It's been so long since I've posted that I feel I should offer an update. Something like those recap letters you sometimes get from people when they send you a Christmas card. I like getting those letters. They're packed with good news, bad news, funny anecdotes, modest brags and warm wishes. I always thought that I might give one a try some year but I know I wouldn't be able to avoid doing something weird. I know it would definitely embarrass Deb and probably read like a cry for help to everyone else.
Things have changed and there is plenty of good and bad news, some funny stuff to share and maybe a couple of things worth bragging about. When I start thinking about it all, I realize I don't really want to sit and try to organize it all (chronological? by family member? by significance?). Not to mention the idea that I have to make it at least a little entertaining and that's where it would surely come off the rails. I don't think it would be worth the need to think of a reassuring reply to people asking, "Are you alright?"
One thing I will share is that I'm preoccupied with getting our new cat, Charlie to like me. We've had her for six months and it's clear she loves Deb. She's affectionate with Julia, tolerates Allie and treats me like she's heard I have plans to eat her.
I wanted to name Charlie, "Microwave" but got voted down. I did get my way when I named our orange cat, Rabies. Every time the girls share that our cat's name is Rabies they always explain that I'm the one who named him - as if there's something to be ashamed of. There's no shame in his name. It's awesome and it's clear he knows it. My wife and kids are insecure. My cat is not.
Turns out, "Charlie" is one of the most common names for a cat. So now I'm sharing my house with a cat that has a bland, pedestrian name and a hateful attitude. She vexes me. Charlie (I prefer to call her, "Chuck") sits in Deb's lap and narrows her eyes at me while she accepts pets and kisses from my wife. I reach my hand over to offer some love and she jumps down and trots away while I try not to let Deb see the tears well up in my eyes.
I put in the work. I feed the cats in the evening and now Chuck knows she won't get her Sheba Perfect Portion of Beef Pate until I pick her up and cuddle with her for exactly 30 seconds. It is a small but significant victory.
The part that really sucks is Chuck wouldn't be in our house if it wasn't for me getting the ball rolling on adopting a cat. No one can dispute that I am the reason she landed in a warm, loving home and yet I'm the one she's going to murder on the stairs one day.
So, that's my one post for the year of 2023. I knew I had to do it at least once or I'd feel as if I've completely abandoned this project. I'm not there yet. In fact, I often think of things I'd like to share here. Like this picture of hateful Chuck and her one, true love: