I take this picture to be a good omen. A sense of community that I have missed while I was putting in forty hours a week with people I never saw or got to know.
This is the resident cat posse. Center on the mat, the youngster, Milly. Colin's Christmas rescue. She's a gonif and we are already having to restrict her caloric intake. No more basketball-sized cats in this family. It's really not good for them.
On the left, Her Dowager Highness, Sweetie. You all know her. I indulge and spoil her. The two of us feeling the weight of life and years, arthritic and lazy.
Center on the steps, Young Thug, Bailey, the lithe fur snake who will interrupt his napping to rush onto my lap with the urgency of a child needing to be soothed after a nightmare. Sixty seconds of head scratching and poof, he's gone, back to his cat business.
Last, but not least, Lady Salem, she of the gorgeous graphics, is still a bit troubled by Milly, the young interloper. Salem guards me jealously at night treating my hands like her long-lost kittens - licking them clean and moving them with a nip.
I am owned.
I have a few daily duties. I am honored to have breakfast with Charlie. He reads to me before and after school daily. Improving in leaps and bounds, he's found a hero writer in Dav Pilkey, author of the brilliant Dog Man Series. This, from "Dog Man: Mothering Heights"
Every story is chock full of action but sewn together by scenes like this.
There were seven words or phrases here that prompted spirited discussions. The triple pov endings of this one made me cry, but I'm an easy mark.
He is perfecting his delivery for maximum Nana impact.
There was a delightful adults-only day that included swimming in a still warm salt-water pool, food, drinks and a Braves game on the radio. Late that day, there was a phone call from the workplace. A wellness call, she described it. Thoughtful, if proforma.
The next morning, I called and put them out of their misery. Who knew there was something called "off-boarding"? The deal is done. I am free.