Boy, does it ever feel good to be home. As I'm typing this, Scarlett is asleep on the couch next to me, purring loudly. Melly has conquered my suitcase, which has not been unpacked and is laying in a corner, by first covering it in white hairs and then curling up in a ball on a corner of it.
Here's a rundown of what I've been up to over the past couple of weeks (from a slightly cat-centric perspective in deference to my audience):
First, a conference I'd been working on coordinating for months finally took place. I was a heavily caffeinated bundle of nerves for the week or so leading up to it, but fortunately, everything fell into place the day of the event and it went fairly smoothly.
The day after the event, Geoff and I left for San Diego. It was beautiful.
I always miss my cats when I travel, but I did get to see some other animals on the trip. For example, this is Scott Baio, the pet of Geoff's brother and his girlfriend.
We spent an afternoon at the San Diego animal park, which was amazing. This baby elephant was one of the highlights.
As we were leaving the park, we happened to walk by a presentation on cheetahs, and had the opportunity to see one up close. She was purring!
After the San Diego trip, we had one day at home before heading out again, this time back East for a week to visit my parents. There was a warm spell when we first arrived, so the flowers in my mother's gardens started to bloom.
As you may remember, my parents' cat, Star, passed away in February (his brother Comet died last summer), and this is the first time I'd been back since he died. It was strange being there and not seeing the food bowls on the kitchen floor or the towels on the couches for Star to sleep on, or hearing Star's insistent meow. I really missed the little guy.
On the last day we were there, Geoff and I spent the afternoon playing tourist and happened into a little boutique. While I was checking out the jewelry, I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye and turned around to see a fluffy cat heading toward me. I squatted down and extended a hand for her to sniff, but she bypassed it and settled herself in my lap, purring happily.
When we got back to my apartment after a very long trip home (and one that involved a sprint through the Chicago airport), the cats were mostly unfazed by our appearance and proceeded to ignore us while sniffing every inch of every piece of luggage. When I climbed into bed, though, they were on me in minutes, one on each side, purring like crazy. It was an excellent, if delayed, welcome.