mostly relaxed Oskar

When I arrived back home in January from my time in Costa Rica over late December, I dragged myself to work by my own collar, which is to say that I was a bit lacklustre about the whole work-for-a-wage arrangement and would have sold one of my fingers if the price meant three months of comfortable unemployment. Sometimes we do what we must, though, and I showed up on January 3rd cursing at the cold and making like Dorothy with my verbal stamping of There's no place like Costa Rica in reply to the repetitive flow of how-was-its from co-workers.

And then, oh, and then. A coworker stuck her head into my cubicle, asked me the requisite how-was-it, and then she followed that up with You do remember that you have twelve holiday days to take off before the end of April, don't you? No, I didn't.

I looked at the calendar, realized I had no concrete plans for anything, aside from a couple of contract jobs, and pencilled in a fairly random smattering of Fridays, Mondays, and a few stretches of days altogether.

It was January 3rd and March seemed so far away at the time, so when I arrived at work on Monday, February 27th, I was shocked to find out that I had Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday off. So, here I am in the middle of a short vacation, which is lovely, really, but I do have that cat pictured below, and he is a wrench in whatever works I've got. (The cat pictured above is Oskar in his best suit when he's laying on the charm and is not at all indicative of his truly aggravating nature).

Oskar in his normal state

Oskar loves humans, and he is particularly happy when one or the other of us stays at home with him all day, although I am not sure why. He is a maddening cat, he maddens, and so both yesterday and today have seen regular and occasionally loud outbursts of activity and language from the both of us.

Oskar has accomplished over the last two days to:

• knock over the garbage in the bathroom and then chase the empty toilet rolls around the room and tear apart snotty tissues.
• make that grating nails-on-the-wall sound every time he used his litter, because he is fastidious to the point of neurotic about it.
• launch himself through the air in order to attach himself to my back whenever I was bent over in the slightest, because when I am merely leaning forward to get a better look at the spine of a book, my 30° angle makes for an excellent perch.
• knock my slowly-but-surely dying flowering cactus off one of the few places I thought was still safe for a plant to live in this place, and now it is on the more surely and less slowly end of things.
• fall in the bathtub not once but, oh yes, twice, because he just wasn't falling in the tub enough as it was.
• look at high places he would like to climb to and cry at them loudly and with fervour, causing me to put him in those high places and leave him there, because that's better than the alternative, and also because he acts as a very good duster while he's up there.
• make that snarfling sound with his face as though he is trying to hunt up truffles out of the hardwood floor. He has defective sinuses, poor thing, but my gawd, that sound could start to drive anyone mental when Oskar is also insisting that he have his nose pressed to your pants while one of his eyes is leaking (that's also from the sinus thing).

Relaxing is not the word I would use to describe these last two days spent with Oskar. I need a word that encompasses wholly irritating plus rife with the unexpected plus physically painful but also includes a deep sense of affection.

I have spent the first part of this short vacation reading Bitch magazine, learning more about XHTML, knitting, and lounging about in the bath, all of which have been done within this apartment. Oskar and I could use some time apart, he so that he can continue existing in his present living kitty form, and I so that I don't shove his little indoor ass out the back door and "forget" about him, so tomorrow I'm getting out of here.

I need to engage with the world a bit, because this drama with my cat is all out of proportion after two whole days of his yowling, breaking things, clawing the furniture, falling in the bathtub, chasing my jewellery into the toilet, and climbing inside the kitchen cupboards. I know that he does all these things while I'm at work, but witnessing and trying to avert it all is far more stressful than laughing at the aftermath after coming home.

I am starting to suspect that this whole I'm-a-cat thing is a ruse. He is really the world's hairiest two-year-old in one of the lowest percentiles for height and weight.

The Emperor's New Clothes

"First Day Of My Life" - Bright Eyes