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So, I'm having a really tough week, folks.
Last week, vacation, was actually pretty decent---the weather was good, I managed to have a little bit of fun in between chores and errands, I survived another trip around the sun, and although I didn't get everything I'd planned to do done, I felt pretty good about it. Then, on the final night of vacation, mere minutes after I'd thought to myself that I was finally relaxed enough to face going back to work, I heard a small noise out in the kitchen.
Turns out one of my indoor kitties figured out how to push out the window screen, and he fell onto the deck. Which would have been fine...I saw a paw reach up, so he was trying to get back in, and poked my head out of the door just in time to see him get bonked by the falling screen and bolt right off the deck and into the darkness. I grabbed a flashlight and searched for hours, but nothing. And no kitty Monday morning, either. I was a bit worried at first, but we had thunderstorms and torrential rains for most of that day, so I grew more concerned. As an indoor cat, he doesn't know the neighborhood at all. There are foxes everywhere. Did I mention he had slipped his collar and wasn't wearing his tags, or that he's not chipped?
He's still missing.
Needless to say, my week back has been pretty stressful---there's the "coming back to work from vacation" thing, the second-guessing and beating myself up for not making sure that window screen was secure, and on top of that, all sorts of attempts to find my cat (posting flyers, social media, talking to neighbors, searching, calling animal control, shelters, vets), to no avail. Had a false alarm yesterday---a neighbor texted that she'd found him, but it turned out to be someone else's gray tiger stray (which means there is likely to be further confusion, since this other stray does look like my cat, with a few small differences). I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up, because damn, going home with an empty carrier was pretty bad.
I confess, I'm not doing much of anything very well right now. I'm distracted and sad, and wracking my brain to figure out if there's anything else I can do. Still, my responsibilities don't stop just because the stress level has been ratcheted up a few notches and things aren't quite right in my world. I've still got to work, and I've got to keep my little household chugging along. My other cat is missing his buddy, and shows this by meowing constantly and looking around the house or gluing himself to me or staring out the window obsessively. He's not eating normally, either. We're all kind of a mess (well, except for the dog, who is probably enjoying his time not being pretend-pounced on by the missing kitty).
Life would be much easier if everything went according to plan, and we didn't have to deal with the glitches---big and small---that life tosses in our path. Sometimes we have to resort to Plan B, or just suck it up and muddle through as best we can, trying not to let circumstances derail our efforts to keep going. This is the kind of week that I used to use as an example, back when I was smoking, of why I couldn't possibly try to quit right now...after all, I'm stressed out and upset and my life's a little more off-kilter than it should be as a result. I would HAVE to smoke, because stress. Or so I assumed.
Truth is, when we quit smoking (or change our behaviors in other ways), we are forced to develop new, healthier coping mechanisms, and figure out new ways to muddle through whatever it is that the Universe has dished up and dumped all over us.
And that's really all I am doing tonight, folks---muddling through. This isn't the best diary ever, and I may not be the best host tonight (in fact, I'm pretty sure I won't be). In fact, I'll be showing up a little later than usual to host because my buddy CSM is going to join me in putting up flyers right after work. We still have dogs to walk, after all, and it's easier doing tough things with a little help from your friends.
Who's Your Little Buddy?
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