One thing I miss tremendously while traveling is talking with my friends on a regular basis. Today, I got to talk to my friend Amy, who I have not spoken to in two months. I don’t have a phone, just rely on Skype to stay connected, so when I call someone and leave a voicemail, it’s not like she can call me back. We have a knack for missing each others’ telephone calls when I’m in the U.S., and several thousand miles between us hasn’t changed that.
Amy and I have been friends since college, and because I’ve always talked about traveling like this, she’s always said she’d take my animals when I go. Really, when I told her about my plans for this trip and the need for a temporary home for my two cats, it was a perfectly normal conversation, as if people do this every day.
Feeling a little homesick at this point in my trip, I was really happy for today’s catch-up. I was also really happy to get an update on my cats.
Amy told me a funny story about when they thought they lost Austin, the cat she gave me nine years ago. They had visitors staying in the house–something Austin doesn’t always take kindly to–and Austin apparently checked out for two days. My cats don’t go outside, but they were sure Austin must have escaped, as Amy’s 3-year-old child used to have a habit of leaving doors open. So Amy spent two days looking for Austin around her farm and around the neighborhood. Then Austin sauntered downstairs one day, as if she just came back from a week at the spa. Amy was relieved; Austin was indifferent. This is very Austin–I’ve “lost” her more than once in houses we’ve lived in.
Now Amy’s child calls the cats by their names as she sees fit: Aunt Lisa’s Kitty Mudge (Smudge is his name given by me) and Aunt Lisa’s Kitty That Got Lost (aka Austin).
So ask the 3-year-old what the rules are in the house, and she says: “Shut the door. [Pause here.] And share.” I thought these were important rules to live by and even to travel by, plus they give me a nice excuse to write about life at home, which I’m jonesing for a little bit right now.