Last few months have been chaos to say the least. After transitioning successfully to a new position with a very large and challenging municipality, coming to terms with my financial realities, discovering that 2 of my current fosters are going to be long term challenges, being infiltrated with a systemic poison ivy, and preparing for the rush of emaciated evening and red bat orphans and exhausted bat moms (which has already begun), the family vacation that was planned over 6 months ago has appeared. Bought and paid for, much needed, but still hard for me to negotiate. Up until a few days ago I didn’t even know/remember where we were going. I hadn’t even looked at the books and guides that were sent to me.
I have never been a good vacationer. Travelling itself makes me a bit queasy, regardless of the mode of transport, and leaving my everyday routine is probably more traumatic than anything. I’m very regimented, and 90% of my life revolves around the tiny and sometimes not so tiny creatures I have willfully brought into my life for one reason or another. Parting ways even for a few days from these souls, my closest family, triggers an anxiety and melancholic sadness that is really hard to explain.
When I do travel, it is to see friends or family that usually has their own pets; I’m still able to experience kitten snuggles, dog slobber, horse scratches, or chicken wrangling, all of which makes the separation more manageable. Some trips however, like this cruise, I feel have doomed me to an extended period of time of no contact with animals whatsoever. It’s embarrassing to admit how devastating that can be, is, to me.
I’ve got an amazing group of family and friends that care for all of my creatures while I’m gone. I don’t worry about their well being or safety, all the dogs, cats, and wildlife are in incredibly caring and capable hands. That does make it somewhat better. That’s the kicker though, I don’t worry about how the animals are going to do without me. Ive noticed that subconsciously the stress is based on how I’m going to do without them, not vice versa. I sometimes feel lost, unfulfilled, when I have nothing to care for. I do however appreciate the fact that I was wise enough, many years ago, to transition from alcoholics and addicts to animals. They are much more deserving of my ridiculous devotion to fixing what’s wrong. And they don’t steal or lie or lock me out of my house.
So here I sit, at a small bar in a large airport across from a quiet terminal awaiting a plane that will fly me to a tropical paradise and some much needed family goof-off time. With lots of pictures on my phone for me to scroll through daily, in case I need reminding of what’s waiting for me to return.
And I still get accused on a regular basis of not caring about animals. Because I’m justadogcatcher.