Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tabbitha's cat-rear

Tabbitha is mad. She's upset. She knows something is going on.

It never ceases to amaze me how one little kitty can make you feel so guilty.

It's been slowly building all week, and culminated today when I pulled my racing wheels out of the closet. Her ears perked up, she gave me the huge cat-eyed stare that says "You're not leaving are you?!", and continued to follow me around the apartment all day. She sniffed my bags, she poked around the pile of clean laundry, spent some time jumping into and out of the laundry basket, and later started attacking at our ankles and feet. Nothing serious (yet) - just playful (playful for Tabbitha means no blood).

But she knows we're leaving for a few days. I told her (and before you start thinking that I'm a crazy cat lady, I'm not. Tabbitha just understands what's going on. I don't want her to feel bad or left out. So I just let her know what's going on. When Nate was deployed it made it feel like there was someone else in the house with me. And I'll stop writing lest you think I really am a crazy cat lady!) As for our leaving, well, she's NOT happy about it.

Usually she's her usual, OCD, sleepy, hungry, grumpy, and lovable self. She may seem like a horrible cat to anyone else, but we accept her and love her in spite of her quirks, and she's ours no matter what. As Nathaniel once told my Dad, "Marit and that cat go together. You can't get one without the other."

My Dad, sadly agreed.

But how could I not love her? Just because she's got a few issues - like obsessive cleaning, attacking people, and launching sneak attacks when you least suspect it - she's still my cat. So when she's unhappy or concerned, I get a little worried too. Hence, the guilty feelings when she watches me pack up my bike gear.

Later on in the day, she made her anger known by deliberately turning her backside toward in the living room. Even tempting her palate with treats didn't work. And believe me - if Tabbitha won't accept a treat, we KNOW that something is up.

Hence, we spent half the day in the company of Tabbitha's kitty-butt. If I had her Halloween costume, we could have stuck the elephant eyes to her ham hocks, and "Babbette" (her alter-ego) would have made an appearance.

But I still love her. And I want her to be okay this weekend.

And I guess that's the point of this - is that we ALL have little quirks. Weather it's me with counting the number of steps that I walk up every time I go up stairs (going up Lighthouses can be maddening) or Nathaniel having to wear matched socks (WHY? When no one can see your feet?) - we all do things that can be considered a bit "off" to the outside observer. But our friends and family love us just the same, no matter what.

As Mark Darcy told Bridget Jones: "No - I LIKE you, just as you are."

Sigh! Even thinking about their romance makes my heart go pitter-patter. (Time for the wine, a late night, peanut M&Ms, TWBT, and a great date with Nate...NO NO NO - NOT YET!)

As for everything else, well.... the bags are almost packed. The car isn't quite ready yet... I still need to pack lunch/food for Thursday and pre-race food for Friday (another pre-race superstition. I eat the SAME kind of pasta both Thursday and Friday before a race. One bad experience with a loaded burrito the day before a race was enough to keep me eating what I know works)... I need to print out the athlete guide.... and so much more that I can't think about.

But that's what alarms are for, right!

So tonight - I sign off. Tabbitha will be in charge of the house when we're gone. Tomorrow morning around 7 am (that's that hope, anyway), we leave for Clearwater. I can't wait. I can't believe this moment is about to arrive, and I'm just trying to prepare myself as much as possible for it. Like the couple of times that Nathaniel has returned from a long deployment - you dream about something for so long, and when it finally arrives, you are simply overwhelmed.

Here we go. Tabbitha is in charge of the house, and I'm sure that she'll have plenty of fun watching the birds on the deck while we're gone.

Thank you to everyone out there who has supported me this season. Your strength, love, and support has made it an incredible journey.

Tomorrow we leave.

And the gloves come off.

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