Things I Have Learned While Away

I’M BACK! Well, I’ve learned the hard way to not get too definite about these things, but I moved my stuff home Wednesday evening and so far, so good. Guess who else is back? Madame Mojo, no longer Of The Sore Butt, but very recently nicknamed Stubblebum, as the nasty vet people shaved that area prior to surgery.

The "nasty" vet people also took incredibly good care of her through surgery, her 10th birthday and a much longer-than-expected stay. Everybody at The Animal Clinic are awesome.

It was interesting to see her emerge repeatedly from the safety of the bedroom closet in ever-increasing circles, as she made her mark on the apartment again. She's been gradually re-discovering her old habits since yesterday and, aside from a massive case of mommy-itis (we've got to catch up on 5 weeks of cuddling), is almost back to normal. Here, the Stubblebum has semi-retreated to the closet after she tired of being chased around by a demented idiot waving a camera, attempting to get a picture of aforementioned hairless area (and sitting on it, to ensure that there's no chance of me pointing the blasted camera at her rear).

And, really, that's not as crazy as it sounds - it is quite astounding how tiny a long-haired cat gets when it’s shaved. Okay, fine. Maybe that is crazy. But it was blog fodder.

Herewith a brief(ish) list of the things I’ve learned while being on enforced vacation.

Vacation is nice. I should take one more often.

I’ve missed my cat.

Spending a lot of time with the same person creates some sort of psychic link. By the time I’d been at mor’s for 5 days, we’d started thinking/saying the same things at the same time. Rather freaky.

Having a place and time to go to work makes you more effective. I started going back to my apartment to work a few hours every day halfway through the process. When working wasn’t competing with household chores, shopping, cat management, and cooking and all the other aspects of everyday life, it’s amazing how productive you can be. Working from home is awesome, but it’s really hard to shut out the home bits.

Likewise, not dealing with all the home stuff, and being prevented from moving about much (no pacing!) due to the limited accessibility of my home away from home - and pacing-related irritability of my host - as well as eating really spectacular food not only makes you feel relaxed, it also helps you gain weight. A whole size. Yippie!!

Internet addiction can be cured. Of course, now that I’m home, I suspect I’ll have a relapse right quick.

Moving into your mother’s apartment, a different place than the house you grew up in, still becomes home in a matter of days. I’d go back “home” to my place, then “home” to mor’s for dinner and feel completely confused. But by the time I’d been back home for good for an hour, it wrapped itself around me and my home and I gave each other a big hug hello.

And speaking of home (sort of). In the first week, I was told by one of my attendants that I’d acquired my mother’s accent and way of speaking (apparently, the woman’s contagious). It’s interesting – in Danish, I’m what a friend calls a “verbal chameleon” – pick up regional dialects after being with a person from whatever region in about 5 minutes. Never could do that with accents in English. Another of my attendants once tried to teach me Jamaican patois and gave up in peals of laughter – I just can’t make my voice do that. Increasingly, though, I can approximate an Irish accent – I think it has the same “music” as one of the Danish dialects. And sure, picking up my mother's way of speaking is fairly natural, but it still felt kind of weird.

Remember Mercury retrograde and its nefarious stalking of yours truly? It was only this weekend that I realized that the proceedings three weeks of nightmarish "everything they can go wrong, will" took place during - you've guessed it - a Mercury retrograde. Just another piece of evidence to support the theory.