After an eventful weekend fending off Hurricane Irene, camping out at a friend’s house as “lost electricity” refugees, and getting things slowly back to a semblance of normal, the girls all started school this past Tuesday. It’s strange for me, since I’m still not working out of the home yet, and it’s the first time that all three of my girls are at school for a full day. The house is strangely quiet.
Surprisingly, though, it’s not me that’s having trouble adjusting to the quiet and peace in the house. It’s not me that’s wandering aimlessly around, staring out windows, standing at the door staring at the knob, running to the door when the buses come down the street for the kindergarteners at lunch time.
It’s the cats.
The sudden quiet seems to be unsettling to them. I’m a bit surprised that they still remember Anna’s old kindergarten routine from last year when she would get on the bus at lunch time and come home in the afternoon. Except this year she’s on the bus early in the morning when her older sisters get on the bus, so the furbabies are confused by the morning silence. Yet they know the sound of the buses and think, “Ooh! The girl! She’s home for lunch!”
Except she’s not.
So they leap into the windows the instant they hear the buses, which is long before I can hear the buses coming. When the buses pass the house they look confused. A few minutes later they walk aimlessly around the house. They won’t eat, but they nap in the girls’ beds.
The do seem to know when the girls are supposed to come home. I pick up Jules from school, so when I walk in with her the cats are both sitting at the door waiting with their tails up. Happy! A girl is home! An hour later there are buses all up and down the street again and they’re in the windows and hanging out at the door again. Yesterday, Daisy even tried to open the front screen door. It was like, “Where’s the girl! Where! Girl!”
Of course when the girls finally came home and walked through the doors with the cats both waiting there, they scattered as if to say, “Pish, what? Us? Wait for you? Crazy. We wait for no one. Leave us alone.” And yet they perked right up, started eating again and even “asked” the girls to feed them and for treats, plopped themselves in the girls’ laps for snuggles and scritchies, and slept on their heads at bedtime.
These are the victims of summer vacation that no one ever thinks about. Or perhaps the victims of the new school year. The family members that lose their playmates and have no idea where or why they’re going. The pets.