Saturday, August 06, 2005

back 2 the grind

After the best and most relaxing vacation I have had in years, the jolt on venturing - reluctantly - back into the working world was, shall we say, profound. My stress level went from 0 to 60 in 2.5 minutes back in my office, thanks to the necessary debriefing on current assignments and projects, funding gained, funding denied, new tasks and assignments that popped up since I'd left, and office politics, complete with a healthy dollop of the gossip. One thing you miss - a LOT - when you are deaf is gossip, part of the massive amount of incidental and environmental information which hearing people pick up without thinking and which are key factors in stopping us from putting our big feet in our mouth. This actually happened to me last year.

(Coworker writes:) "Hi, Ronnie, how are you?"
"Great. How are the wedding plans coming? Just a week off now, eh?"
A long, long pause. Co-worker's eyes tear up.
(Coworker writes:) "The wedding is OFF. We broke up two weeks ago."
(crickets chirp).
"Oh. I'm sorry!" A pause. "I mean, am I?" (Answer: No.)

I also found out this spring that a friend's father had died last autumn. It was nobody's fault that I didn't know, it was entirely an oversight... it's just that "everyone knew" that it had happened, it was "common knowledge"... except that we get our "common knowledge" through our ears, and nobody realized that because nobody wrote it down for me, I didn't know.

Anyway, to make a long story short, it's been a 'shellshock' kind of week and I've been coming home from work and crashing out; and still stunned when the alarm goes off the next morning. It's left me with little energy for anything else, including posting here, and I apologize.

For a week of our vacation we had a foster cat. Our friend C was in Toronto for her summer vacation so it only seemed fair that her big grey tabby, Sam, got to spend the week visiting his 'cousins', our two kitties. A Good Time was Had By All. Sam has been a frequent houseguest of ours and after the first few visits, when everyone figured out their place in the hierarchy, everybody got along splendiferously. Mojo, the younger and more playful cat, especially enjoys Sam's visits because Sam will rassle with him. Veronica has a... fairly low threshold for that kind of thing.

Sam is so much part of the family now that this visit, for the first time, we found him lounging in The Chair.

The Chair is a director's chair which Husband has owned since college days. It was on a shortlist for donation to a second generation of poor youngsters when we adopted Veronica, who immediately pointed out that a sling is just about the perfect chair for a cat; and with the addition of an old quilt, it achieved Cat Nirvana status. (So much so that it is entirely a Cat Chair now, not nearly fit for human occupation, hidden out of sight in a corner, for massively obvious reasons. Note that we appear to be trying to grow another cat on the back of the chair. This is in spite of the fact that the chair gets vacuumed regularly. This is just the Stuff That Won't Come Off.)

So has become The Chair Veronica sits in, the primo lounging spot in the entire house. Mojo has dared sit in The Chair a handful of times, but he does so with the nervousness of the hunted on his face, just knowing he could get his clock cleaned if Her Majesty catches him. Sam, on the other hand, who we call the "Zen Cat", displayed no such anxiety when he took his turn in The Chair, and Veronica, who is nothing if not a good hostess (and a cat with impeccable self-preservation instincts) pretended earnestly not to notice him while he was there.

Sam's back with his Mama now, a day late since C was caught up in the dreadful thunderstorms and resulting Air France crash at Pearson airport on Tuesday. Here's an odd thought for you: we were getting voicemails from C, who was stuck in the airport terminal when her flight was grounded due to the thunderstorms; she didn't know why she couldn't book another flight until late the next night, at the earliest. Husband and I, 1300km away, knew exactly why - we were watching live footage of the Air France jet burning on CTV.

So eventually C got home to Fredericton, and my mother-in-law and sister-in-law and two neices and a nephew who were landing in Toronto at the same time and who also got caught up in the drama, all got to their respective destinations, and Sam is home and Veronica, yes, Veronica is as I type in The Chair.

Hope the weather wherever you are is as simply spectacular as it has been here. High 20s every day, low humidity, sunshine and gentle breezes. May it last until the end of October!



Anonymous Cousin Shan said...

My beloved kittie Boogie who died in Sept had his own director's chair as well! He loved tat chair so much we folded it up and buried it with him. God, how Imiss that rascal!! You're right, it is the prefect chair for a cat!!

I'm currently in Halifax visiting family on the bio father's side and seeing/hearing him play music at various functins. Glad you enjoyed your vacation. Sorry I missed you in Halifax!! We must get together one of these days!!!

10:26 p.m.  
Anonymous Cousin Shan said...

Oh, please do ignore the typos! I'm not used to this computer's keyboard and am slightly exhausted!! ;)

10:27 p.m.  

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