Evening sunlight falls across our cat Sam as he sleeps at the top of the cat tree

The past number of months have worn me out. Sometimes physically, sometimes mentally, often both. That hasn’t changed in Arizona, although now I’m more often tired for positive reasons. It hasn’t helped that I’ve been getting up at 4 a.m. to go hiking on my days off, but mentally it has helped tremendously. The exercise has been good for me too.

I am certainly tired of filling out a seemingly endless stream of paperwork. Every time I think I’m through the worst of it another wave follows. The constant need to make decisions has at least slowed dramatically and life has begun to take on a rhythm. Mentally I’m more upbeat than I’ve been in a long time, even if I’m falling asleep not long after dinner.

For all the stress of the past half year, I think every day about how blessed I am. I know many are not so fortunate. I had a wonderful time on the trails this morning and came home and spent one-on-one time with each of the pets. Then my wife and I were off to get some paperwork notarized and sent off, then it was back home to sort through some pictures. Now as the light fades I think I’ll go for a quick swim.

Maybe tonight I’ll sleep like Samwise.

You Are The Everything

Our cats Trixie and Sam snuggling near the door as we prepare to move

I’m very scared for this world,
I’m very scared for me.
R.E.M., “You Are The Everything”

Trixie was increasingly on edge in the month prior to the move. When the movers arrived the day before, we kept her in the bathroom with her brothers while they packed up our belongings and loaded them on the truck. The next morning as I loaded up the cars, she sat beside the glass door watching me come and go. I was afraid she was going to try to get outside but she never did, it was her way of trying to relieve the stress. Brother Sam came up and laid down beside her and, in the shadow of her hero, she was able to find some solace. Scout used to do this for Sam, so it was heartwarming to see him return the favor and even gain some comfort himself from his young sister.

The movers arrived yesterday to deliver our things to our rental house and it amused me to see this scene play out again in the evening, with Sam curling up with Trixie as she slept in my office.

The Unfamiliar

Our orange tabby cat Sam sleeps in the basket of a short cat tree

Today was my first day at the new job and while it went well, it was still a day where everything was unfamiliar and will be for a while. Even the simplest things like finding my desk again after going somewhere else was a daunting task and only accomplished after a few wrong turns. But it’s the kind of day, and will be the kind of week if not month, where you just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other with the knowledge that in time this too will become familiar.

And that applies to everything right now, the new city, the new state, the new region, the new climate, the new house. At least I understand the reason for the change and can look forward to the opportunity it brings, the pets aren’t so fortunate. Not surprisingly our dog Ellie has adapted the quickest, although with the warmer weather she has not been interested in long walks. She is loving having us all on one floor for once again she can sleep in the same room as us and follow us wherever we go in the house.

The cats have done well all things considered but the stress is easy to see when you know them as we do. My wife picked up this short cat tree / cat bed and all three have used it, Sam is in it here but Trixie has claimed it the most. It is during these times where you take advantage of every bit of trust that you’ve built up over the years to give them comfort as you can. Soon enough even for the little ones the unfamiliar will become familiar.

Until then, patience, patience, patience.