January 03, 2024Life Interrupted

Hooray! Holidays are over and life is getting back to normal!

I love the holidays … with the music and activities and special get-togethers at church and visiting with family and friends. But it lasts so darn long!

For all the other holidays throughout the year, we might celebrate one day, or perhaps over a 3-4 day weekend. But Christmas festivities begin with Thanksgiving and run right through New Year’s Day. And all that time we’re decorating and cooking and cleaning for company and visiting and bracing for the in-laws and the out-laws.

Then, when it’s finally all over, you have to take all the decorations down and store it all away till next year – (remember to get the broken lights fixed before you need them again next November – you won’t!) – and then try to get back into your normal, daily routine.

Of course, the upside is non-stop eating for 5-6 weeks, and there’s nothing wrong with that!

Another big part of the holidays is all the traveling. With most folks having extra time off from work, the holidays make the perfect time to go visiting far off friends and relatives who don’t get seen very often. For pet owners, that makes for another problem: what to do with the critters who can’t go along?

But not to worry, there are folks, like us at our house, who aren’t going anywhere for the holidays, who won’t mind pet-sitting for a few days.

For households that don’t have pets, a few days of adjusting the daily schedule to accommodate a furry visitor is not a problem. Any hair left behind after it’s all over will be vacuumed away and life will go back to normal.

For households that already have pets, a little extra pet hair over a few days won’t even be noticed. The main problem they’ll have is getting the visiting and resident pets to mesh and get along well for the duration of the visit. You thought those uncles, first cousins, third wives and siblings were a problem at Thanksgiving ... you ain’t seen nothing yet!

So our house falls into the category of households who already have pets, and we volunteer to keep Jake, the dog of friends of ours who use the holidays to go traveling to visit grown children and their families.

Jake is a good boy, who does what he’s told and doesn’t make a bit of trouble for anybody.

The resident pets are, of course, Squirt and Patty. They are my mom’s cats who came along when she came to live with us over a year ago. We keep them contained in a small apartment on one end of our house where my mom lives. My husband is allergic to cats, but keeping them contained hasn’t been a problem at all and they are a big part of our daily life now, and spoiled rotten.

This year there’s a new addition to the pet-sitting mix … Emma, who is now Jake’s little sister. Emma is a little calico cat, barely six months old, who still has all the energy and zoom of ten atomic bombs. Emma LOVES Jake! Jake loves Emma about as well as any old man could love any rambunctious youngster who won’t just settle down already …

But Emma presented a problem for us, because we just weren’t too sure about adding her to the mix with our cats … so poor Emma got left home all alone. Her human family would only be gone for about 4 days, then home for four days, then gone again for another four days. Not a terribly long time. So on the days when Emma is alone, I go spend a couple of hours with her and we play. Not ideal, but hopefully she’ll get through the holidays okay.

I’ve written about them all and these pet-sitting events before in these blogs.

This year I thought, Why just write about what I see happening between them all, why not get the information straight from the source …

So I interviewed them each to get their thoughts about this arrangement each year on holidays and vacations. In each of this month’s blogs I’ll tell you what they told me … straight from the horse’s – uh, I mean dog or cat’s – mouth!

If I had to summarize each particular interview in one sentence, it would be this:

Jake: What do I keep doing WRONG?
Squirt: AGAIN!!!???
Patty: What dog?
Emma: Where is everybody??!!


We’ll begin January 10th with Jake’s interview …

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  • Dixie Cooley says:
    2024-01-08, 14:33:40