Mine are great shredders too; occasionally I treat them to a box of tissues or roll of toilet paper...
Mary your experience helps calm my nerves a bit! I will be most worried that something might happen while they are in the hold and will be sure to remind the flight attendants they are below when I get on. They were great on the one flight I've taken them on, to the UK in Feb.
Actually the most stressful part really is simply buying a new house; if you are in a good market selling is not nearly so difficult except for having to keep the house clean (and clearing 7 animals from the premises for every viewing... ).
At least the US system is more secure than the Irish where even if your bid is accepted there's no legally binding agreement until the contracts are signed when the keys are handed over so in a boom market the buyer is always at high risk of being what we call 'gazumped' (someone else makes a direct higher offer to the seller and the seller decides not to sell to you). The system badly needs changing for this and many other reasons; the buyer has little protection.