I'm back! After 1200 miles of driving with two kids across two states and an island, I'm ready for some parental help. It was tough without Scott, and not just because of all the driving. How do single parents do it? There is just no relief, no quiet, no end to the crushing responsibility of feeding, cleaning, and clothing children. Not to mention all the listening. The listening might be the hardest part.
While we were away, my cat of more than 16 years went down for The Big Sleep. I just could not face the fact that it was time so I heaped the entire burden on Scott, who had to take care of it before he left on his trip and before we got back. So after having been traveling for 14 hours, the kids and I arrived home at around 9 at night to an empty house for the first time in a very long while. Being the only driver, I was caffeine loading at every stop and was too wired to sleep. At about midnight when I felt I could finally get in bed, I went to check on the kids and screamed as I saw a cat running from the kitchen to the cat door.
Even though I heard the click of the cat door flap, I still walked the house with my headlamp and two brooms just in case there were any other cats that had decided it was okay to cruise around in our house now that Stimpy was no longer protecting her turf. And what about raccoons, I thought, a pack of raccoons could have been totally nesting in the house while we were gone! And opossums! Adrenaline coursed through my body as images of opossums hanging by their scaly pink tails from my son’s closet rod ran though my mind. The kids were so exhausted that Hank would probably not wake even if feral cats were gnawing at his succulent little fingers nor would Juliet stir if rabid raccoon kits curled up in the soft warm curve of her neck.
In a dark house at midnight, my imagination is more dangerous than an intruder.
Beyond the cat that managed to escape, no other animals were found. I stacked all three of our suitcases in front of the cat door and had to watch both episodes of the New Jersey Housewives reunion show to get my heart rate back to resting.
Scott returns tonight. He has been missed!