Domestic bliss

So Simon surprised me a couple of weeks ago by showing up at my office out of the blue. He’d Skyped me from false locations, faked phone troubles, and had friends tag him on Facebook at places he was supposed to be. It worked, and I was completely dumbfounded when he arrived.

People always ask what we have planned when he’s here, assuming that we party like we’re on vacation and have tons of fun. But honestly, for the most part, we settle right back into our normal routine. We do some grocery shopping, go to work, and watch TV in the evenings. You forget just how important the actual presence of someone is, and it’s always amazing how normal it is when he’s here.

The last time Simon was here (before the surprise visit), we were back in the habit of going in to the office every day, doing a bit of shopping after work, and cuddling on the sofa in the evenings. But, for the last few days he was here, I kept waking up in the morning with the same song in my head. For two days I kept it to myself, thinking it was strange but mostly forgetting about it right away. The third day I woke up with it in my head, I finally registered that 1) it’s not a song I ever really knew (it was just the chorus repeating in my head), and 2) I’d probably not heard it in years, and definitely not since I’ve been here. I also knew that Simon would know ALL of the lyrics to the song and would be amused at my predicament. Ladies and gentlemen, the song:

If you didn’t know, Take That was basically the Backstreet Boys of the UK. But seriously, never on my radar, and I’ve probably only heard it on the radio when we were in England. And I only know they were huge in the UK because Simon told me.

The fourth day that I woke up with Back For Good playing on repeat in my head, Simon of course began to sing it to me intermittently throughout the day. I was still mystified. That Saturday we walked up north for a little exercise and ended up at a cool little bar over the water. We hadn’t planned to be gone for long, so I’d only brought a little cash, which was depleted pretty quickly. After an hour or so we started to walk home, taking the beach path back to the main road. We spied a place that advertises lionfish ceviche, but didn’t have enough money for dinner. We did have enough for two beers, though, so we decided to pop in and check it out. And that’s when we heard it.

It’s a strange life.

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New addition

This is my new feral cat (sorry for the lousy photo).

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She and her three kittens showed up a couple of months ago, and being the hard hearted, practical person that I am I immediately called the humane society and had them all fixed and vaccinated and sent them on their way. Or I fed them every day and watched them play and nurse and be generally adorable for about a month while feeling guilty. (Hint, it was the second one).

We’re lucky to have a great humane society here, so I did eventually have them all fixed (Simon and I trapped the kittens by hand and SAGA sent out a trap for the mother) and the goal is to have the kittens tamed and adopted out. (I’m such a sucker that I’ve actually visited the kittens to make sure they were ok). The mama cat was re-released, however, and I figured she would be traumatized by the whole experience and I’d never see her again. But the day she was released, she showed back up on my porch, probably not knowing what else to do. I started leaving out a little food, feeling quite a bit like my grandmother, Meme, who fed all of the feral cats in Texas. Mom admonished me for feeding stray cats. I may have fibbed a bit about it.

So when Mom came down to visit I was feeling a bit sheepish about my daily visitor. When the cat appeared the day she arrived, Mom said to her, “Oh, hi honey! You’re so pretty, are you hungry,” then named her Black Pearl and started sneaking her more food during the day. Pearl now comes to my door every evening as soon as she hears my gate close, and I put out a few crunchies or a chicken bone. I can’t figure out why, but when she’s done eating she just sits and stares in the window for about an hour each evening. She’s not hungry, she doesn’t want to come inside, and she’ll run away if I open the door. I think she likes to watch me cook. But there’s also the possibility that’s she’s planning to off Mia and take all of his food.

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I mean, how cute is her little clipped ear? It’s so bad, I’ve actually got a friend stopping by while I’m away for the next few weeks to leave food out. For a feral cat. I think I need an intervention.