In addition to being a working member of society (stop laughing), I am also a pet owner. A trip like Paris! doesn’t just happen. Time off needs to be requested, money saved, money spent, animal care found, etc. I also needed some encouragement from friends to take the plunge. Thank you for listening to me dither, “A” and “L.” I was so incredibly lucky to have three friends volunteer to take care of my animal crew, staying at the house so routines changed as little as possible. Thank you “S”, “D”, and “P”.

* * *

Upon returning to real life, I was amused to discover a batch of notes covering the unusual items my house sitters discovered while sitting the crew. I knew these things, and had even mentioned a few, but the entertainment value of these notes (which were marked “Toss”) struck my funny bone.

Pets not allowed in Tara’s room while she is away. Only Anouk is allowed in Tara’s room while she is away. She enjoys the window.

Cats do not go outside. Garage okay but block the doggie door.

Cats walk on the counter. I use a cutting board for food prep.

Sometimes an ice cube lands on the floor when freezer opened and melts. I turned off the ice maker to prevent ice cube overflow. Turn back on if you need more ice.

Key barks at big vehicles. Run water in the sink to distract him if necessary.

He won’t go outside in the back until you go on the steps and wait. He’s funny.

He appears to save poops for walks. That’s a talent or a skill.

I hold him back while filing his dish. Spread around, it takes him longer to eat.

I just find it fascinating the things that seem ordinary to me, but worth mentioning to other people.

* * *

As usual when I travel, I fight homesickness for the pets. “P” is also a pet lover, and her texts and pics kept me going for the last few days of the trip.

Oct 8

Tara: As with other things, tech is not cooperating with me and I’m not able to get my texts to send. How’d the first day with the Fuzz and crew go?

P: Anouk is the most lovable cat and very talkative. She finally fell asleep on me for a while last night at about midnight, then spent some time in the window of the guest room. Chitza is still a bit skittish but is eating well. Anouk is eating well. Key eats so fast that “my dog” hardly gets started before he’s done. They are all behaving and adjusting to “my dog”. Key likes being a lap dog. “My dog” is a bit jealous, but she is adjusting. Everyone misses you!


Oct 9

Tara: I am soooooooooooo glad to hear this!!!!! I miss all of you so much! I’m doing okay. I’m having fun and finding interesting things, but I have no stamina. I hate to admit this, but I am counting hours!

P: Well rest easy. The kids are great. Key isn’t even barking at the garbage truck, though he was doing circles and barking when I was preparing his breakfast 😀 Ah food. . . Don’t push yourself too much, do only those things that will bring you the most joy. ❤️❤️❤️

Tara: Key is food motivated to an insane degree. As discussed.

P: Yes he is, yes he is. He really is a good boy and knows how to use his beautiful eyes to get what he wants. 🥹 I thought I would send this picture along. Anouk likes “my dog”. 🙂

Anouk and “P’s dog”

Tara: So cute! Love it!!!

Oct 10

P: Good morning Tara.  I hope you are doing well. You are missing a beautiful rain storm with gale force winds. Anouk let me sleep last night, I think she finally ran out of things to tell me. 🙃 I kind of feel bad for Key, though. He wants to sleep on the bed, but between “my dog” and I and Anouk wandering around the bed, he ends up getting down and sleeping on the rug on the floor next to the bed. “My dog” and I take up most of the space. All is well here. I’m trying to keep up with the muddy paw prints. Your floors may be a bit dirty when you return. Enjoy your last couple days!

Tara: Don’t worry about the floors. They are currently unnaturally clean. Put some dirt in them so I know I’m home. I’d love rain. It’s dry, warm, and muggy here for day 13 of 14. And don’t worry about Key. That rug thing is his patented “I’m an abused dog” trick. He uses it on my when the cats are in his space. Or something…. He will survive. Chitza hasn’t come out? Anouk is an attention sponge.

Oct 11

P: Chitza comes out to eat and I love her up for a bit, but she seems to prefer to stay in the pantry area during the day. She is still pretty timid around “my dog”, though she doesn’t run away from her. I give her love several times a day in her little bed and she walks the shelves when I’m in there cleaning the boxes rubbing up against me. She is quite loving, but the exact opposite of Anouk. I don’t know what she does during the night, she doesn’t wander into my room.

T: She’s the cautious one. She does love Key, though. I hope they are talking.

P:  Pictures of your babies to help you get through the rest of your trip.


Let me know if these go through okay. I can send them as attachments instead.

Key and his “curl up on the rug guilt trip”

Tara :  Got them, thanks! And I needed them!! Key is really putting on a guilt trip for you!!!!

P: Yes, Key is on his best behavior. Treats are helpful. 😁

Oct 12

P: I assume you are getting ready to return to our wonderful, wet state. Looking forward to seeing you. All the kids are as well. How many hours before you start your return trip? When you get into PDX send me a quick text to let me know you have arrived. Key and I will be excited to meet you. Take care and have a great trip. See you on the other side. Rest easy. All is well. 😊Oh, I wanted to tell you that Chitza has come out of the pantry and joined us in the main rooms. She sat on my lap a while, but Anouk kind of pushed her off. A little jealousy there. She is now asking for and getting attention and as far as I can tell, she is using the litter box regularly. Anouk is really playful and makes me laugh. Take care and enjoy your trip home. ❤️

* * *

I didn’t take anything except my phone on vacation, as far as communication, but it allowed me to email and check Facebook. Below are a series of email between me and “L”.

Sept 27

Je pense á toi, chère amie!

Sept 28

What a lovely view from your hotel window!

How was your trip there? What have you been up to?

October 7

Bonjour encore une fois

How are you feeling? Have the antibiotics made a difference?

“L” is the best.

* * *

Thank you, everyone, for a great trip! It was a team effort!