Having Chloe home has been good. Andy and I were both a bit concerned on how she was going to respond to Henry. Everyone we know was cautioning us. “Oh, cats like to sleep on top of babies because they’re warm.” “You need a cat net for the crib.” “Be careful that the cat doesn’t scratch the baby.” “Cats love milk; she might try to lick the baby.” “Cats steal baby’s breaths! Haven’t you seen ‘Cat’s Eye’? Oh wait, in that the troll was responsible.” Truthfully, Chloe could give a rat’s ass about Henry. She stays as far away from him as possible. We think it’s because she doesn’t like Henry’s noises – mainly the crying. Truthfully, when Henry cries I wouldn’t mind hiding under the bedspread upstairs too. Chloe and I could chill out together, playing cards, drinking milkshakes – “Has he stopped wailing yet? No? Ugh. Deal me another hand please and pass the chocolate syrup.”
Chloe is as flummoxed on why the washing machine is in the kitchen as I am.
As much as it pained me to see Chloe in jail, I think it’s done her good. She still has all her basic annoying personality traits – begging for the milk in our cereal bowls, following us from room to room never minding that we might accidentally step on her, pawing at half open doors – usually around 3 in the morning – not because she wants to get into the space behind the door but just because she loves the noise a banging door (or cabinet, or vertical blind) makes. She seems to have lost her “no strangers” policy from being in jail though, which is fucking awesome. For 8 years I’ve put up with apologizing to anyone who has come into my home. “Don’t touch the cat and if you do, I have some Neosporin on hand.” She’d hiss and scratch and bite any new person who came over. My best friend, Beth, who LOVES animals can’t stand Chloe for this very reason. But (knock on wood) Chloe seems to have let this policy go. My mother in law came over yesterday for a few hours and Chloe didn’t do anything. No hissing. No scratching. No biting. Chloe pretty much regarded my mother in law like she does Henry, “I won’t bother you if you don’t bother me”. While I’m almost embarrassed to say how much we had to pay to keep Chloe in cat jail for 3 ½ months, if this is now her normal behavior, it was totally worth it.
Having Chloe back does mean that it is impossible to have an empty lap. If Andy and I are both on the couch, one of us will have a baby in their lap, the other will have a cat. It feels very family-like, those moments, and I enjoy them a lot. That is until I have to get up to pee, or get something to drink, or have a cigarette, or because something I’ve got in the oven is ready to come out. Then I get either a baby yelling at me for disturbing his warm bosom pillow perch (“…everyone needs a bosom for a pillow, everyone needs a bosom…”) or a cat giving me a nip for not completing the petting she believes she deserves. I suppose that’s pretty family-like too.
In other news, I’ve been debating coming back to the States with Henry for a couple weeks this summer. It’s still in the debate stage as a few factors are in play. First of all is finding a way to pay for the ticket. We’re a bit skint at the moment (babies cost their weight in gold) so I’d have to rely on the generosity of my folks and their anxiousness to see their grandchild. Secondly I would have to travel 9 hours on a plane with an infant by myself. Thirdly, and I think this is the most deciding factor, is that I would have to fly BY MYSELF. I don’t know if I’ve gone into my fear of flying before and now is certainly not the time. Let’s just say that I didn’t fly for 7 years due to my fear and it’s only been the grand power of Xanax and Andy’s sturdy arm and will that has gotten me through all the flights I’ve managed the last few years. It’s the take offs and landings that scare me the most (though turbulence, which I know is completely harmless, doesn’t do the nerves any good either) and having Andy’s arm to squeeze to a pulp and him reminding me to breathe into my barf bag like an asthma sufferer really helps me out.
Before I start making plans to come to the States, I have to try flying on my own. The shorter the flight the better-which is why I’m planning on flying to Dublin for a night the first week of June. Liverpool to Dublin is only 50 minutes and on RyanAir (which I hear is a new level of hell) only costs twenty pounds. Though I suppose with RyanAir’s added fees (which most likely includes a 5 pound fee to use the toilet with a 1 pound fee per sheet of toilet paper) will mean that it’s actually 40 pounds – but still, it’s cheap. And worse case scenario, if I can’t take the flight well and I flat out refuse to fly back, I can always take the ferry back home. Which is weird really. A ferry. To get from Dublin to Liverpool. I suppose it’s only weird to me as the In My Head version of ferries are just these 5 car pontoon boats that are more like the marine equivalent of a carnival Tilt-A-Wirl then a proper water vessel.
Wish me luck. I’d love to get back to the homeland for a bit. Not only do I have a king’s ransom worth of eligible babysitters there but I might possibly ask Target if I can stay with them for a couple nights….I’ll just set me up a bunch of their fluffy bath towels in the margarita mix section and I’ll be good to go.