Natasha summers in Grand Junction now.
I am lucky enough to have parents who don't mind taking in my beast in the summer months so I can go on my extended escapes unfettered. Since I'm leaving for my next trip in a few days, I took Nash down to GJ this week.
It was delightful as always to get to hang out with my parents. Despite the craziness of their work load (and their patients), they made time for some fun. For example, Mom helped me make a maxi-skirt out of some fabric I've had sitting in my to-do pile for months now, and Dad put off chart-reading Wednesday to take me to a fun little used bookstore and to go hunting for some items for Peru.
We also measured the ceiling a lot:
You know how I travel to stave off my perennial need to move? My parents do that, too, but since they are so tethered to their patient load (44 Avastin treatments today alone. 44!), they've replaced travel with renovations. The house currently is covered in a layer of drywall dust and their kitchen has been relocated to their garage. The changes they're making are pretty sweet, though. For example, here's a quick shot of the new breakfast nook (for lack of a better name):
It's going to be awesome. Duane and Janet, two good friends of my parents, stopped by Tuesday night. Duane suggested my parents should put in a good mural on the ceiling in the nook. I agreed, and although I'm still a fan of my dad's old idea of a mural depicting our ancestors being driven out of their various homes (the Mormons being driven out of the eastern states on my mom's side and the Catholics being driven out of Italy after refusing to do free labor for their village church on my dad's side) (I come from a long line of stubborn people who challenge authority), I suggested they do something more like this.
Math and measuring fun aside, I also had some adventures with Natasha.
I've put off her annual shaving because the weather out here in Colorado's been much cooler than usual for this time of year. Finally, though, it had to be done. I made an appointment for her this morning at a pet grooming place not too far from my parents' office. When I dropped her off this morning, she looked like this:
I was helping with some filing at the office when I got the call that they had finished shaving Nash. It was perfect timing, since I could now swing out to get her, run her back to my parents' house, then go meet them for lunch before I took off for Denver.
I picked up Natasha, marveling at how getting her shaved makes her look like a completely new cat:
"Really, it's amazing," I thought as I drove back to my parents' house, "The short fur makes her look totally different."
"And act different, too," I noted as the cat sniffed all around the cage with nary a mew. I lifted up the lid to scratch under her chin, and the beast didn't respond.
"Poor thing," I thought. "Being around all those barking dogs really scared her."
I took her inside the house, opened the lid, and lifted her out for some cuddling before I left her for the summer.
"Huh," I said out loud. Something's different. She's not butting her head against my face. And I don't remember Natasha having a white chin. Or a pink nose.
I pulled out my cell phone to check:
"This isn't my cat," I realized.
"You aren't my cat," I said to the beast that was squirming in my arms.
I called the pet grooming place and told them, "I think you gave me the wrong cat."
"That's impossible!" the cat grooming lady exclaimed. "I keep track by the collars. Did you get the right collar back?"
"Yes..." I said looking at the collar that was clipped to the cage handle, "but I don't think this is my cat."
"Well, bring it back then," she said, then hung up.
So Not Natasha and I got back in the car and drove back to the pet grooming place. I called my parents on the way to explain why I was going to be late for lunch. When my mom stopped laughing, she said I could put Natasha in the back room of their office so I could still go with them for lunch. She and Dad met me at the pet grooming place and she took one look in the cage and declared, "That's not your cat."
I carried it inside. The cat grooming lady was suddenly apologetic, since the other cat's owner had shown up in the meantime, taken one look at Natasha and declared, "That's not my cat."
The cat grooming lady led me to the back room where, waiting patiently in one of their cages, was a newly-shorned but not-so-different-looking Natasha.
This is my cat.
Mom and I shut her in my dad's bathroom at the office. She made a quick note to tape on the door to make sure none of their staff accidentally let Natasha out:
When we came back from lunch, we found an addition to the note:
Wait a second... that cat looks a little different than I remember.