make a smaller version with cat litter. But I’d make a tiny roof for it out of wood logs or something, otherwise months of rain in England (if that’s where we end up buying a house) would clump up all the unused cat litter.
- Dog flap!
I wouldn’t have it unlocked all the time or leave a dog outside without supervision, but in weather like we’ve got now, it would be so much easier to open the dog flap and keep an eye on the dogs through a closed door than it would to stand there with the door open when it’s -9 °C at night.
- Cat-proof fencing
Again, this might be because I’m more inclined towards dogs, but I’ve never understood letting cats wander off by themselves. I’d never put Freya out the front door and hope she makes her way back in time for dinner.
I’ve also seen plenty of photos of cats who’ve come home with one eye hanging out or even with a lot of their face removed, because they ran into someone or a group of people who grabbed them and did horrible shit. You can’t trust strangers to care about your animals. It might seem unlikely to happen, the majority of the country’s cats go out and come home every day, but the sheer feeling of dread I’d have seeing my mutilated cat drag itself back into the house, if it doesn’t outright die somewhere, I just want to avoid that happening at all costs.
But, I want my cat to poo in the garden and to lounge around out there in the sun and whatnot, so cat fencing is the answer to make sure they can’t go any farther than our own land.
- Built-in exterior ramps
I am at least going to be able to drive in and out of my own house in my chair. I’ll try to mould a ramp out of concrete if I have to.
For some reason I’ve always wanted to have 3 cats at once. I’m lucky enough to live in that situation now with Piccalilli, Charlie, and Bertie.
In the early hours of this morning I woke up from a dream where we got 3 assorted kittens at the same time, and were trying to name them. As before, I wanted to name the beautiful grey one Tzipporah (Tzippi). But Will said I shouldn’t name her Tzippi because she had brown eyes instead of blue or green. Dream logic I guess. The 2nd kitten was black with brown mottled bits all over, and because she looked a bit celestial we named her Zosma, which is actually on my real life list of possible cat names. The final kitten was a majority red and white tortie, and we couldn’t decide what to name him. But then we ended up running away from a murderer while carrying 3 kittens in our arms, because dream logic.
So yeah, that all got me thinking about all the ideas for the future I’m storing in my head.
Here are some examples of specific breeds I want in my life :
- Oriental Shorthairs
- Any old farm cat
While I do want to get some specific breeds and raise them from being kittens, I’d be happy to take in any old cat alongside them. Charlie, for example, was born to a barn cat who didn’t want to look after him, so Will’s mum ended up with him, and I’m glad she did, he’s really lovely and he sleeps on the bed with me while I’m napping. He’s a bit weird sometimes, perhaps because he’s from a line of feral cats, but I’d definitely be happy to have my own Charlie one day.
Unless we had significant land, I don’t know that a cat who still needed to be semi-feral would be right for us, because they wouldn’t be able to leave the garden with our cat fencing, and probably wouldn’t be able to live the way they were used to. It depends on where we end up.
And, I would get a Sphynx cat but I think they’re veryyyyyyyy expensive.