The weekend started on a sour note. The oldest of our cats has gone missing, and if we are to trust our neighborhood’s version of The Baker Street Irregulars, she met with foul play at the hands of a construction worker. All my efforts yesterday afternoon to clear up this mystery were met with very little cooperation from the powers-that-be (namely the person in charge of the office and the foreman at the construction site.) Since I am one to cut people down to size, I will be doing so on Monday morning. No one here is happy. We expected the poor cat to eventually meet her maker (Bastet?,) but we were thinking along the lines of natural causes rather than (and here is where good ol’ Billy Shakespeare chimes in) “murder most foul.” Oh, I’d have gone Miss Marple on the workers’ asses if they’d not left for the weekend…as it is, I might have to go Miss Marple on their asses come Monday morning when some of the indignation might have worn off…
J walked around the neighborhood calling out for JuJu. Dada walked around the construction site and asked general questions from The Irregulars, but there’s not much else we can do. It’s the word of a bunch of kids (something that adults tend to take as a shortcoming rather than the asset it is) against that of a construction worker. As I wrote to the property manager in an e-mail, “the kids’ version gathers more veracity as the clock ticks and the cat is nowhere to be found.”
On that note, we started the weekend, and there was a lot of head-shaking going on; we cannot understand why anyone would do such a thing. Friday night was spent catching up on the last bit of Season 4 of Breaking Bad and trying to keep the younger cat calm when she clearly was not. Saturday morning didn’t bring a meowing at our door, and we’re pretty sure the kids were not lying when they told us what they think they saw.
Off to Farmers’ Market we went with J. One of the things that always catches us off guard is how, regardless of the drama that might be spreading out all over and around us, J’s routine must be maintained. We didn’t feel like doing much, but J -aware as he is of something being awry- would not be deterred from his Saturday morning mission. We walked around the Farmers’ Market with our basket and gathered green onions, potatoes, sausage and such. We then went to the bakery. The kicker this time was that I made J slowly sound out the word BAKERY and he then happily kept saying BAKERY BAKERY BAKERY until we got there. They had no cinnamon rolls, but J enthusiastically ordered COOKIE and thanked the salesgirl when she handed it to him.
How far we have come. Last year, the year before, we couldn’t move an inch if J was not simpatico to the movement. Now, without hesitation, he changes plans, fall in with our plans and is game for anything. Yesterday, while at the store, he made a move to grab The Secret of Arrietty from the movie display. I said NO, PLEASE. This is one of the movies that I’ve bought for Christmas (yes, I’ve almost completed my Christmas shopping) and I didn’t want to ruin the surprise. J looked at me, and then turned around and grabbed something else. No fuss. No tantrum. No insistence. No problem. I would have cried right then and there, but I decided to just look up and thank all the saints above…
On our trip to the mall today, J patiently waited while we shopped for polo shirts and then asked to be taken to the video store. There he acquired a video with Donald Duck and then escorted us to the food court where he asked for CHICKEN. It was about lunchtime so we decided to humor him. A banner menu was placed near the entrance to the fast-food he’d chosen. First he thought he wanted a Number One combo, and then -putting his hand on my arm- said, quite clearly, FIVE! The exclamation point is his. I told him he had to order. The girl at the counter was patient and looked at J rather than at me while he was asking for his food. FIVE, he said, SODA. The labels for the soda dispenser faced us and I told him “she needs to know which soda you want, J.” His finger immediately landed on the Coca-Cola label. The cashier asked if we wanted ketchup and J said RANCH. The girl said thank you, and J said THANK YOU back to her.
We sat at a table and J ate. He was happy. We were happy. I think J was happy about his Number Five with Ranch and soda, but we were happy because we were there…and there was no fuss. We can now do what other people take for granted, only we don’t think it’s just another ordinary thing to do…it’s a big thing to do. We can go to the mall without someone melting down in the car and inspiring us to leave immediately. We can go up to a counter and have J say what he wants without the other patrons feeling like we’re ordering lobster Thermidor instead of eight nuggets with fries.
Do we want to mess with J’s med? In light of all this progress, I think it’s understandable if we feel a bit of trepidation. I don’t know how much this will influence us on Tuesday. I don’t know if looks will dart around the room from person to person to person. I think, like TGG suggested, we need to lay this all out before we go there and talk to the doctor. All I know for certain is that THIS is nice; this feeling of comfort in mixing with the general population is something we are enjoying.
The cat is gone and Tuesday is still a seemingly long way from Saturday.
There’s time, right? For the cat to miraculously return? For us to make up our minds without hesitation?