Friday, October 8, 2010

A Real Ring-Tail-Tooter



Gawd, that was a tough month. Or as by brother in Montana would say, 'a hard pull.'

The last four weeks have been so crazy-exhausting-exciting-exhausting. But you wouldn't know about that, would you? Because I've been neglecting this blog again, haven't I?

Well, it started with a complete technological mutiny. Both of my computers stopped speaking to the Internet. Both my computers: kaput! My watch stopped. My phone quit. For one night, even the DVD player went on strike.

This lasted for a little more than three weeks. The turning point was the night I spilled beer on (and in) my laptop. After that, everything started working better. Honestly.

Then I got an assignment from a pretty respected German newspaper, the S├╝ddeutsche Zeitung, which was great! but I wasn't entirely prepared for it. I had to scribble and circle around the subject for a bit, then write it one or two paragraphs at a time, on the subway to work, or in moments stolen from my real job: Father. So I was barely able to write anything else--not even Facebook updates.

Then Adinah did an end run around us and joined the Girl Scouts! And V. got a new kindergarten teacher (who is great, but isn't it always stressful to get to know someone new?) And I had a birthday--my forty-ninth. And even more important, preparations began for V.'s birthday. Then everyone in my department at work got sick just as my boss dumped several new projects in my lap. I had to teach, do all the administrative stuff that normally consumes my days, plus quite a few things that other people usually do, plus create and do a presentation for a Webinar, whatever that is.

Then we got a kitten. A small black and white love cat named Ada. She was rescued from a garbage can in Romania, and brought to a shelter in Vienna, which is where we met her, the little darling. She's the kind of cat who gets her motor running--like, purr city--then melts in your lap.

But when we brought Ada home we got a horrible surprise. Both Adinah and V. were terrified of her. Neither of them has ever lived with a cat (actually Deanie has, back in NYC, but she doesn't remember The Little Guy.) So the kids looked at Ada and saw, not a cuddly, fluffy little Hello Kitty! but a strange, stalking furry Creature, with claws!! On Morning Two, Ada sprung at Deanie's face to play with her hair extension. Adinah shrieked to break glass, fled to her room and hid in her bed.

Meals in the kitchen were impossible--neither girl would dangle their feet from their chairs, because they could see Ada down there, purring. We had to set V. on the breakfast table whenever the kitten said 'Mraow.'

We've always known that V. both loves and fears animals (monkeys, cows, dogs, pretty much everything except caterpillars, whom she does not fear.) But we had no idea Adinah would be so traumatized by a fuzzball from Romania.

So began the long and painful era in our history known as the Katzenintegrationsprojekt, or The Great Coming Together. Many tears were shed, many screams rang out, and several gasps were gasped.

But today, we can look back and say that we have made great strides. Both girls let Ada sit in their laps now. Yelping, hollering and hissy fits are down by 50%.

And it's been a week already.

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