Thursday, February 18, 2010



After my long stretch of unemployment, I have finally returned to the ranks of the employed, or the over-employed in this case. Carol and I and the cats are still trying to figure out how to deal with my swing-shift schedule. We might have been able to get a workable routine established had it not been for the understaffing problem that exists at my new jobsite. In the last few weeks, I've gone from bored at home to 52 hours my first week, 56 hours my second week and another 56 hours this week. Not that I'm not happy to have an income, but it would have been a bit better to ease into the world of employment instead of being swept into 6 and 7 day weeks and 12 hours days all at once.

All my well-established routines are no longer possible. Brushing Quint's teeth now sometimes happens at 12:30 a.m. or even 4:30 a.m. He doesn't seem to mind. If he's around after lunch, sometimes that's when the brushing happens. Most mornings I still arise between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. and Hedge still looks for me at that hour, though he's less interested in chasing the laser pointer light and more interested in being scritched behind the ears for as long as I'm willing to spend doing so. If I'm up too late and rise early to see Carol before she leaves for work, I'll try to take a bit of a nap in the afternoon. Often, one or the other of the cats will join me. One day last week, when I went to lay down, Hedge was already on the bed. Instead of his usual "hop down and go somewhere else" behavior, he stayed where he was and then snuggled up against my leg while I rested. He's still a bit skittish and we never know how he will react when we approach him. His reaction seems to be running about 60/40 in favor of moving away, but that's a vast improvement from how he was when he first arrived. He's made tremendous progress. Hedge is also getting bigger. I suppose all that food he's been eating is finally starting to do him some good. I haven't weighed him lately, but he is noticeably heavier, and it looks like he's added some length to his body as well. He may well turn out to be around the same size as Quint.

I miss my routine sometimes, but I'm sure we'll adjust to our new situation. We're all trying very hard to make it work. I've taken to driving to Carol's office a couple of times a week and walking with her over her lunch hour just so that we can spend some time together. I'm glad that Quint and Hedge have become such good friends and can keep each other company while Carol and I are away at work. We'll all just have to make the most of the time we do get to spend together. It helps that we're all willing to do that.

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