Wednesday, April 11, 2007

By popular demand

Due to the hue and cry of the masses (ok, just my mom for the most part, as if I needed reminding that my blog is about as popular as the guy-in-that-Sonic-ad-who-is-going-to-write-about-the-fantastic-new-milkshake's is), I'm back. I wish I could say I've been pleasantly relieved by the Democratic Party victory in November, but in reality, I've been fighting off a whole lot of "new job" stress/depression, as well as undergoing serious sleep deprivation thanks to our hyperactive and loving cat.
The new job is causing stress not because it's hard, or because I wasn't ready for the responsibility, or even because the previous manager was a bonehead, but rather due to the fact that I disagree with some of the processes and procedures that have been in place for a long time. I was unprepared fully to have to reorient the entire staff to more closely follow policies and hew more firmly to priorities and objectives I had in mind--I guess I assumed that my ideals, honed by years in retail and at our Central Library, wouldn't be too far off what has been the norm out here at the branch. And maybe they aren't, but it sure seems like asking people to show up on time, speak up if they have questions or grievances, and do the work the City hired them to do "on the clock" when we're paying them is certainly causing more trauma than it should.
The cat, on the other hand, is just being too much. Amber's so darn smart that she gets bored easily, it seems, needing to play at all hours regardless of whether I'm asleep or not. (And for some reason, she does seem to want me rather than TBO up at 2:30-6AM for "fun time".) For the first few hours after we go to bed, she's content to be calm or sleep wherever cats go in the dark. But after that, she begins her routine of desperate desire. She'll walk all over us (which isn't so bad) and refuse to sit/lie still (so we know it isn't simple petting or stroking that will satisfy). What comes next, though, is much more bothersome. Amber's a very affectionate cat, who loves to be held and petted. One of her more endearing actions is headbutting us to get us to rub her head with any part of our body available. Endearing, that is, at times other than 3AM. Then it is merely painful, because her angle of attack is such that she headbutts my eyes. Hard. And after that fails to get me out of bed, she'll use her other endearing/painful move--licking.
For all of you out there that have dogs, or at least have never had a cat, a cat's tongue, unlike a dog's, is like nothing so much as coarse sandpaper. Getting cat-licked, especially for someone with fairly sensitive skin as I apparently have, is cute, sure, but it only takes a lick or two to cause some seriously "abraded skin" pain. Getting cat-licked at 3 in the morning is not fun. Getting cat-licked at 3 in the morning on my eyelids is excruciating.
Of course, if we kick her out of the bedroom at any point during the night, she'll simply cry (more like a whimper, really) the night away. It's unbearable, because we love her.
We originally thought that Amber was simply hungry, so at first headbutt I get up and feed her, and for a while that worked. She'd eat, and that would be that. I'm not saying that having to get up every night at 3 to feed the cat is a good thing, especially since I've had sleeping issues ever since chemo, but at least it wasn't painful or a nightlong strain. Lately, though, feeding her has proven to be not enough. She'll eat, and after a short rest period, the headbutting and licking (or whimpering outside the door) will commence anyway.
It's nice to be loved, even by a furry little animal. And I don't want to not have Amber. But maybe a little less Amber would be better?


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