An adoption story

Before we met Crivens and Criminy, FunkyPlaid and I visited a local cat café, thinking that we might meet some kittens for adoption, or at least get to play with and cuddle some cute cats. When we arrived, we soon discovered that the vibe of the cat café was much like being invited to a party by friends who then didn’t show up. We hung out awkwardly and watched other guests attempt to catch the interest of very sleepy cats.

Later that afternoon, we had scheduled an appointment to meet some foster kittens nearby. Although those kittens were adorable, we knew pretty much instantly that they weren’t our kittens. The two experiences together made me sad, and made me long for the straightforward choice of my Zen all those years ago. I didn’t know what she would be like as a companion; I chose her because I wanted to save her. It was that simple.

Three weeks ago, FunkyPlaid and I decided to visit the Cat Adoption Team facility in Sherwood. After filling out some paperwork, an adoption volunteer led us into the kitten playroom, and I had only just stepped inside the door when I saw the brothers. I gasped (I am prone to dramatic outbursts, it’s true) and as soon as we each held them, we knew they were the ones we wanted to adopt. Each day since then has been an affirmation of that moment. “Lucky” doesn’t seem to cover it.

Sometimes I feel so guilty, though. When I fall asleep at night, I wish for Zen to visit me in my dreams and give me some sign that it is okay to love these new babies so much. If she could give me that sort of affirmation, I don’t know that she would: she never did love sharing me with anyone else.

I can see clearly now

Progressive lenses: I held out for as long as I could, but this past year has been rough without correction for mid- to near-distance. And I am thrilled with the result! It only took a few hours for me to adjust to the new way of looking at things; it will take me significantly longer to adjust to how I look in the new frames.

FunkyPlaid suggested that I also try prescription sunglasses for the first time, so I’ll give those a whirl during my morning commute tomorrow.

Ah, middle age! I didn’t expect to wax rhapsodic about the idiosyncrasies of the meat-suit. But it sure beats the alternative.

cygnoir in her new progressive lenses

The joy of kittens

We let Criminy & Crivens out of their “sanctuary room” for supervised excursions around the rest of our home. They don’t have the run of the place, not quite yet, until we kitten-proof it all.

Points of fascination are many but the primary one remains the tub, especially hiding between the shower curtain and liner and then leaping out to surprise each other. This results in vertical jumps, “bottlebrush” tails, and my hysterical laughter at the slapstick of it all.

Tonight I was hoping for a little kitten snuggle time, but I had to wait until they had run themselves ragged and were ready for a nap. Crivens was so exhausted that when I laid down next to him on the daybed he did not even move. Criminy woke up, climbed onto my hip, and purred himself to sleep.

On keeping a journal

I don’t remember my life without a daily journal. My first one had a puffy cover with a brass lock and tiny key. It is gone now, the pages rotted or burned or shredded. What secrets could those pages possibly have carried, what secrets accumulated in seven short years? Even now, there isn’t much to tell, but the gentle act of recording this obviousness has become as much a part of my life as the actual living of it.

Surprising myself with data

One of the small yet positive habits I have adopted this year is mood tracking. Exist is a “quantified self” service with lots of features, including an easy-to-use mood tracker with a single 1-5 rating and a short description field. (A couple of years ago I reviewed Exist, if you’re interested in learning more.)

I love discovering surprising correlations in my data, like my mood spiking on days I have public speaking engagements. For many years I tried to convince myself that I didn’t enjoy public speaking because so many people I know despise it. It seemed wrong to enjoy something that must be awful. But I do enjoy it, and it was mildly vindicating to see that so obviously in my mood data.

Have you ever tracked your mood with an analog or digital tool? Why or why not?

Holidailies 2019 begins

Despite being mired in one of the most antisocial, uncreative periods of my life to date, I’ve decided to participate in Holidailies with a goal of writing something every day this December. And instead of doing this on WordPress, I’m going to invest some time and energy into the Micro.blog community instead.

It is a Holidailies tradition to start this endeavor with a recap of the past year. My year was punctuated by two huge moments: in July I became a public library director, and in September my cat Zen died. These moments, without context, could seem as shocking and as sudden as lightning strikes, when really I have been hearing the thunder and tracking the storms for years. So much happens in my life without happening; I have spent 2019’s free time on hobbies that allow me the brainspace to percolate and process.

So my year has been deficient of writing, reading, socializing, or anything else that requires deep focus. Someday I will learn not to judge myself so harshly for this.

If it sounds like I’m down, I’m not. Upheaval? I can handle upheaval. I can learn from upheaval. And there has been so much to love about this year. Life with FunkyPlaid gets better and better, and now we have two kittens who are just the right mixture of affectionate and bonkers.

I’ll close with a quotation I have been musing over lately:

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Theodore Roosevelt

That’s from my percolating brain to yours. Happy Holidailies, and here’s your complimentary kitten photo.