the zoo

Though, that isn’t a very real moniker at all considering my zoo consists of only two cats, but the daily prompt stole the word I would have used: menagerie.  So, what’s a jester to do?  I mean, hello, of course we here at the kingdom have a menagerie, we’ve even mentioned it before!

It’s not the most expansive collection, consisting of only two house cats, but we are still a young kingdom and there is plenty of time for us to add further animals to it.

Sara and Belle were adopted at 8 weeks and 10 weeks old, shortly after we bought our home.  The wife and I both came from families that had cats and we both wanted the little cuties back in our lives.  There is a local non-profit called Cat’s Cradle Rescue that does a lot of good work for kitties in Ventura County, and we sort of lucked into finding them, and then also finding the two creatures that now grace our menagerie.  That was more than 3 years ago.

Belle immediately adopted me, in her own way, as much as she was the kitty that I picked out to take home with us.  She’s a trouble maker, and super cute and not at all like what I thought I’d be getting in a cat.

Sara immediately adopted the wife, just as she was the kitty that the wife picked out to take home with us.  She’s a sweetheart, and super cute and not at all like what I thought I’d be getting in a cat.  Oh, does that sound familiar?  That’s because I’d already said that.

They follow us around the house, from room to room, and when we settle down they settle down with us.  They beg for attention when we ignore them, they are social, they play games with us, they’ll even chase after thrown toys and bring them back to chase them again.  I thought cats were supposed to be neurotic creatures that wanted to be left alone 99% of the time and would only come out and let you pet them on very rare occasions.  Our cats are the exact opposite of that.

I may joke, especially with Belle, from time to time that people who come to visit she took one of them with them when they leave, I may joke about making cat stew from time to time as well, I may complain about being woken up at 4AM by them too, but despite the complaints and the jokes I would never get rid of them.  I can’t imagine not having them around.  They are part of the family, not just part of the menagerie.  (Even if they do turn our house into a zoo sometimes.)

 

still waiting

I’ve been able to drive legally for just as long as I wasn’t able to.
I’ve been called, “sir.”
I’m less than a month away from being a father.
There are far fewer hairs on my head than there used to be.
I have pets that I care for.
I’ve bought a house.
I’ve been married.
I’ve bought a new car.
I’ve graduated from college.
I was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout.
And I’m still waiting to feel like a grown up.

Maybe it will happen this month…

panic

A noise woke me from my slumber.  I call it slumber, not sleep, because I had only been dozing off and on throughout the night anyway.  We’d tried to go to bed early, tried to be good knowing the hectic days we both had ahead of us, but as is often the case: that knowing that we needed to be sleeping made it that much harder to actually sleep.

The noise had been a crashing sound.  Something in the room or the adjacent bathroom being knocked over and tumbling down to the ground.  A cascade of noises, really, with a solid thump to cap it off.  The cats, I thought as the last strings of my tentative hold on sleep were severed completely.

I checked for pressure, weight, on my feet or next to my legs and found none there.  That absence solidified the truth of the situation, the source of the noise.  Definitely the cats.  What are they doing up so early?

Maybe it’s not early?!  Panic hit me like a ton of bricks.  My chest heaved with the blow, my mind reeled, and my arms flailed towards my clock.  Am I late?  Did I sleep through my alarm?

I pulled the clock towards my face, so I could read the time without putting on my glasses.  4:38…  My sleepy brain took a moment to do the math.  I still have 22 minutes I can sleep.

I heaved myself back into a sleeping position, pulled the blankets back up under my chin and sighed heavily.  And then I stayed there, awake, listening to the cats getting into trouble, until the alarm went off and I got up to start my (now even) long(er) day.

perspective

Am I living happily ever after?

How do you define happy?  As we age don’t our priorities shift?  Don’t the requirements to being happy change day by day?  And how can we possibly know what the future will hold and whether or not the happiness we have today will still make sense in 5 years?  In 15 years?  In 30 years?

Shall we judge our happiness based on what society thinks we need to be happy?  Do we have our own separate criteria?

Let’s go to the checklists, shall we? 

Yes, we shall:

Job Satisfaction – As someone who enjoys an abundance of different activities (writing, dj’ing, volleyball, soccer, math, science, auditing, editing, working on the computer, working with other people, … the list goes on and on), is there ever going to be that one job that I will enjoy doing for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 49 (plus or minus one or so) weeks a year?  Probably not.  But, I came to grips with that long ago and am happy enough in my current position. 

Work/Life Balance – I go to work, and then I leave.  I don’t often bring it home with me (literally or figuratively) and it affords me both the time and resources to pursue a multitude of other activities I enjoy.  In this, I am very happy.

Home Life – Married the silliest, craziest, most wonderful (and don’t forget gorgeous) woman I’ve ever known.  She makes me very happy.  We are living “the American dream” as home owners.  We have two sweetheart (*ahem* and hellian) cats.  A bun in the oven (that is almost ready to come out).  I couldn’t think of anything to complain about for this aspect if I thought about it for years.  I’m happier than I ever thought I could be.

Money – We make enough to do most of the things we want to do.  We make more than some.  We make less than others.  I’ve never factored this into whether or not I’m happy.  If I made less I would find activities I enjoy doing that cost less.  If I made more it would make taking care of my growing family easier, sure, but I trust that we will find a way to carry on with what we have.  This is not a factor in being happy or not.

Adding it all up:  happy enough + very happy + happier than I ever thought I could be + (non factor) = Yes, I am living happily ever after.

How about you?